Hey everybody, Mr. Dave here! I am a musician, performer and puppet enthusiast from the cradle! The story goes that my first toy I ever had was a puppet that my mother propped on the post of my crib. I would babble at it for hours.
Like most of us I grew up on Sesame Street, the Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, Mr. Rogers… All important and influential parts of the puppet and family entertainment communities. I was also very inspired by Winslow Jones and Mel Brooks (via Police Academy and Looney Tunes, respectively) and the amazing and enchanting ability to change their voices into anything. As a young child I would spend my days practicing voices, impressions, sound effects and music… More often than not with a puppet, sock, or stuffed animal in my hands to practice giving it life.
My younger sister Amy soon got in on the action and we would do things like impromptu puppet shows in toy stores and harmonizing “concerts” whilst waiting in lines at various food places and stores… We did theatre together growing up, as well as band and choruses in school. I also took TV and film production and graphic design classes in high school and college. Now she and I produce the show I created together.
“Fun Time with Mr. Dave” is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I had been working as a children’s performer and educator for CFCE (Coordinated Family & Community Engagement) in Western Massachusetts as well as a performer for several local libraries… When the virus shut the world down and my source of income vanished. As a single, full-time dad of 4 kids… I needed something quick. CFCE approached me to see if I had any ideas for them to continue working with local kids and families online… And I proposed the show.
The goal of the show, and me as an entertainer, is a simple one. I want to make people smile together. So much of today’s “family” entertainment is flashy, computer graphic driven “bites” that simplifies things to the point that they are talking down to children… And parents don’t watch with them. They get up and leave the kids to do house work or self care or whatever and the kids rarely learn anything other than they want a new toy or slime or to do some sort of semi-dangerous challenge. As a parent I have seen it and been it first hand.
I want to bring the family back to family entertainment. Simple, fun and funny- with a bit of something for everyone… And hopefully teach a few things along the way too. More than anything, my goal is to get families laughing together again.
Fun Time with Mr. Dave started with me, a sock puppet and a cell phone… through connections gained from the shows growing popularity and the recent partnership with my extremely talented sister (producer, legal and puppeteer)- the show has gained international attention as well as having eager guests from all over the world!
I am hoping to eventually get more guests and more puppeteers involved- growing into something that I sincerely hope would make Jim and Fred proud. The heart of all my stories is the same as what they taught me growing up. Everybody can be who they want, though some of us might need some help… And we are all family on this tiny blue marble floating in space. So let’s love each other and help each other out so we can all be the best “us” we can be… And maybe sing a song or two while we’re at it!
Thanks so much for watching… And as always…