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    The Prince ADMINISTRATOR
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    Jodi Eichelberger Interview With GetLazy.net

    GetLazy Interview with Jodi Eichelberger
    May 27, 2017



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    Chris: Hello and welcome to this interview from GetLazy.net. My name is Chris, maybe better known as “Stingy” on the GetLazy forums, but today, I have the real Stingy with me, Mr. Jodi Eichelberger. Now, while I'm pretty sure that he needs no introduction, just in case somehow anybody listening is uninitiated, as I alluded to earlier, Jodi was of course the puppeteer and voice actor for Stingy throughout LazyTown's entire television run. Jodi, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day today to answer some questions from LazyTown fans.

    Jodi: Yeah, thank you, and I'm very interested to know that your online profile is “Stingy.”

    C: Yeah, it sure is, and I'm not really sure why I ended up going with that. I guess it was just when I first started to watch LazyTown and discover LazyTown, Stingy was one of the first characters that I latched on to and identified as, "That’s the funny one. That’s the one that I wanted to pay attention to," so, that’s just what I went with.

    J: Our cameraman referred to Stingy as the Daffy Duck of the LazyTown world.

    C: Yeah, yeah I can totally see where he was getting at with that! So as always, these question that I have for you today are coming from LazyTown fans from the GetLazy community, and we're just going to jump right in and start with some questions about your audition. Now, we know from previous statements that you’ve made, the general story of how you got involved with LazyTown, but I wanted to ask you about some specifics. So when you actually got to your audition and were just about to try out for the part, what were your first impressions of the character.

    J: So there weren’t really any scripts that existed at that time, and there was no video footage or anything. There was a character description. There were some drawings of the character. So pretty much, we were given a sketch, and one of the things I do remember is Stingy was very robotic, which obviously, well, I think it's obvious, we didn’t keep that. And the audition material that we had was a monologue about him wanting to be President of something, I cant remember what it was, so it was almost kind of like a campaign speech. I’m trying to think of what one of the lines would be like... "I want to be... President." It was kind of like that kind of pattern, where you would set it up and then there would be like this, "Bah dah dah," at the bottom. So I don’t know why I had that initial idea that he would have this kind of robotic speech pattern, but that’s what I used when I auditioned.

    C: Now were you given a puppet to work with during the audition, or did you have to do it puppetless?

    J: Actually, it's funny because all of the characters auditioned with a Stingy puppet, so even if you were reading for Ziggy or for Bessie Busybody, it was the same puppet because they only had the one at the audition. And it was one of Gummi Þor's Wit Puppets, and it had been used in many performances, so it had already deteriorated quite a bit. It did have an eye mech, and then it was a foam puppet, much much lighter than the puppets in the show, and smaller than the puppets in the show. You’ve probably seen pictures of that puppet, he looks a lot older, so that was the puppet that was at the Viacom Nickelodeon studios where I did my auditions in Times Square in New York. They’re actually way more performable in many ways than the puppets we ended up using in the show, largely because of the size. If you look at a picture of, well there are more of them now than there used to be, pictures of puppeteers in a Henson production, they’re standing fairly upright, and the puppet typically ends before it reaches the puppeteer's head. Our puppets went all the way down to our shoulders. So there was constantly this problem of, "Well what do we do with the puppeteer's head," and I'm sure there are pictures out there that show us in these crazy positions like standing sideways with our head turned as far as we can turn it. I feel like one day on set, one of the Wit Puppets made it out there. It might have been the Ziggy puppet. It wasn’t anything we were recording, it wasn’t in the script or anything, it just appeared. And we just started playing with it and had a blast. It was so easy to move around, I mean it was like a gymnast wearing ankle weights or something while they’re rehearsing and being able to play with something that was smaller and lighter released a lot of creativity and energy that we worked against sometimes with the puppets that were actually in the show because a big part of our energy was just keeping our own bodies out of the shot, just holding and maintaining the puppet's height, because it took a huge amount of energy just to stand upright and be in one place, let alone drag yourself around on the floor by your heels.

    C: Yeah, I am quite familiar with those puppets. They disgust me and fascinate me at the same time, and honestly I see them every time that I close my eyes. So if you were going to create a character based off of that design, with the upturned nose, and the older wrinkled look, how do you think that character would differ from the one that you ended up playing.

    J: Hmm... I mean, I hadn't seen that character's face. Because a lot of times when I'm doing puppetry, I spend quite a bit of time with the physical puppet, and think about how does the shape of its body, the shape of its head, the shape of its nose, affect what it might sound like. We didn’t have that ability in the audition because I saw the puppet literally the moment I walked into the room. I guess one thing that it may have pushed is there was an idea for awhile of having Stingy actually have a British accent. And I think with that puppet, I may have gone that way, because like you said, he has kind of this upturn in his nose that my puppet doesn’t have, which maybe just push it for me to be more pretentious and there’s nothing maybe more pretentious than putting on a fake accent. Which is what it would be for the character. Of course, the show is dubbed into British English, but this would have been a totally different thing. Not that he actually had a British accent, but that he was putting a British accent on.

    C: Now, did you audition for any other parts aside from Stingy?

    J: I did. I also auditioned for Mayor Meanswell, and I also auditioned for Ziggy, and I may have auditioned for Bessie busybody. Actually, I cant remember. And that used to be a thing, that males did a lot of the female roles as well. Your classic example is miss piggy. So if I did audition for that, it was very short and we didn’t move on because they knew that were going to cast a woman which I think is the right choice. Ziggy was way more childlike than my Stingy audition. His speech pattern was like he was thinking of what he was saying as he went along as opposed to knowing what he was going to say. I cant really remember that voice now because, you probably know that I toured a version of Ziggy in the us. So I certainly thought of Gummi's voice, but he has a very specific voice as well, and I cant replicate that. But I did try to at least try to alter the rhythms, and have Ziggy be his own thing even if he wasn’t exactly like the version that people see on TV. And I don’t know if people know this, but the original plan was not for Gummi to be the voice of Ziggy They were worried about his Icelandic accent, and so when they cast the show, their plan all along was that Gummi would be the puppeteer, but that much like pixel, they would have a voiceover actor who was not the puppeteer, who would go in post and replace Gummi's voice. Heather Asch, who was voicing Trixie and performing Trixie at those early stages of the show was a contender to be the voice of Ziggy initially, and I think she recorded a few episodes as Ziggy, as his voice. Then Gummi really proved himself, in that he had such a sweetness and naivete, and the producers were won over and didn’t think that it was going to be a problem. And part of that might have been that this was a huge deal for the creative team in Iceland, and as much as Magnús is famous for being so confident and having a huge ego, I think there was still some concern and maybe even a lack of self confidence that what they were doing was going to be good enough, and that an Icelandic puppeteer was going to be up to par with these other puppeteers that they were bringing in from England and from America. Of course, what they didn’t know is that Gummi is a superstar, and he was so talented and we sometimes were trying to catch up to him!

    C: So why do you think you ended up eventually getting the part? Why did the producers or whoever was making those decisions, decide that you were right for Stingy and Stingy was right for you?

    J: Well, sometimes I wonder if I was selected because I looked like the puppet.

    C: Yeah, I've heard that, but honestly, I don’t see it.

