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Event will discuss a legendary part of Cincinnati’s television history

Boston puppeteer Wayne Martin will discuss Cincinnati TV legend puppet master Larry Smith on March 3 at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting (VOA).

The event will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., with a tour of the “Larry Smith Puppets—The Works” exhibit on display in the Media Heritage, Inc. section of the museum. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. The VOA museum is located at located at 8070 Tylersville Road, West Chester.

“Larry Smith Puppets are an iconic part of 1960s and 1970s Cincinnati TV history,” said Mike Martini, WMKV producer, program host and co-founder of Media Heritage. “Forty-five of his most famous puppets, including Hattie the Witch and Snarfie R. Dog are included in the exhibit.”

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Smith, a native of Dayton, Ohio, was born in 1938 and began a lifelong fascination with puppets at the age of five. He debuted in television at WHIO in 1954. He joined the Uncle Al Show in Cincinnati in 1957 and performed and created puppets for Uncle Al. His greatest fame was achieved in the late 60s, when he went to new Cincinnati TV station WXIX (FOX 19) to host an afternoon Larry Smith’s Cartoon Club puppet and cartoon show, which he hosted through the 1970s.

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Smith’s nearly 60-year career also features puppets from his Contemporaries TV show, his commercial-related puppets and some of his holiday marionettes. The exhibit will be on loan to Media Heritage for three years.

The evening will begin with a conversation between Martin, Smith’s protégé and long-time colleague, and Martini. Discussion will focus on Smith’s influence on puppeteers nationwide, along with excerpts from his shows.

The museum board is accepting volunteer docents to help staff the museum, which houses displays and exhibits from the VOA-Bethany Station; The Gray History of Wireless, Media Heritage; and shortwave radio station WCARA. The museum is open weekends from 1 to 4 p.m. Training is provided.

For more information about the Larry Smith Puppet event or the Media Heritage collection, visit www.mediaheritage.com or contact Martini at 513-777-7891.

To volunteer as a VOA museum docent or for general museum information, email admin@voamuseum.org or call museum director Jack Dominic at 513-777-0027.

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