TV’s ‘Bumpity’ finds home – in the Portland Puppet Museum

INCLUDES VIDEO VIGNETTE | See where ‘Bumpity’ is enjoying his retirement! It’s part of a new exhibit, now open at the Portland Puppet Museum …

Inside the Portland Puppet Museum, a new exhibition features TV star puppet Bumpity, and friends.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Thousands of kids looked forward to a television visit with Bumpity every week on KATU-TV Channel 2 from 1971 to 1985.

The green bump on a lawn – “I’m not a frog,” he’d occasionally protest – was a puppet, named Bumpity. It, and a striped worm named “Fred” hosted the local TV show.
Among the guests visiting “Bumpity Park” – a large set built in a small TV studio – were librarians, police officers, dentists, clog dancers, and even a young magician – that would be your reporter; being on Bumpity made me moderately famous in Portland, at the time.

I also was appearing on KEX radio, which gave me a little fame as well; but after being on Bumpity a few times, people would stop me at Saturday Market or other public spaces and say, “Hey! You’re the magician on Bumpity, right?”

Karin Rosendall and Quentin Rosendall happily joined Jo Ann Rosendall Griggs (center), as her late husband’s creation – Bumpity, and friends – go on display in the museum.

After the show went off the air, as most local kids programs like that did in the mid-1980s, the puppets – Bumpity, Fred, Digger Mole, and Scotty MacThistle – were relegated to a suitcase stored in the attic of their creator and puppeteer, Bob Griggs.

On September 28, Bumpity saw the light of day once again. “To have Bumpity out of the suitcase, and to have a permanent home here at the Portland Puppet Museum – I think this is wonderful,” remarked its creator’s widow, Jo Ann Rosendall Griggs.

“Even today, all these years later, when someone says the name ‘Bumpity’, so many people fondly remember this television show,” Rosendall Griggs told East Portland News.

There’s a 21-minute video documentary, “Bumpity Returns”, which you can see on YouTube: CLICK HERE.

Even more puppets on display
And so, Bumpity and his friends are featured in newly-opened “Enchanted Fairy Tale and TV Puppets”, the 51st exhibit in the Portland Puppet Museum’s ten-year history.

Portland Puppet Museum co-curators Marty Richmond and Steve Overton sit at the Beauty and the Beast castle, showcasing the puppets of Donna Lingenfelder of the Lilliput Players.

“It is like walking into the pages a children’s storybook, where the visitors can experience puppets from TV shows, as well as fairy tale puppets donated by several local Oregon puppet theaters of the past,” said museum co-curator Steve Overton.

Come in, and “say hello” to old friends – Bumpity and his buddies.

Here’s a video preview of what you’ll find when you visit
the Portland Puppet Museum …

Puppets joining Bumpity in the display include:

  • Marionettes seen on the Howdy Doody Show;
  • Pixie Playhouse;
  • The Brother Buzz;
  • “Topo Gigio”, as seen on the Ed Sullivan Show; and.
  • “Lambchop”, given to them by Shari Lewis.

 

The “Enchanted Fairy Tale and TV Puppets” exhibit is on through January 31st.

Portland Puppet Museum co-curator, Steve Overton, puts the final touches on their new exhibit called “Enchanted Fairy Tale and TV Puppets”.

Portland Puppet Museum
906 SE Umatilla Street, 97202

Open Thursday-Sunday, 2:00 thru 8:00 p.m.
Admission: FREE ~ Donations accepted
Website: CLICK HERE

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

 

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