    J: Oh, well that's good. I like that actually. But so many people have asked me, “Did they design the puppet to look like you?” And of course I was like, “No. The puppet was already sculpted and in the mold before I was even on the scene.” So that hopefully isn’t the real answer, because that would be a pretty lame reason to be hired for a role; just because you look like the character. It's actually a conversation that I've never had with anyone. I mean, I know that Ziggy, in hindsight, they weren’t really auditioning for Ziggy because they knew that Gummi was going to be performing that role. I think that one thing they responded to was how I was able to have this extreme selfishness and lack of interest in others and still be likable, which is a really hard line to play. And I'm aware that there are people that don’t like stingy and find him super annoying, so I think that that was a trick for them in casting it. There were people who auditioned, and one of the things from the sides that was clear, was how selfish he was and how he only thought of himself really, and they really played that, so I guess one of my challenges in doing it was to also show some vulnerability, and then they responded to that.

    But a slightly more cynical viewpoint too is, that I think that Magnús likes to get things that he's not sure he can have, maybe is one way of saying it. I actually turned down the role right away. So after my first audition, the producer contacted me and asked me to come back for a callback. And I said, “Well how many roles are there that you’re casting,” and she said there were six. And I said, “Well how many people are you calling back,” and she answered, “six,” and I said, “Oh, oh, no, no, no. I need to not do that, because you’re at a point where whoever you’re bringing in needs to be a yes, and I don’t know if I am a yes. I haven’t decided that I want to do this, so I should say no and not come in.” And she got kind of quiet, and said, “Well, thank you for being honest with me, but even if you’re not going to take the role, I'd still like to encourage you to come in, because the creator of the show is really coming in to meet you and see you, and I will certainly communicate to him that you’re not a sure thing, but that’s who he's coming to see. So if you can do it, would you come?” And with that understanding, I was like, “Oh, alright, yeah. As long as you know that I'm not necessarily saying yes to this, and not expecting that, and you’re not going to be upset or get angry, then I can do that.”

    So my callback, it was not a typical callback at all. Because generally, when you’re called back for a role, its still an audition. You read the part, or if you have it memorized, you perform the sides that you’ve been given, in this case with the puppet on camera. And my callback, I don’t think I even read anything until really late in the audition because at least twenty minutes at the beginning was simply Magnús trying to sell me on the idea of moving to and working in Iceland. I mean, it felt like a timeshare presentation to be honest. But it was exciting. I mean the thing that was keeping me back is, at the time I was on Broadway doing Avenue Q, which was a brand new show. We opened in July, so we had only been opened for four or five months. There was a lot of excitement, the audiences were loving it, it was huge, there was some buzz about the possibility of us being nominated for a Tony. This was the only time I had been on Broadway, so I was caught up in all that. I had moved to New York for that show, and I just wasn’t sure I was ready to leave it because it felt like we were at the beginning of something pretty exciting. Actually the way that I got the audition in the first place, is that I shared a dressing room with Peter Linz, who is a big name in the puppetry world, and especially now after the new Muppet movies, because he played Walter in the new film. So they had contacted him, but he has a family, and he's very established in New York and he really couldn’t even consider doing this, and going to Iceland, so he's the one that passed my name on and said, “Well, I'm not interested in this, but why don’t you contact Jodi and see if he would do it?

    Broadway is grueling. Doing eight shows a week is intense. You only have one day a week off, so you can't really go anywhere, and it is the same show over and over and over, to an extreme extent. I’ve done other theater where you can alter your performance and change things. In a Broadway show, it is very precise, very exact, and if you change anything, you got notes from the stage manager. Even to the level of breathing in a different place, sometimes you would get a note on that. So ultimately, it was a choice of, “Do I want to try something new and different in this crazy place, or do I want to stay with this ride here, which I kind of know, and see where that goes?” And I guess just as a life choice, I decided, no, I want to go on an adventure, so I'm going to leave Avenue Q and go to Iceland. Plus, Magnús was very persuasive, and obviously the reason that LazyTown happened is he's such a dynamic personality that he convinces people. I mean, how did this guy from Iceland talk to these Nickelodeon executives and get them to buy into this show created on this little island in the Atlantic? If he could persuade Nickelodeon executives to invest in this, he didn’t have that much trouble convincing one lone puppeteer to move over there and do this either.

    C: Now, is the hard to get strategy something you would recommend to other up and coming performers?

    J: I don't think it would work for me unless it were true. So if I really want something, I don’t think it would work because I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. I wouldn’t be able to make them believe that I actually was willing to walk away from it. In this case though, it was an honest response. I really wasn’t sure. There probably are people that do that, but I've often joked that if I'm up for something that I don’t really want, that’s the thing I'll get, and if I'm up for something that I'm super passionate about and I really want to do, then that’s the thing I wont get. I don’t know why that it is.

    C: Well I'm certainly happy that you ended up deciding to go with the part, but as you explaining that story to me, I just can't believe that you actually did. To have something as huge as Avenue Q locked in, and to ditch that for something that you have no idea about, is quite a brave decision, and something I don’t think I would have made myself.

    J: Yeah, it was kind of a brave choice. One thing that might have made it a little easier too, is I was the only cast member in Avenue Q that was from out of town basically, because I had been hired from Portland, Oregon, and had a week to move there, so I definitely was a transplant. And everyone else really had their lives in New York. And I had never missed a Christmas with my family, and I had asked, “Can I take Christmas off and go back and be with my family for Christmas,” and the producers said, “Absolutely not. That’s the time we need you the most. You cant go.” And I was not to happy about that, so the timing worked out so I actually did my last performance on December 24th, on Christmas Eve, and I didn’t even stay for the final curtain call. The moment I said my last line, I went up the stairs to my dressing room, grabbed my suitcase, flew out the back door, jumped in the car, and went to the airport. And I landed on Christmas morning at about four a.m.

    C: So after you ended up ultimately accepting the part, and things were starting to get pretty real, how did you further your definition of the character to gear up portraying him in an actual production?

    J: I think just like our own lives, this was something that was built over time. And really was maybe my improv training just responding to the moments, and as Stingy would take action, that would define some aspect of his personality. One of the first moment that I really remember as being like, “Aha, here is a character,” and it was in that first show that wasn't released, it was called Let's Dance, is that was it was called?

    C: The Lazy Dance.

    J: The Lazy Dance? Oh, okay. So there's a scene in that where there's a bunch of balloons. I don't remember what was going on, they were flying all over the place. So I asked one of the crew members just out of the frame to just hold a balloon for me. Because everyone was throwing balloons up in the air and bouncing balloons, and maybe one of Stingy's first impulses that kind of woke up in my mind, was that he was just going to hold the balloon and just be like hugging it and wouldn’t let it go. So as everyone is running around in this pandemonium of balloons, I took Stingy just to the edge of the frame and grabbed this balloon from the crew member, and just did this slow walk across camera, just like hugging the balloon in a completely different energy level than everyone else, and that felt immediately right. And I think actually that was my first time I got a note from Magnús too, where when he saw that he was like, “Yes! Yes! That!” So that really started the path of how Stingy reacts to objects, that they’re just all so important to him. And he notices everything, and he's tactile, he likes tot touch it, and sometimes he even imbues personalities to objects, has conversations with objects, so those were all things that developed. And then from that, comes, he takes care of things because they’re important to him, so he likes them to be clean. So that’s how that part of his personality built, where he started having this cleaning fetish.

