REVIEW: Lolly Lardpop’s Radio Play-Date

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Josh Hankemeier – Did you ever wonder where you could find Josh Gad, a gypsy, a pug in an inflatable turkey costume, Roscoe Orman, pink monkey Foley artists and a Sasquatch in a Speedo–all on the same podcast? Well, wonder no more!
Most of us are familiar with the Muppeteer Leslie Carrara-Rudolph as the woman behind Sesame Street character Abby Cadabby. However, there is another character who has never visited Sesame Street, but is just as dear to Leslie’s heart. Lolly Lardpop is a five-year old whose love for candy is equally matched with her love of spreading joy, celebrating creativity and individuality. For those of you who are new to Lolly Lardpop, you can read my reviews of Lolly’s CDs Spunkinsass and Wake Up Your Weird. You can also see Lolly’s videos on her YouTube channel.
unnamed (3)Lolly’s newest venture into spreading joy is by way of her new “radio show”-style podcast, “Lolly Lardpop’s Radio Play-Date“. This show is inspired by the style of old-fashioned radio shows performed during the 1940s. There are stories, lively music by Lolly’s house band “The Red Hot Lemonheads”, commercials (created just for the show), special guests and even Foley sound effects. Lolly got the idea of doing this type of show from her Granny Dot (a 99 year old aqua-aerobics enthusiast with the energy of Grandma Arbuckle from “A Garfield Christmas”). Granny Dot signs-off each show with a song inspired by the closing theme song from “The Carol Burnett Show”. You can subscribe to the show via iTunes or you can listen to the episodes at this link.
Sesame Street fans will notice some familiar names in the credits of this wonderful podcast: Alan Muraoka (director), Ryan Dillon (performer of Janet the Pug and Gordon the Sasquatch) and Paul Rudolph (drummer, musical director/audio editor).unnamed (1)Each episode of Lolly’s radio show offers something unique. The first two episodes debuted just in time for Halloween (Lolly’s birthday), complete with spooky stories and a visit from the gypsy Madame Velveeta. On the fourth episode, Josh Gad, (the voice of Olaf in Disney’s Frozen) dropped by to sing and chat with Lolly.

The fifth episode centers around Thanksgiving. Lolly narrates her experience of being in a Thanksgiving parade with Granny Dot, her pet Sasquatch Gordon and her friend Janet (a pug who dons an inflatable turkey costume for the occasion). I am especially fond of the music in this episode. The Red Hot Lemonheads (as always) provide some peppy, snappy numbers. Also, to solve the problem of serving so many Thanksgiving guests, Granny Dot calls the “Gobble Gobble Gals” to cater the event. You’d swear you were listening to the Andrews Sisters!  Be prepared to get hungry (and then laugh) when you hear their songs. Granny Dot also performs one of Leslie’s favorite songs “Can I Help You?”

I’ve saved the best for last… Sesame Street fans MUST tune in to hear the next episode “Jolly Lolly Holidays“, which will be performed on December 20th. I have received word from Leslie herself that both Roscoe Orman and Pam Arciero will both be guests on this episode of Lolly Lardpop’s Radio Play-Date.  Also starring will be Broadway and film actor David Baker!
unnamed (2)Like any first-rate radio show, Lolly’s creative stories and delightful music engages the listeners and encourages them to use their imaginations as she guides them through each episode.  While listening to Lolly’s radio shows, I was reminded of bits from my old Sesame Street LPs such as “Clink, Clank“, “The Monster’s Three Wishes” and “Imagination“.  Until YouTube, I only experienced these segments in audio form.  However, they are sung and narrated so well on the LPs, I could easily visualize how the characters performed them without seeing the actual clips.  Furthermore with the LPs, it made me feel like I was right there with the characters.  “Lolly Lardpop’s Radio Play-Date” has that type of caliber.
If you are lucky enough to be in the area to see the show being performed, Lolly Lardpop’s Radio Playdate is performed at the Art House AstoriaReserve your spot!  As Leslie (and Lolly) would say, “Joy to you!”
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The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com
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