Jeff "Swampy" Marsh left a corporate job to pursue art. Three months later, he found himself learning animation by drawing backgrounds for a fledgling show in its second season called... The Simpsons. After trying for over ten years to get it on the air, he and his creative partner Dan Povenmire got their dream show on Disney, Phineas and Ferb. Spoiler alert, people liked it. A LOT.
Besides now acting as the showrunner for Pete the Cat on Amazon Prime, Swampy also devotes a lot of time to a charity called "A Walk on Water," which provides surf therapy to children with special needs and their families.
A new Pete the Cat Christmas Special arrives on Amazon this Tuesday, November 20th.
When you leave your day job to pursue your dream, that’s incredible. In Dan Garza’s case, the day job was already at Disney, so imagine how spectacular the dream must have been.
It’s a dream he’s still living, working as a puppet maker and puppeteer, voice-over artist, and artist. You’ve seen and heard his puppet performances in the family-unfriendly Melissa McCarthy movie The Happytime Murders and in the new Jim Carrey Showtime show “Kidding.” You also may have seen the 11 different digital puppets he gave life to on the Jim Henson Company’s PBS show “Splash and Bubbles.”
Dan and I are also both members of the Children’s Media Association here in LA. If you’re in New York or LA and you have a passion for children’s media, I encourage you to check them out at ChildrensMediaAssociation.org.
You can get updated information on what Dan is up to a dangarzacreative.com. Thanks for listening!
Along with his creative partner Jamie Salka, today’s guest Lee Overtree founded Story Pirates in 2004. For the last 14 years, they’ve taken kids ideas for stories and brought them to life on stage. In the last few years, they’ve expanded their output to include a radio show, a podcast, a book called “Stuck In The Stone Age,” and an album called “Nothing Is Impossible.”
In addition to his work with Story Pirates, Lee is also an award-winning writer and director.
As an 8 year old, Shawn Colvin taught herself to play songs on the piano from a book called “Lullabies and Night Songs,” with songs Alec Wilder and illustrations by Maurice Sendak. Later, as an adult about to give birth to her daughter, she used some of the songs from that book to record her first kids’ album, “Holiday Songs and Lullabies.” Now, almost 20 years later, she’s released “The Starlighter,” another album of children’s music that draws its source material from “Lullabies and Night Songs.”
You can find everything Shawn Colvin, including her current tour schedule, at shawncolvin.com. You can find “The Starlighter,” both the music and the really incredible animated videos they’ve made to accompany some of the songs, on Amazon.
Albert Mazibuko has been a member of Ladysmith Black Mambazo since 1969. They’ve recorded more than 70 albums over the course of their career, all with the same message of peace, love, and harmony. Last year they recorded their first album for kids and families, appropriately titled “Songs of Peace and Love For Kids and Parents Around The World." They’re wrapping up their current US tour, and have enough material ready for another album for families that they’re hoping to record back home in South Africa later this year.
You can find Ladysmith Black Mambazo at www.Mambazo.com. You can also find a web series they’ve been shooting on their current tour on YouTube.
The Not Its are a five-piece genuine bonafide Seattle indy punk pop rock band that have been making music for kids and their families for ten years now. They were generous enough to have me and my family at their recent show in Torrance, California, and to let me sit down with all five members of the band: Danny , Sara, Michael, Jennie, & Tom for a nice group conversation just before they took the stage and made us dance and melted our faces.
You can find The Not Its at WeAreTheNotIts.com and on your favorite social media platform.
Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood had its first national broadcast 50 years ago this week, on February 19th, 1968. To celebrate, today I’m having a 2nd conversation with my first-ever guest on the Kid Stuff Podcast, Danny LaBrecque.
Danny started off following in Fred Rogers’ footsteps, but has since branched off and found his own path as the creator and host of Danny Joe’s Treehouse.
If you take a look, it will feel familiar. It’s a calm, grown-up voice talking directly to his audience in a respectful way about really tough issues, bringing in really great guests and a variety of puppets. But it’s also brand new, and exactly what young audiences need in their media right now. It’s an island of sanity in a time of insanity.
Do you know a dude named Mike who hosts a podcast where he talks to people about the stuff they make for kids? So do I! His name is Mike Mason, and he is today’s guest. Mike started the Good Stuff Kids Podcast because he couldn’t find the interviews that he wanted to hear with the people who were making the great stuff that his kids and he were into. Sound VERY very familiar…
Tami Stronach has been very busy since she played the Childlike Empress in 1984's The NeverEnding Story. She’s mainly been a dancer, as well as a choreographer and dance teacher. Her company with her husband Greg Steinbruner, Paper Canoe, has created live theater for families, and have now released their first album. And Beanstalk Jack is a true album, with a through-line, and an A side and a B side.
You can find Paper Canoe Company on Facebook, or at www.papercanoecompany.com. You can go to their Patreon, and there are lots of fun things you can get there for just $1 a month. You can also find Tami on Twitter @NeverendingTami.
Thanks for listening!
Alitzah was a child actor. Then she grew up and was a member of the girl group Nobody’s Angel. Now, she’s come full circle and is performing for children, as her musical alter ego Twinkle. She’s continued acting all along, including a recurring part on General Hospital. She is also the President of the Young Entertainer Awards, which are celebrating their third year.
Brady Rymer has been recording and performing kids music for almost 20 years. He has been nominated for three Grammys, and at the end of last year he released his first holiday album, Revvin’ Up The Reindeer. Here’s what you should do: grab your favorite swing dance partner, Go to BradyRymer.com, listen to the first track from that album (which is also the title track), and you’ll be hooked.
Joe Hennes is not just a blogger. He is a Muppet Blogger. Along with Ryan Roe, he is the co-owner and editor of toughpigs.com, the preeminent location on the web for all things Muppet and Jim Henson. I can’t believe it took me 42 episodes of a show about children’s media to talk in-depth to someone about the Muppets. Muppets, y’all. Muppets.
Kevin Aniskovitch is the CEO of Jumo Health. Jumo Health creates comic books and other media that uses a team of superheroes called the Medikidz to teach children about different medical procedures and conditions. From jumohealth.com:
“It all started when two compassionate medical professionals wanted to alleviate the anxiety that often accompanies a diagnosis.”