    And then, his interactions with the other people, I think it was clear that he and Ziggy were friends pretty early on. He and Trixie's relationship was pretty fluid. There were times where it seemed like they were rivals, and then other times where it seemed like they liked each other. So it was definitely a progression. And then, early on, I also had the idea that he would try to say words that were bigger than he knew. The classic example, of course, is the word “triagonal,” which I understand has gotten some attention, and that’s a song that we recorded in 2004 if you can believe that. And that was a moment that happened in the sound studio, and that’s basically just me and Máni. And it is written as, “This triangular sign,” those are the lyrics, but somehow in that moment when we got to that word, I just had the idea that triangular was too big of a word for him. I guess that’s probably the biggest example. I know there are other words I mispronounced on purpose. I cant think of one off the top of my head right now, but he would do that from time to time. And with Nickelodeon in particular, we were a little nervous about that because they had a very strict list of things about safety and I was concerned that they were going to give me trouble for intentionally mispronouncing words or that I would be teaching kids the wrong way to say things, but we got away with it

    C: Now, did you use any previous interpretations of the character to help you define him, such as the interpretations in the 90's stage plays, or did you do it pretty much completely on your own?

    J: Well, I had never seen the stage play, so I certainly didn’t have that as a reference. Really the only framing for the character that I was given initially was this idea of him being extraordinarily selfish. That leaves him being very two dimensional, so from there, yeah, I think it was primarily my job to flesh that out and come up with other things about him besides him just being selfish. And I don’t even know what the puppet version that we auditioned with, because in the stage play, Stingy was played by an actor in a costume so, im not even completely sure I understand what that puppet character was used for, because I don’t think he had been performed as a puppet before.

    C: Yeah. I'm not totally sure either. Trust me, I'd like to get Gummi Þor on the program one of these days to ask him about that but, I know that it was just for a brief period between like '99 and 2003. Yeah I honestly don’t know a whole lot about them, and I would really like to know more.

    J: There was a chicken that was used in the stage show, or a rooster I guess.

    C: Yeah.

    J: Yeah, and there was even talk about the rooster making it into the TV show for awhile, so we kind of wondered if we were going to have another puppet character arrive. That never did happen though.

    C: So one thing you were talking about earlier is how you came up with a voice for Stingy. Now, Stingy's voice is very character defining. It has very rich character built within the voice. On a physical level, how do you maneuver your tongue and your pallet and so on to create that voice?

    J: Well part of it is working with what you have obviously, and I have a pretty good sized nasal cavity, so that's one thing that just happens naturally. But on a physical level, some of it is a given, which is that this is a prepubescent character so the first thing you have to do is just raise your voice into a higher register. Not all the way into falsetto because we're not going to use that, but up into the higher head voice. And then, the next thing is to move it forward into where my nose is, so your primary resonator is not your chest, or your head actually, but your nose. And then I next thing I do after that is fun things like the coloring of words like, “Goooouuuuld.” Which then, affects the character as well. Obviously pacing, and timing, and he can talk really fast when he gets excited about something. I treated words like objects sometimes, so his famous line, “I caress it 'cause I possess it,” this idea of him really caressing language as well, and taking the time to say the words and every syllable. One thing that happened a lot is that the writers would put in contractions, and on a very basic level, I was like, “No, Stingy doesn't like contractions. He likes to say the whole word because then he gets to have more letters.” So I would almost automatically translate contractions into the full phrase. So it often would happen, where there would be a sentence like, “No! I can't do that,” and you would of course change it to, “No, I can not do that!”

    C: Here's a question I'm interested to ask you, specifically because of your skepticism of LazyTown at the beginning. I know that LazyTown at the very beginning was in a very tumultuous environment. When you walked on there and you started production, were you thinking, "Oh shit, what have I gotten myself into," or "Yes this is great, I made the correct decision, can't wait!"

    J: Well, you know when we first got there nothing was ready, so I guess I was a little nervous! In fact, the puppets didn't even have color on their faces the ones that were assembled, so they were just pale white ghosts in foam latex. Costumes were partial, I think the set was mostly built, the studio itself was still under construction. A lot of puppeteers are also builders, and so at that phase they can get kind of excited because maybe they got to be a little involved in some of the construction elements of the characters, although in this case Neal Scanlan's team pretty much had it covered, so we weren't even asked so much to be involved in that respect. But for me, as strictly a performer, and not a builder, it was an extremely awkward time, because there really wasn't anything for me to do when I first got there. There weren't scripts necessarily to rehearse, I had a few meetings with our first director, who was Kirk Thatcher, to just talk about the character a little bit, try some different phrases and things with him in voice and discuss what we were thinking of doing with the character. And even physically we didn't have a place to be. We didn't have a dressing room at that point or a green room, so we were kind of hanging out in this what later really did become a very nice gym workout area, I think it had mirrors even at the time. So we would come in and throw our bags on the floor, we didn't even have chairs in there that I remember, and occasionally we would hang out with some form of puppet in the various stages of construction, but it was a pretty awkward time just not having anything ready.

    Also early on, we were spending quite a bit of energy with these puppets that were used very little in the end, that were kind of these modeled after Bunraku style, where it took two or three puppeteers, and it was head to toe characters. So we were wearing these shoes that would move the puppets feet, and then we had rods for their hands and then a rear entry head and trying to do things, it would be the full character as apposed to just the half puppet. Eventually those were abandoned completely because they ended up being so problematic, not just from a performance aspect, but also lighting-wise, they were trying to do a lot of green screen stuff and get rid of us using green screen and that proved to be very challenging technically because of all the shadows and everything. I think one of the only scenes those were used in, is the first version of Welcome To LazyTown, there's a scene I think with Sportacus doing flips and all the puppets are standing there and kind of watch him go by, and that was one were we used that style of puppet. And then there's one scene where Ziggy is flying a kite that I think we used that full body puppet for that. And then other than that, it was a huge investment in something that didn't pay out, and then eventually of course they moved to this idea of the stunt kids, which we had mixed feelings about the success of that, but that allowed them to do those full body shots.

    Once we started shooting, I was amazed by the scale of the production, I mean the studio is beautiful and so that was really exciting. One of the things about moving a production to Iceland is it did allow for there to be a lot more space. I mean any of our studios in New York are just way smaller and you don't have that luxury of all this room, which was really nice. And then just scrambling really, because it was all brand new, trying to get a sense of the character, trying to get a sense of these puppets which weren't like any puppets that any of us had performed with before, just based on their size and their weight. Early on we were ramping everything, but that changed quickly to putting us on the floor on these rolly carts, so that was a different style of performance as well, having to figure out how to move on those carts. So yeah, early on, it was really just a lot of absorbing, processing, and not really any sense of whether the show was good or not, or whether my performance was good. We weren't at that phase yet to even be able to evaluate that.

    C: How does the Stingy puppet work mechanically? Especially the half puppet version which you said was the dominant version once LazyTown really got the groove on. So you have, obviously your hand in the puppet, but on the inside, how does that all work?

