Frank Oz interviewed by Stephen J. Morrison

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Location Amphitheater

Gate pass required. Purchase at our Main Gate Welcome Center, (716) 357-6250

General Admission $40

Frank Oz, Muppet performer, film director

Director, producer, writer, Muppet performer and actor Frank Oz has directed a dozen feature films, created and performed many of the original Muppet characters with the famed Jim Henson and is the performer behind Jedi Master Yoda in all of the Star Wars films.

Oz has directed acclaimed comedy, musical comedy, drama, and fantasy films, including “The Muppets take Manhattan” (also sharing screenwriting credit), “Little Shop of Horrors,” “What About Bob?,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “Housesitter,” “The Indian in the Cupboard,” “In & Out,” “Bowfinger,” “The Score,” “The Dark Crystal” (co-directed with Henson), the original “Death at a Funeral” and the remake of “The Stepford Wives.”

Early in his career Oz became known for creating and performing the legendary Muppet characters Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal and Sam Eagle on “The Muppet Show,” Cookie Monster, Bert and Grover on “Sesame Street,” and “The Mighty Favog” on the first season of “Saturday Night Live,” among hundreds of television and film projects.

Oz is the recipient of four Emmy Awards — for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children’s Programming, and for Outstanding Children’s Programming for his work on “Sesame Street”; and for Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Series, and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children’s Programming for “The Muppet Show.” He also won two George Foster Peabody awards, the American Comedy Awards’ Creative Achievement Award, the Art Director’s Guild award, the Saturn Lifetime Achievement Award, three gold and two platinum records, among numerous other honors.

Stephen J. Morrison is the Emmy-nominated Executive Producer and Showrunner of the CNN documentary series “The History of Comedy,” which was an official selection at The Sundance Film Festival before making its acclaimed debut on the network. Given the strong reception, the series was renewed for a second season, and not only celebrates the work of comedy’s best practitioners, but also highlights comedy’s role in conversations about profanity, race, politics, mental health and gender issues.

Prior to his work on “The History of Comedy,” Morrison produced the “The Sixties,” “The Seventies” and “The Eighties” for Tom Hanks’ company Playtone, which set ratings records for CNN and earned Morrison three Emmy nominations.

Morrison is also responsible for telling the story of comedy as the executive producer of exhibit media for more than 50 interactive and personalized exhibits in the National Comedy Center visitor experience. Including his work on “The History of Comedy,” he has conducted over 100 interviews with prolific comedy minds to produce a wide array of material designed to celebrate the art, craft, and science of comedy.