Today on the bLOG, we're interviewing Grant Baciocco, the creator and puppeteer behind Uncle Interloper, everyone's favorite cartoon-loving dog!
batteryPOP: How did you decide to become a puppeteer?
Grant: I didn't really decide to become a puppeteer, I just sort of lucked into it. I've always loved puppets. As a kid, I used to watch The Muppet Show and Buster & Me (a local puppet show in San Francisco) all the time. In 2003, I decided to try and build a puppet and this lucked me into working on a pilot for The Jim Henson Company. Someone I met on that job recommended me as a puppeteer for the company and the rest is history.
batteryPOP: We love Uncle Interloper and Pasquale--were the two characters inspired by anyone or anything?
Grant: Uncle Interloper's voice is very much inspired by my Grandfather's voice. He also has sort of a 'down home' personality like my Grandfather did, as well. As for Pasquale, his puppeteer, Russ Walko, was just trying different voices and we loved the one he wound up with.
batteryPOP: Where did you get the idea for the show?
Grant: I was developing a show called Cartoon SpaceStation which would have been a tribute to those classic 'hosted cartoon shows' that were popular in the '50s, '60s and '70s. Unfortunately, before I could produce it, someone released a show that was very similar. During that time, I had already been making short videos with Uncle Interloper and decided I could use him as a host and The Cartoon Doghouse was born.
As for the other segments, I bring Uncle Interloper with me everywhere, like Australia, and I always try to come up with fun videos for him to shoot while we travel.
batteryPOP: Uncle Interloper loves cartoons. What were your favorite cartoons when you were a kid?
Grant: I loved, loved, loved Rocky & Bullwinkle. That was my absolute favorite cartoon, and still is to this day. Others I enjoyed watching were Top Cat, Wacky Races and G.I. Joe. Looking at that list, it seems that, with the exception of G.I. Joe, I really liked cartoons made before I was born. I just love that classic style of comedy and jokes.
batteryPOP: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Grant: I really wanted to be a helicopter pilot. I loved the show The A-Team and Murdock was my favorite character. I wanted to be helicopter pilot just like him. Confession: To this day, I've never even been in a helicopter, let alone fly one.
batteryPOP: If Uncle Interloper could have any guest star on his show, who would it be?
Grant: Well Uncle Interloper, the character, has a crush on Uma Thurman, so he'd probably say her. Though, he would probably get awful shy around her. If I had to pick someone, since Uncle Interloper likes to sing, it would be fun to have 'Weird Al' Yankovic on the show.
batteryPOP: If you were a superhero, who would your sidekick be?
Grant: I guess I'd have to pick Uncle Interloper! He's sort of my sidekick already. Though if I had to pick a human, I'd say Pasquale's puppeteer Russ Walko. We just seem to work really well on projects together. Plus he's super crafty, he built Pasquale, so he'd be a good guy to have around to build all our superhero gadgets!
Thanks to Grant for answering all our questions. Be sure to check out Uncle Interloper HERE on batteryPOP!