Marketing event photograph, Lucky Pup, 1949

Collection Spotlight

The Bunin Puppets
In 2001, the Museum acquired over 2,000 artifacts related to the work of puppeteers Hope and Morey Bunin. The Bunins created a cast of puppet characters that were featured on television as early as 1944. They are best known for creating CBS’s first children’s television program, Lucky Pup (1948–1951), and its nearly identical successor on ABC, Foodini the Great (1951). These two shows were tremendously popular with adults and children alike, and, at the time of their broadcast, were as well known as The Howdy Doody Show (1947–1960) and Kukla, Fran and Ollie (1947–1957).

The Museum’s collection includes a unique, comprehensive set of material illuminating the production, promotion, and fan response to Lucky Pup. This material sheds light on the making of one of television’s first hit shows, and opens a window into the world of its fans, young and old.

Artifacts include the original hand puppets, annotated scripts, handmade props and costumes, promotional material, a rich assortment of licensed merchandise, and fan letters and drawings that reflect the dramatic impact of television on audiences as it emerged as a significant form of mass entertainment. Artifacts in this donation also include photographs and puppets from a range of other early television appearances by the Bunin Puppets, as well as material related to Aniforms, Morey Bunin’s pioneering system for performing live “cartoon” characters on television.