T h e   B u g a l o o s ! ! !

Van "Tweeter" Snowden

Whatever Happened to Van Snowden???

Van Snowden played the role of "Tweeter" ... one of Benita Bizarre's cronies (the taller one, in case you could never tell ... like me .

I got to meet Van at the Hollywood Collectors Show on October 7, 2001.

Van was very nice and chatted with us a bit between autographs. A report on the show is available at the above link, so definately check it out!! Van was a little busy to give us a regular interview, but he did provide a handout which included a quick rundown of pretty much everything he'd ever done and said we could post it here ... so without further adieu:


Van Snowden's career is a show business success story. The kind you don't often read in the paper. It begins like many others ... he left his hometown of Branson, Missouri and headed for New York City to become a Broadway star. He became a star, but not the kind he was planning on. What he became is one of Hollywood's premier puppeteers, a star of stage, screen and television. A man with an industrywide reputation as one of the most valuable players in his field. His talents as performer, lead puppeteer, and Director have associated him with numerous award-winning productions and brought him two Primetime EMMY nominations of his own.

Those EMMY nominations were ones for the record books. Van was nominated for his work on D.C. FOLLIES in the category "Outstanding Performance In A Variety Or Musical Program". It was the first time in the 42-year history of the Primetime EMMYs that a puppeteer was so honored. He lost to Linda Rondstadt! Van's puppeteering genius has brought numerous other awards to the television series in which he has performed and/or served as lead puppeteer, including: PEE-WEES PLAYHOUSE; and TALES FROM THE CRYPT. Van has made several appearances on NIGHTLINE and LARRY KING LIVE. And appeared with the Crypt Keeper on the TONTGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO.

Van Snowden's career began over thirty years ago, when he took over the role of H.R. Pufnstuf, appearing in PUFNSTUF the movie, KROFFT SUPERSTAR HOUR, DONNIE & MARIE SHOW, BRADY BUNCH HOUR. He also had leading costume character and puppeteering rolls in THE BUGALOOS, LIDSVILLE, LAND OF THE LOST, SIGMUND & THE SEA MONSTERS and BARBERA MANDRELL & THE MANDRELL SISTERS. His most memorable work in motion pictures: BEETLEJUICE; BILL & TEDS BOGUS JOURNEY; Bram Stroker's DRACULA; lead puppeteer on CHILD'S PLAY 2 & 3; also puppetered in X-FILES, the movie; ALIEN RESURECTION; STARSHIP TROOPERS, and MY FAVORITE MARTIAN.

Van's dream of starring on stage did come true tho. It began when he starred in the PUFNSTUF ROAD SHOW for two years, touring major theatres and such diverse arenas as Madison Square Garden and the Hollywood Bowl. His work in BROADWAY BABIES took him to the prestigious Goodspeed Theatre in Connecticut. In 1990, he performed in AN EVENTNG WITH D.C.FOLLIES at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. His stage work has also taken him to the major showrooms in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe.

For the last three years, Van headed up the puppeteer division of HASBRO and TIGER TOYS. They programmed in the original mouth sync, eye blinks, and body movements for such popular interactive toys as Furby, Gizmo, Yoda, E.T., and I-Cybie.

To download Van Snowden's Biography as a GIF, click here.

In addition to hanging out and chatting, we got an autograph and took some pictures: If we see Van again at another show, we'll try to see if he's got any more Bugaloos memories he'd like to share!!

Van Snowden: 1939-2010

Sadly, Van Snowden passed away on September 22, 2010 of cancer at St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank. He was 71.

Some additional details are posted here: The Hollywood Reporter.

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