It was a team effort to make Topo Gigio come alive. So today, millions of Japanese children are planting memories of the very same mouse that we Boomers fell in love with way back in the 60's, albeit in a completely different format.
The diminutive mouse was a regular fixture of the show right up until its final episode. But remember Topo Gigio was an Italian creation. He would appear in his nightclothes and parry with "Eddie" for a couple of minutes before telling him that he must go to sleep and dream.
Such a ritual was very therapeutic for a kid who was terrified by the prospect of waking up shaking from a nightmare. The man who gave Topo his voice was Peppino Mazullo some sources have called him Giuseppe Mazullo , who provided it offstage.
Topo Gigio closed Sullivan's final show in The puppet stood in a special "limbo" black art stage with black velvet curtains, designed to absorb as much ambient light as possible, which helped hide the puppeteers, who were also dressed in black from head to toe. There, that should get Google involved in sending me more curious folks who remember a mouse with an Italian accent.
That's probably some sort of great insult to both cultures. If I recall correctly, Topo Gigio would make his appearances late in the show. Frederico Giolo moved Topo's arms, while his wife Annabella controlled the puppets oversized ears. Careful lighting and TV camera adjustment made the "black art" illusion perfect for the television audience, though on at least one appearance, Ed asked the puppeteers to come out and take a bow, revealing their black-clad appearance though deftly hiding Gigio's mechanisms to conceal the secret.
Gigio ended his weekly visits by crooning to the host, "Eddie, kiss me goodnight! Topo Gigio , a Japanese animated television series produced by Nippon Animation , aired in Japan for two seasons, in The stick-controlled foam rubber puppet was a big hit on Italian TV in the early 60's, and Ed Sullivan's staff got wind of the mouse's popularity among children and adults.
Posted by: Mogal | on October 2, 2012
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