I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was the other day when I found a whole bunch of vintage Mummenschanz videos from The Muppet Show - these guys were the bomb! Mummenschanz was a trio of Swiss mimes/puppeteers who made several TV appearances in the 70s. However, they were not like any mimes you ever saw before - least of which the annoying ones with white faces. Instead, they wore masks made out of moldable clay or removal parts or full body suits that allowed them to move around as various objects on stage. I can't even begin to describe how weirdly wonderful and creative them were - and while I admit being a little scared of them as a kid, I also found them fascinating.
The name comes from the German word for mime, which is mummer. Two guys and a gal originally made up Mummenschanz. Bernie Schürch, Andres Bossard and Floriana Frassetto formed the group in 1972. They toured the world in the mid-70s and played Broadway for three years. Bossard passed away in 1992 and today there are four members, including Schürch and Frassetto. They were responsible for the shadow imagery of nominated movie titles during the 2007 Academy Awards ceremony.
Take a look at some of the videos below - they certainly took me back and I can honestly say I've yet to see anything like Mummenschanz for quite a while, at least on national television. Back in the 70s, you certainly had to be talented and creative to make it on TV.
Does anyone else remember these guys?