    J: It's amazing to me how people often ask, "Are you inside that puppet?" It's like, “No I'm not inside it, goodness! I mean my hand is inside it...” To me it's such a simple thing, but I realize that actually there are a lot of people who have no concept of how they work. So for me anyway it's my right hand that's inside the mouth of the puppet, and because the material that they're made from is so flexible, you actually do get a lot of movement in addition to the lip sync, you can do some other facial expressions as well. The other thing is, Stingy, I think he has the smallest head in the cast, so that was a consideration as well, and they actually did mold, some of the function inside the head is exactly measured on my hand, and that's true of the other characters as well. Very rarely we had to fill in for other puppeteers, I occasionally performed Ziggy also in the TV show, but the inside of that head and the mech in there is modeled after Gummi Þor's hand, so it was a sloppy mess when I first go in! So we had to figure out how can I even get my hand to fit this correctly so we can shoot something.

    Then the first season, we only had moving eyelids, and they actually weren't even separated from the forehead, and that's done with a cable, but it was challenging because when you tried to close the eye it's actually pulling on the entire forehead and scalp of the puppet because it's all one sheet essentially that's been laid onto the skeleton. Then I think it was the very next season, the second season, they added the moving eyebrows, for some of us at least, I don't remember every character had moving eyebrows, certainly Stingy and Ziggy do. And the other big innovation is that the eyelid was separated from the rest of the head so that it was way easier to open an close your eyes, and then you could also change your eyebrows, which added a huge amount of expression particularly in Stingy's case, because unlike some of the other characters, he can be in a bad mood quite often and be negative about something, which is, aside from Robbie Rotten, kind of an unusual thing to happen for the characters in LazyTown. And that's run with a cable that goes up through inside the puppet, and on the rod that's attached to the hand, there are two levers that I pull on in order to open and close the eyes, and raise and lower the eyebrows. For people who are watching really closely, you might notice scenes where Stingy might be opening and closing an eye or moving his eyebrows and his hand is at the bottom of the frame and there's no reason for it to move, it is meant to be steady, but because the mech is attached to that hand, when his eyes move you might see the hand shake slightly, because it actually is attached to the same rod, so it's pretty hard to keep it steady when you're trying to open and close eyes and move eyebrows. Then one of the problems we had with the eyebrows is they would lift off the face, and so we had to keep paying attention to that or the tension would be wrong and they'd be stuck in a lower position instead of more neutral.

    There's also two different skulls, because we have to switch the heads pretty much every other episode there's a brand new head, so every other episode I'm actually using a completely different puppet, and one of them worked for me a little better than the other one actually, so that's kind of different too because when you switch between those two different skulls, you have to remember what was the funky thing about this one that's a little different than the other one. I guess one of the most challenging things is for some reason Gummi and I were opposite in what we had as eye closed and eye up, so whenever I did move over to Ziggy, it would take me a little while
    to reset, to like "Oh, that's open and that's closed," because it was backwards, because we each had our own individual preference for that.

    C: You said you puppeteer with your right hand, now one of the tremendous difficulties that puppeteers have while filming LazyTown is all these cramped spaces and close quarters. Are you stuck in using your right hand or can you puppeteer with your left?

    J: I am really crappy with my left hand, so I avoided that as much as I could. Particularly if there's lip sync involved, I’m just not great at my left hand, so I'm sure I could count on one hand, even over the course of the ten years that we were filming off and on, how many times I had his head on my left hand. I think when it happened, is if there was some reason I was using a live hand, and it had to be the right hand that was live, and I didn’t use a second puppeteer. So it might have been an action shot where I would have his head with my left hand and I was using my right hand to do something. But usually, even in that situation, he would be left handed because I would keep my right hand in his head and would use my own left hand as a live hand. More often when we used live hands we would have our second do both of the live hands and we would just concentrate on the head and eye and eyebrow mech. Particularly when there was both the eye and the eyebrow. I think the first season when it was just the eyes, more often I would do the hand myself, and someone else would run the eye mech for me, but as we got later on, I preferred to keep that control of the eyebrows and the eyes, so I would pass off both hands to the second.

    C: Now as the show progressed, I think that you quickly became very dominant in the musical side of the show. As far as especially the puppet characters go, you have the most dominant position, and you’re also in the background vocals of many many songs. How did you become so musically active in LazyTown?

    J: The first thing that happened is the background vocals, actually. And it may be because I was hired off of Broadway, so they obviously knew I was a singer, and Máni knew that he wanted Stephanie’s songs, particularly in choruses, that there would be this texture underneath. So the very first song we did, he asked me, “Will you sing background vocals under Stephanie?” And at first I had to ask, ”Well do you mean do I sing the background vocals as Stingy, or is this me doing it?” In most cases, he wanted it to just be me doing background vocals, although occasionally Stingy would sing background vocals if he was in the scene. I remember being very disappointed though when I first heard that first song play back, because we spend quite a bit of time in the studio recording those, and I record every song, well every part of every song because sometimes I did multiple harmonies, and I would do it four times for every single track. And in the studio, I was obviously hearing it and hearing my voice and it's pretty big, but in the final mix really it's almost subliminal. When they played it on the set, I was like, “Am I even singing on this? I cant even tell I'm there!” Some songs it is more prevalent like No One's Lazy In LazyTown. That one I have more presence in because I think it's a bigger chorus. But there's probably a lot of songs that people aren't even aware that I am singing them as well, because it's more of a pad underneath that just fills it out and supports it. In fact, I would say I probably sang nearly every song that Stephanie sang. Even when Stingy's not in it, there was some presence, whether it was an “Ooh” or an “Ahh or some kind of echo. And I guess part of that is that my singing voice is pretty like, “Aaaaaaaaah!” So it's not an individual soloist sound necessarily that's super distinct, so it worked well for that. And I enjoyed doing it. There was a little snafu in the beginning with my agent saying, “This isn’t part of your job. You weren’t contracted to be a background vocalist on all these songs,” but I don’t know. Part of being in Iceland was that it removed us from a lot of those legalities to some extent. And I enjoyed doing it, so I sang those.

    The first song that we recorded must have been The Mine Song, I'm guessing, because that’s the one that was already in the stage show. It became part of Stingy's personality that he sang, and it was successful. I remember having at one point, before we did one of the other songs, having to prove to Magnús that the puppet could sustain a song, because he at first wasn’t sure that the puppet character would be able to hold people's attention through a song. The most unusual one,I guess, is I Am A Prince, because that one, of course Stingy's the lead singer, but I also did all of the background vocals for that as myself, so that was fun. Probably my favorite song though really in terms of the performance and everything, is The World Goes Round and Round. Just because that set was so great and the shooting circumstances were really nice. Most of the song I got to have my live hands, and Julie Westwood and I worked really well together, and she was my live hands for that, which she wasn’t so much later on as we got further into the seasons. Plus, the way we shot that, we really would go through the whole song, whereas The Mine Song, really I think the longest segment that was continuous was basically was one sentence, and that’s just a lot harder to enjoy as a performer, because there’s not as much of a throughline. In terms of the arc of your performance its pretty hard to do that. Whereas The World Goes Round And Round, I was able to shoot entire phrases and really the entire verse and I enjoyed that process more.

    C: Something I wanted to ask you about was the time that you spent recording LazyTown Extra. Now as a LazyTown fan, and especially a LazyTown fan in my position, it is a great shame to admit that it took me up until just a few months ago, to find the stomach to watch LazyTown Extra. This is not your fault. It's Ziggy. Okay, I can't do it. I can't do the Ziggy parts at all. So I neglected them for so long, but after speaking with David Feldman about his experience filming LazyTown extra and how unique he thought it was, I decided I would give it a watch, and I don’t regret it for a minute. I think that the performances of you and David and of Julie, all of these performances are really fantastic, so I really regret waiting that long to see it, but I'm curious to know if you echo that mentality; that it was a special and unique opportunity to film LazyTown Extra.

