Jim Martin is an award winning puppet performer, producer and director who worked for such notables as the Muppets and Disney for over 40 years. His credits read like the history of children’s television. Jim started his puppet career in Pittsburgh, PA where appeared on local children’s television programs, ran his own puppet company performing in the local parks and working on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood during his college years. In the early 1980’s, Jim ventured to New York and joined the cast of The Great Space Coaster. He performed several puppet characters, including M.T. Promises, Baffel, Edison the Elephant, and the no-gnewscaster Gary Gnu whose tagline “No Gnews is Good Gnews” is still recited by fans today. After The Great Space Coaster, Jim went on to perform in many other television programs for children, including The DJ Kat Show (where he performed DJ Kat and produced the show), Captain Kangaroo, Eureka’s Castle, The Puzzle Place (where he performed Ben and the Chief Piece Police), and Sesame Street. Jim was also the animatronic puppeteer behind “Leonardo” in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III.
It was while performing on the PBS series The Puzzle Place that Jim was given his first opportunity to direct a television show. His success with that program led to more directing work, on shows such as Between the Lions on PBS, Bear in the Big Blue House on Disney, and Johnny and the Sprites on Disney Playhouse, a show which he also produced. On Sesame Street, Jim was the first Muppeteer to make the leap from puppet performer to director. Jim has been nominated several times as both a director and a producer, and has won five Emmy awards for his directing work on Sesame Street.
In addition to his work in front of and behind the cameras, Jim has trained television puppet performers in the US, Germany, Indonesia, Turkey and South Korea.
Jim is currently working with Tanslin Media to revive The Great Space Coaster. He is delighted to be invited to attend Philadelphia Comic Con.