As you may have suspected, Albert Snodoloberm isn’t entirely a real person – but I think he might be becoming more real than I am. For about a decade, I was making dozens of puppet movies, some of them feature-length…surreal and full of anti-humor…and very few people ever learned of their existence. When you try telling someone you make puppet movies – even that you make “serious” ones – their reaction is always tinged with something like sympathy. But no complaints, sometimes you just have to make the peculiar movies in your head, whatever they are…so I kept going from one strange puppet project to the next, year after year, with not many people noticing…

Then I had an urge to create a character who, like the actual me, was in the middle of a doomed entertainment career. He would have a different name, a different ambition, different voice and mannerisms, but he would be perpetually tortured by the confusion that all never-made-it filmmakers and entertainers must feel on occasion – what do you do when you’re forever failing at your big dream in life? Do you take the hint and give up, or keep trying harder and harder with more deluded optimism?

The voice of Albert Snodoloberm was actually partly evolved from one of the puppet characters, Al the Slug. Puppet Al was a happier, more confident version of Albert. He simply lied about his Hollywood status…so he seemed like a good choice for going down a rabbit hole of envy and bitterness and casual paranoia. But he was also a walleyed banana slug puppet, so…it was time to become a human puppet of sorts. I took a deep breath and put him on the stage as my puppetless self…

Once this bitter, disappointed Albert was born, the floodgates opened, and he began saying and doing things with far more flavor and persuasive conviction than I could ever manage. Even his audiobooks – where he steals Muppets from Henson Studios, or has an existential daydrinking adventure in the Harry Potter area of Universal Studios – they are perplexingly autobiographical in a way I can never really explain. Honestly, compared with Albert, I feel a bit like a like a plain tortilla chip…whereas Albert has extra tangy nacho powder. I think I’m starting to admire him, as he tries and tries more schemes and adventures and I just fade into the background. I wonder if there’s a word in psychology for it; playing a fictional character that develops a reality quotient greater than your own…..hmmm…..oh well. So pleaase don’t get the impression that he’s just a made up character…everything he’s doing has more reality than I’d dare to confess…

To support the continuing misadventures of Albert, there is the Patreon page. Or pick up one of those Albert audiobooks over at Bandcamp – way cheaper than all that Audible iTunesy nonsense. 🙂

*puppetless handshake*
Tristan Newcomb