Jessica “Max” Stein Writes Original Piece About Muppeteer Richard Hunt for The Gay & Lesbian Review

My book Funny Boy, the biography of gay Muppet performer Richard Hunt, began as a labor of love – as well it should have.

When I was a kid in the ’80s, in America’s rust belt suburbia, the Muppets were everywhere: television, movies, books, records, toys. They were part of the very fabric of my life (I even slept on Kermit-print sheets.).

I rediscovered the Muppets about twenty years later when I was living in Brooklyn, trying to find my footing as an independent adult. Once or twice a week, my next door neighbor Effie and I would eat dinner together, watch The Muppet Show and laugh our heads off. In a frightening, unpredictable world, the Muppets were one of life’s reliable joys. I adored the dynamic of “affectionate anarchy” (Frank Oz’s phrase) among the characters; they treated each other with genuine kindness, even as they blew each other up.

But now, I noticed the vast amounts of effort and illusion that brought these puppets so vividly to life….

Read the rest of the piece here.  

Funny Boy: The Richard Hunt Biography is on sale March 15th, 2024.

Max Stein will be at the BUREAU OF GENERAL SERVICES—QUEER DIVISION in NYC on March 15th at 7:00pm (in person and livestreamed) for her book launch event with author and activist Tedd Kerr. The event is free for all; learn more here.