    J: Yeah, David was probably more articulate about this than I am, but it really was a special experience for us as puppeteers, because it was more of the way that puppetry is typically shot. So many of those scenes was between two puppets, particularly in my case because I was primarily with the Mayor. That allowed us to have a lot of the fetters taken away, because we weren't typically on our backs on the floor. We were working in a set that had been elevated, and that improves our ability to perform. The camera angles were set for us, we didn’t have to accommodate a human standing in the scene for the most part. I mean it was tricky in the sense that we had switched from a single camera shoot, which the first season was all done with one camera, and LazyTown was a three camera shoot, which is pretty challenging as a puppeteer because you’re watching multiple monitors simultaneously. With a single camera shoot, you’re focused on a wide shot, and you do what you need to do to be the most effective in the wide shot, but then when you get your closeup, you’re focused on that. And you might preform differently than you did in the wide shot because you’re really looking at nuance and facial expression and lip sync, whereas in the wide shot, you’re more concentrated on the body arch and the profile or however you’re standing or your relationship the the rest of the set. So that was challenging because it was all happening all at once.

    Actually, I don’t know what percentage it would be, but David and I wrote a lot of those scenes to some extent. Sometimes while we were shooting them. We had a script going in, but David in particular, he is a writer, and I'm more of an improviser, so for me, a lot of the ideas would happen once we were on set, and we were able to work them out very quickly, and have that freedom to do that. And primarily making those scenes funnier was really the main goal, because the message of what we were there to achieve was already blocked out, so my main focus anyway was how do I make this more entertaining than it is right here on the page. And we had the freedom to do that in LazyTown Extra that didn’t exist in the larger show because you know there were so many other factors to include. When you only have a two character setup, its all about you. So that was fun.

    C: Earlier on in the interview you mentioned how Stingy was maybe going to have a faux British accent at one point, and how they ended up doing that anyway with the UK dub of the show. But what do you think about having your voice overdubbed? Is that something you take as a personal offense or is just something that you have to deal with?

    J: Well you know, I don’t know if they really meant it but they did ask me to do the British voice. Actually, I ended up getting the call when I was in another audition in New York, so it was kind of a short conversation. The thing that was a problem with that is they weren’t willing to record it on my schedule. So it was like, “We’ll do two days of recording Stingy here and then we’ll do two days of recording Stingy there,” and it was just kind of on and on and on. And it really wasn’t viable for me to fly over every other week to do voiceover stuff. One thing that made it easier in that case is I was the only one who knew the person who was dubbing my voice, and I love and respect that performer. So that was kind of nice in the way that it wasn’t a stranger. And I think also it was nice because Sarah was with me when the original recordings took place. Like she knew something about the motivations and something about why Stingy said things the way he said them, and I think she was more sensitive to that then somebody who wasn’t there would be.

    Of course, the other part is that I mean yes that’s the English language, but that’s part of the role is that I’ve been dubbed into I don’t know how many languages now. And there’s actually something that’s really fun about that. And also it’s interesting to hear people trying to, some people at least, have tried to do my voice. I can tell that they’re trying to do that, which is fun and flattering. Some people it seems like they haven’t tried at all because I hear it and I’m like, “What the heck is that? That’s nowhere near his voice!” But there’s some that are super scary. I think Norway maybe was one where I was like, “Oh my gosh that sounds like me speaking Norwegian. That’s crazy!” It also is pretty funny like in The Mine Song there’s the moment where Stingy says “that instrumental break is also mine,” and that was something that spontaneously happened while we were recording, when Máni and I were recording in the studio. Standing in a studio silent is kind of awkward, and listening to a musical break is like when you’re trying to do karaoke and they get to the musical break and you’re just standing on stage, and you’re like, “Uhh.. what do I do now?” And partly also being in Stingy’s head while we’re recording; he just blurted that out. The idea that now all these people in recording studios all across the world have to translate that and record it in their language is kind of thrilling actually.

    C: You mentioned earlier that you worked with Sarah Burgess... am I pronouncing that right? Bur-gess?

    J: Yeah.

    C: ...on the show and she’s the one who ended up dubbing Stingy for the UK dub. Did you actually work with her to create a voice or did she just passively pick that stuff up?

    Jodi: No, I didn’t work with her on it. She just used the experience of having shot the show together and hearing my Stingy voice like every day. And I don’t know what she was given when she recorded it. I don’t know if when they do the playback they hear the original voice for rhythm purposes? I actually don’t know how that works technically. So it may be that my voice is there when they dub it. But no, it wasn’t something we worked on specifically. But she did mention to me that she was certainly very conscious of the way that I performed the role when she did it for the dub.

    C: Are there any parts of the character that you feel are under-explored? Are there any thoughts that you have about Stingy in the back of your mind that you were just waiting for an opportunity to present?

    J: Well not really, because so much of Stingy’s development happened on-set in the moment. I’ve said before I know when we’re in it, when things are in the right place, when there isn’t a lot of forethought or preplanning, and I almost reach a state where I’m watching the monitor and feel like I’m part of the audience watching what Stingy does. Like, “Oh! What’s he going to do now? What’s he going to do now?” I feel a separation as the puppeteer from the character in a way. That he’s doing it himself, that I’m just a witness to that. And that’s the way I like it. I think that’s the way that he has the most life. Whereas if I come in with a preprogrammed idea, typically that’s not going to be as good. There won’t be the same level of life kind of jumping off the screen that there is when it happens on its own. I think it’s a stronger performance when there isn’t a lot of planning and forcing Stingy into a preplanned, programmed idea of, “Well this is what he’s going to do.” I mean sure technically if there’s an object involved, there has to be some planning because there’s so many elements that go into dealing with an object as a puppet: how you rig it, how it’s manipulated, and who’s helping with that. So those things you have to be very precise about. But in terms of character responses and ways of even saying the lines, I really tried to preserve that for the moment that we were recording and liked to be in a place where I felt confident that Stingy would be ready to respond when it was time for him to respond, and I didn’t necessary know what he was going to do. And I should also say that that is individual to me. I think that probably the most extreme ends of it would be Ron Binion. He is very methodical and plans I think probably everything. And I think that probably David would say that he plans quite a lot. He knows what he’s going to do, so I’m the opposite spectrum. And there’s probably strength and weaknesses to both sides of that. But I am maybe faulted in that I preplan very little.

    C: So you were able to portray Stingy on and off for ten years over four seasons plus LazyTown Extra. How did your understanding of the character evolve over time?

    J: We had the base of him being selfish, so that was a given. I suppose one of the next things that came about was when Piggy was introduced, and I don’t remember when he first appeared, or how early that was, but that introduced a new element of this idea, and this was something that wasn’t in the script, that Stingy would talk to Piggy and refer to Piggy and listen to Piggy sometimes. And that carried over also to Stingy’s car, where he would treat his car like a person as well. I think it’s easier to see that with Piggy because Piggy has eyes and can be carried around. But I do remember a car waxing scene or something where there was some amount of talking to the car and singing to the car. We started having the running gags and I don’t even know how those developed. Of course one of them is whenever Robbie Rotten would say “forever,” I don’t know how this came about but Stingy would always have this response of, “for how long did you say,” and we just kept doing that and I don’t even know why. But that’s something that developed. His pronunciation of certain words, later on it really became a given that if he had the word “gold” it was going to have a weird pronunciation and I’m not sure where that came from, but it was something that we discovered and kept. Are there other aspects of his personality that you notice that you wonder like how early did that develop or was that always there or was it something that was added later?

