Jen Ponton is an actress, media creative, and puppeteer whose latest film is Love on the Run, also starring Francis Fisher, Steve Howey, and Annaleigh Banford. She is also co-creator, co-writer, puppeteer, and actor for the puppet web series The Weirdos Next Door. We recently discussed her work in front of and behind the camera.
KM: You describe your webseries The Weirdos Next Door as a mix between The Muppets and Full House. There's definitely a deep nostalgia there! Why did you choose this as a project and with whom are you working? What are your specific roles in the series, both on screen and off?
JP: I work under PacKay Productions with my co-showrunner, Kay Koch, and our 3rd producer, Packy Anderson. We were 100% going for deep nostalgia! We spent so much time collectively pining for the family content that really defined the '80s and early '90s -- 'TGIF' (Full House, Family Matters, Boy Meets World, Step By Step), Family Ties, Perfect Strangers, Growing Pains, I could go on and on! Not coincidentally, it was also something that Jim Henson was brilliant at doing. Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street, and The Muppet Show (not to mention his many films) all had content that engaged both children and adults, that truly was family viewing. When Kay started to build puppets, we knew we were being called upon to basically resurrect the long lost artform of the '80s family sitcom.