    C: For example, something that I have in my mind is early on in season one the “it’s mine” was really important. I feel that kind of fell off, not completely, but certainly did fall off in its prevalence over the seasons. And maybe that’s because the understanding of Stingy was less of “he’s just a selfish psychopath” and he’s a kind soul who’s just anal retentive.

    J: So early on yeah that was definitely the idea that that was his catchphrase I guess. But I really felt that that was too easy and the repetition of it became sort of annoying, to me anyway. I think I and the writers too, to some extent, worked at finding other ways to show that rather than saying, “it’s mine,” so that the possessiveness became apparent through other phrases and also through actions. One of the first times that it reversed where he said, “No that’s not mine,” wasn’t it something about a vicious dog where he said, “That’s mi- no that’s not mine.” But there was a moment when we were filming the pyramid show that he turned...what did he do? There was something where it was his fault and he had some line that got cut, it was an improvised line that was something about, “The fault is mine but I don’t want it to be,” and that seemed like a great line to me, but we were so pressed for time that anything that wasn’t crucial to the show got cut out. Which was another advantage of LazyTown Extra, that there was more space for things to be there like that. In the larger show it was just such a crunch and everything we shot, we overshot. So there’s tons of footage that just doesn’t end up in the show and occasionally there’s the example where we shot so much they went ahead and got approval to split it into two episodes, like with the [i]Purple Panther.[i] That was originally intended to be one episode, but we had so much material that they went ahead and split it into two.

    C: Now, do you have an all time favorite Stingy quote?

    J: That's a good question. An all time, favorite Stingy quote... There's another moment that popped into my head that also didn’t make it into the show, which isn’t really a great example of a Stingy quote, but it's a moment that I just loved. Where he turned to Ziggy and went, “Hush child... hush.”

    C: Oh, what a tragedy that it didn't make it into the show.

    J: It was cut. But there was a lot of stuff that made it into the shows that I didn't expect to because they weren’t scripted lines. This may have irritated some of the other puppeteers actually, but I generally felt that if there was a hole, I would fill it with something. Particularly in reaction shorts, it was basically non-stop babble from Stingy. So these are shots where a lot of times there’s not even anyone else on set and the director is describing to you the action that’s taking place and its just you on camera imagining that action and reacting to it. And some of the other characters do that and for them its really about eyelines, and following what that imagine the action that’s taking place to be. But a lot of times for Stingy, it was just a running dialogue of comment on the action, and I can see how that can get pretty annoying if you’re standing next to that and hes just running his mouth all the time.

    C: He's a bit of a diva?

    J: He is a bit, yeah.

    C: Yeah. So I don't expect you to have a good answer to my next question, but the fans want to know, I got a lot of questions about it, so I figured I might as well go ahead and ask. Given that LazyTown is not producing at the time, we just don't know what the future of LazyTown is going to bring. Do you know anything about what's up ahead?

    J: No, I don't, and I don't know who would, honestly. You may know more than I do. I’m not even confident I know who owns the property right now.

    C: I don’t really know anything about the future. There have been rumblings, I guess, of like Stefán going to England to do something for maybe a LazyTown cartoon. I’ve only heard of this, I've never seen the actual source, but I think a LazyTown cartoon is a tremendous idea. I can't believe that LazyTown wasn’t a cartoon to begin with. Do you feel like you would be willing to portray Stingy as a cartoon character, or do you want to stick with puppeteering?

    J: Well you know one of our writers, Mark, had always been gunning for a cartoon as well just because for him as a writer, it offered a lot more flexibility, although I think he was amazed that things he could put in the script and then they would appear in the real world like a week later, that seemed kind of impossible even in his mind as he wrote them. I would say that I would definitely participate with voicing Stingy as a cartoon. Partially because one my favorite experiences, and this surprised me, I was hired to do the voice of a character called Oliver in a PBS show called “Nate The Great”, which I was contracted for forty episodes. Unfortunately, we made it through about twenty, and the company was shut down for embezzlement.

    C: Oh my god.

    J: So the show never made it on the air, but it was one of my favorite experiences, and honestly that did surprise me because you would think as a puppeteer you would like I would prefer the experience of being able to create the visual performance as well, but I loved just working in the sound stage and recording the character. I felt so free to just focus on the character through the voice. And I honestly wold be kind of excited to find out how Stingy would grow if I wasn’t tethered to the puppet and was really completely focused on his vocal performance. I really appreciate like what we talked about with the improv and watching him do things, but the thing is, there is of course a huge percentage of my brain, even if its kind of on autopilot, that is being used to just keep the puppet upright and look the right direction and move a certain way, and if I'm not using that in the performance and all of my brain basically is used for the vocal performance, I think Stingy could really develop further in some very interesting ways. And then hopefully the animators would pick up on that and they could do some fun things with it too based on the performance.

    C: Yeah, I would really love to see a LazyTown cartoon. I really can't overstate how much that needs to happen. And I really hope that that does happen, and that you're involved with it someday.

    J: Yeah, I would love to get a call that said, “Hey, we want you to come in and record some LazyTown episodes for an animated series.” That would make my day.

    C: Well let's hope that that day comes. Do you have any props or memorabilia that you've taken, maybe against their will, to your home here in the USA?

    J: I have a Cheerios advertisement that was in the bus stops in Iceland, that is Stingy eating a bowl of Cheerios, and I think that might be the only thing that I was able to get out of the studio, which seems quite remarkable. I mean, I have some scripts, I have some storyboards, but any actually physical property I wasn’t able to take. We advocated that the puppets would come to us once they were kind of shutting the studio down in Iceland, and I have no idea where those puppets are, but they didn’t come to us, at least I didn’t get one. That would be what I would want of course, is to have Stingy here.

    C: It seems cruel, now that I'm thinking about it, to not give you a puppet.

    J: Yeah. Like I said, I don’t even know where they are. We definitely asked for them. I know at least David and I were like, “Hey! Why don’t you give us our puppets?” David also was like, you know if we have the puppets, we could even be doing some content for YouTube or something just to keep the brand going for very little expense, which I could easily see, particularly after the LazyTown Extra experience, just having Stingy and the mayor be able to just sit and shoot the breeze could be pretty fun.

    C: Well I sure hope that those puppets are anywhere but in the dumpster.

    J: Yeah, I can't imagine that that’s where they are, but of course, they do have a shelf life. Those heads are going to rot so.... yeah.

    C: Well that's not the lightest of notes here.

    J: No, that's pretty gloomy.

    C: So maybe we can brighten it up here. What are some of the most lasting memories that you have of your experience working on LazyTown?

    J: Well, one of the effects, of course, is really it was my dream job, working and living there. And I think in some ways it was easier for me than it was for some of the other performers who maybe had lived primarily in New York. I think some of the other performers may have had a list of more negatives of being away, but for me, I preferred being there. So generally, any break that we had, a lot of people would go back to their homes, but I typically stayed in Iceland during all the breaks.

    I’m back in Boise now, which is where I grew up as well, and it's amazing to me how there are some similarities between Reykjavík and Boise that I find quite striking. And probably me leaving New York, a portion of that decision was based on my time in Reykjavík and experiencing that quality of life, and realizing that that wasn’t a compromise that I really wanted to make. So after we finished the last season, I pretty much made the choice to leave New York and make quality a higher priority than even a career opportunity. So the country itself was a huge highlight. Being able to travel through the country, experience the landscape, and the people, and the culture, and that’s all kind of independent of the show really. But I love doing the production. It really became a family for me. Any opportunity to be performing, and I love that character. Everything was a plus for me.

    C: Now, it would be terribly irresponsible of me to have this interview and not bring up the Mine Song memes that have gained a recent popularity. It sounds like you're at least at some level aware of those, is that right?

    J: Not a huge amount, and I don't know how many there are or which ones are the most popular. I don't know, what are the most successful ones? What are they all about?

    C: Well, it's funny you should ask. I actually have some with me here that I'd like to get your reaction to.

    J: Oh okay!

    C: So first we have the classic. The Mine Song.

    J: I am a pretty critical person, so this might not be that pleasant.

    The Mine Song starts playing♪


    J: So yeah, his focus is a little ahead the balloon.

    This is the version where his eyelids are one entire sheet, so you can't move his eyebrows or his eyelids that well.

    Yeah, his axis is off there so...

    His focus is too high.

    Julie is doing great work with the hands here though.

    A little bit of lip sync could have been better with the release at the end.

    ♪The Mine Song ends♪


    Yeah, so on some level, it would have been fun to be able to record that again with the newer puppet that had the moving eyebrows and the better functioning eyelids. Generally, I always prefer in these songs to use the live hands because you can express more musically in your hands that are live as opposed to the arm armatured wired hands. And then I mentioned, I think before, that one of the things before that I don't enjoy about this song as much as some of the others is that it's so chopped up because of the changing sets.

    C: I can't believe how terribly critical you were of your puppeteering there. It's incredible. The Mine Song, the origins have always kind of been a mystery to me, because the song, if you remember, maybe you don't, was never really performed in an episode. It was kind of always referenced to like, “Hey Stingy, remember that time you sang The Mine Song,” and then you'd see the clip. Do you remember when that song was originally, or what it was originally created for?

    J: Hmmm... well it's funny because I remember the time it was referenced was in Dear Diary, and we had already done it in a previous episode. But actually, as you're saying that, it's not connected to any plot point. So, it was an earlier episode than Dear Diary when it first appeared, at least I thought it did.

    C: I promise, the song does not show up as like a standalone song in an episode. It's only ever referenced to in clip shows such as Dear Diary, LazyTown's Greatest Hits, and I think Pixelspix.

    J: Oh, you know what, I think we did it for Pixelspix! Does that come before Dear Diary? It must.

    C: It does, yeah.

    J: Yeah, so it was recorded for Pixelspix, I believe that's correct, because that would make sense that it's not attached to any sort of plot, because it was just a segment within this Pixelspix show. So yeah, I think that was the one we did it for, and then later it got picked up for the clip shows, probably because it was just so self-contained.

    C: So this next one that I have, is the original song that was composed in the 90's that The Mine Song was based after. The song is just called Nenni Níski, which is just Stingy's name in Icelandic. Yeah, as the Mine Song meme has developed, this version of the song has been discovered by a tremendous amount of people, I'm sure hundreds of thousands more than anybody would have ever imagined. And it's gained some traction because the performance is so over the top, and I'm really interested to know about what you think of this performance of Stingy.



    J: I probably met this guy at some point.

    Oh look, he's got a little piggy!

    Well there's a lot of excessive moment, would be my first comment on the performance. I'm not sure why there's so much hopping happening here.

    I mean, it's fun to see the roots. To see the big tie, and to see the yellow jacket.

    I mean, I feel a little bad for this performer in that it's really hard to sing and jump.

    ♪Nenni Níski ends♪


    I also had the advantage that I'm not singing the song while I'm performing. It's performed a track. So any of the music in the show we do separately from our performance, so it doesn’t get affected like that. You can hear him. His tone is off because he's bouncing up and down, and that doesn’t happen to use because we're in the comfort of the sound studio and have no distractions, and then on set, we just have to lip sync to it, so that’s a big advantage.

    C: The character in the play is actually too far off from the character that we had in the show. There's still, “it's mine.” That still translates in there. Even some specific scenes are directly lifted from the play. For example, there's one where you, I believe it's in Sports Day, which is essentially this play wrapped up into a little episode, where Stingy is refusing to let go of a baton in the relay race. That scene is lifted exactly from this play. It's interesting to go back and see what and what did not make it into the television series.

    J: Sports Day was really the first episode we shot that made it on the air, I believe. That baton scene with Stingy, I think we shot it at two thirty in the morning, because we were still trying to find our feet, and it was early enough before somebody wisely said that we can't do this. We have to have a start time and a finish time because we're going to kill ourselves if we keep working like this. So I don't think we ever shot that late again, but I can even hear in my voice in that scene that I was so exhausted that it was just cracking and it worked for the scene because it was kind of an intense scene, but it was not a healthy voice. That was a really tired voice.

    C: So the next one here is the first actual “meme.” It's called, “the mine song but everything is stingy” made by ZAMination 2.



    J: Oh, I think that the creativity is pretty great.

    I think Stingy would like this.

    ♪the mine song but everything is stingy ends♪


    J: Yeah, I mean, it's amazing how technology is so accessible now, and that people can take this footage and reshape it and manipulate it in different ways. “I'm Stingy.” So I can tell that he took that from the phrase, “I'm Stingy, and it's miiiiiine.” So she used that one over and over. Yeah, that's cool.

    C: Alright, so the next one here we have is, “All-Star but to the tune of the Mine Song” by a person named Hexcubed.



    C: As I hear you listening to this, I feel like such an idiot for linking this to you.

    J: I mean does this normally go like, “Hey now, I'm a rock star, duh duh duh duh...”

    C: You got it.

    J: Oh, okay.

    Again, I think it's interesting how people can take a source and reshape it like that. To pitch bend it into a different melody.

    I mean, that's a little less accessible to me because I'm not that familiar with the source material.

    ♪All-Star but to the tune of the Mine Song ends♪


    I see that one's a little more popular than the other one, but for me I would reverse it. For me, it's more fun to watch it when the source stays within the world of LazyTown as opposed to bringing in outside stuff, but I can see how people would think that was fun to see what something looks and lives in the world of LazyTown when it doesn't really belong there.

    One of the first ones that we became aware of, it's not a meme right, but it's the Lil' Jon Cooking By The Book thing. That was pretty wild. And that happened pretty early on I think too. And we saw that fairly early and were like, “Woooooooah!” But we laughed.

    C: Well, there are so many more memes, ones that are much more stupid than that out there. If you ever decide to peruse it, just make sure that you maybe get a little bit high beforewards.

    J: Yeah. You know, it's helping the show to keep alive, and for the characters to keep living. And certainly like the one where everything is replaced with Stingy, it almost feels like an extension of the character in a way that remains true to him, which I appreciate. The fact that these characters are getting a new life and continuing to have a presence even when they’re not on broadcast television is definitely something that I appreciate. And it's fun for me to see how people take the work that I did and move it to a different place. I think that’s cool.

    C: So Jodi, something that I like to do here at the end of my interviews is to do something a little more fun and lighthearted with my guests but, I don’t know if it was what I had for breakfast or the chemtrails in the air or what's going on, but honestly im not really feeling it today, so I think we're going to just go ahead and skip that. However, I understand that you have a guest over at your house today. A guest that I think I would be very interested in speaking to. Would you be able to put him on the line for me?

    J: Yeah, let me see. Hey! Hey Stingy! Stingy, there's someone over here on the computer who wants to talk to you!

    Stingy: Bah bah dah dah dah dah dah dah bah bah
    Bah bah bah bah bah bah bah
    I am number one
    Hey!

    C: Hello Stingy, it's quite an honor to be speaking with you here. My name is Chris, and to spare you any existential crises, let's just say that I'm a big fan of yours, and am very interested in your life. I actually have some questions here about you, and was hoping that you would be gracious enough to bestow me with some answers.

    S: Oh, well sure. I love talking about myself.

    C: Well, that certainly doesn’t surprise me, and it's great because my first question actually is, how would you describe yourself?

    S: How would I describe myself? Well, I am very intelligent, and I am very careful, and I have lots and lots and lots of interesting things. And basically, I'm kind of in charge of everything essentially. So a description of myself pretty much includes everything that you see, really.

    C: Now Stingy, I have another question here from one of your many admirers, and its something I actually never really thought about. Is Stingy your actual name, or is it just a nickname?

    S: Well my full name is Stingy Spoilero. But it's not short for anything, no. It is my name. Stingy.

    C: You carry along a possession of yours, Piggy. You’re very close to piggy, I can tell. Where did you get Piggy?

    S: I remember when I was very small, I was having a beautiful dream about coins. And they were so shiny and round and lovely, and in my dream, it took a dark turn, because I didn’t know where I could put them! They were just loose! Flying! And then I slowly opened my eyes, and there next to my bed, was Piggy! Now, I never did figure out how to get the coins in my dream into Piggy, but I appreciated him being there, and he's been with me ever since.

    C: Similar question. People are always wondering how someone your age is driving a car around LazyTown. How do you have a car?

    S: Mr. Crow, are you a wealthy person?

    C: Not exactly.

    S: Uh huh. Are you a peasant?

    C: Maybe to you to.

    S: Yeah, okay well, it's really about status. So, I am a wealthy person, and I should be able to show it. And so one of the ways that I do that is by having something that nobody else has. And in LazyTown, that is a car. I am the only one that has a car, and its mine.

    C: What would you do if you were in charge of LazyTown? If you were the mayor of LazyTown?

    S: The first thing I think that I would do is build. A. Wall. A big. Beautiful. Wall. Because I don't know if you noticed, but we were getting a lot of visitors, which I did not appreciate. I mean, where did that Pinocchio person come from? And if we had a bigger wall to keep those people from just wandering around my town, I think that would be very important, and it would be a top priority of mine.

    C: Thank you Stingy. Are you aware of how famous you are on the internet?

    S: I believe I'm famous in all places, so I don’t know why the internet is so special, but I expect that I would be.

    C: So you think the fame is just natural to you. Of course you’d be famous! Why wouldn’t you be?

    S: Well I don’t really know what it would be like to not be famous. I assume that most people are talking about me most of the time. I would be more surprised to hear otherwise.

    C: Now, do you have anything you would like to say to the loyal subjects listening right now, and I'm sure there are going to be quite a few.

    S: I appreciate my loyal subjects. I would appreciate you more if you would send me money. I am not picky, although I do prefer paper money that is not creased. And if you have paper money that is a little old, and a little non-cared for, I believe you can take that to the bank and exchange it for fresh money, and that is what I would prefer what you send to me. But gold is always welcome as well.

    C: Well Stingy, those are all the questions I have for you right now, but I just wanted to say thank you so much for taking some time out of your day today to answer some questions from some of your fans. I think that I can safely speak for everybody when I say thank you for all of the happiness, and the laughter, and the inspiration that you've brought to us over the years. You truly are an indispensable citizen of LazyTown, I wish you all the best, and from the bottom of my heart, really hope to see you in action someday again, walking down the streets of LazyTown where you belong. And I would appreciate it if you could give that information to Jodi as well for me.

    S: Oh yes. I can't promise I will do the latter because I generally don't share anything. I think I might prefer to keep it to myself, thanks.

    J: Thanks Stingy! You can go back to whatever it is you were doing.

    C: Alright, well, I know I've already said it already a couple of times during the course of this interview actually, but another huge thanks to Jodi for sitting down with me today to answer our questions. If you would like to support him, please visit storystorynight.org, and check out the organization's podcast, which Jodi hosts. And if you would like to support GetLazy, one of the last bastions on the internet for LazyTown fans, please subscribe to our YouTube channel if you’re watching there, or if you’re listening on iTunes, go ahead and leave some feedback, preferably some positive feedback, or just register on the site and come say hi on the forum. We would love to talk LazyTown with you, and our ingroup outgroup bias is only moderate at best. To all the fans out there, thank you so much for joining me in and helping me create another great LazyTown interview from GetLazy.net, and I'll see you all next time!

    Special thanks to UnLearnEd and Glanni's Girl for helping with the transcription.
    Spirit Power Obligation Responsibility Truth Agility Courage Understanding Solace

  2. #2
    british stingy SPECIAL MEMBER
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    Re: Jodi Eichelberger Interview With GetLazy.net

    Fantastic interview, Stingy
    Interesting questions and I loved Stingy's surprise appearance. Jodi did a super job answering!!

    Really appreciate you doing this.
    Favourite Songs: Go Step Go, Galaxy, Playing on the Playground
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  3. #3
    The Moonblayd SPECIAL MEMBER
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    Re: Jodi Eichelberger Interview With GetLazy.net

    This interview was way technical and chock full of information. I learned a lot here, probably because Stingy as a character is the most complex in terms of performance. Also, props for selecting the right questions to ask him.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stingy View Post
    I was hired to do the voice of a character called Oliver in a PBS show called “Nate The Great”, which I was contracted for forty episodes. Unfortunately, we made it through about twenty, and the company was shut down for embezzlement.
    Jodi would know, but this is not the official story out there. It was reported they lost funding and went bankrupt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stingy View Post
    Well, there are so many more memes, ones that are much more stupid than that out there. If you ever decide to peruse it, just make sure that you maybe get a little bit high beforewards.
    You said this specifically on purpose because u know the drug memes still aren't funny.

  4. #4
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    Re: Jodi Eichelberger Interview With GetLazy.net

    Pixelspix is S1 E20 and Dear Diary is S1 E16 I thought... or are you talking about production order?

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    Re: Jodi Eichelberger Interview With GetLazy.net

    What a nice Guy
    Magnificent in character interview
    Getur einhver annar verið Glanni ? það bara passar ekki
    Stefan Karl Stefansson, það er enginn eins og þú!

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    Re: Jodi Eichelberger Interview With GetLazy.net

    *In sitngy's voice* This was a fantastic interview Even though Myyy Question did not get answered. It is still good none the less. Good job Chris

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