Lamb chops come to life! How Shari Lewis’ daughter keeps beloved sock puppets alive in memory of her late mother.


Lamb Chop — yes, the beloved sock puppet made famous by the iconic TV show from the 1950s to the 1990s — is ready for a comeback. The famous anthropomorphic sheep is receiving renewed attention for its backstory and that of its creator. Sally Lewisis the focus of an upcoming documentary.

Sally and lamb chops tells the story of Lewis, a Peabody Award-winning children’s entertainer, ventriloquist and groundbreaking puppeteer best known for his animations of Muttonchops and other characters.

“Most people think of my mom as a little lady playing with puppets. She was bigger than all of us. She was three-dimensional,” Mallory LewisSally’s daughter, an Emmy Award-winning author who calls herself Lamb Chop’s big sister, told Yahoo Entertainment. “She had her highs and her lows. She had love, she had hate, she had triumphs, she had disasters.” [documentary] It really takes you through not just the linear story of her life, but also shows the difficulties she had to overcome. “

A new documentary tells the story of beloved puppet Lamb Chop and creator Shari Lewis.  (Illustration: Yahoo News; Photo: Getty Images)

A new documentary tells the story of Sally Lewis and her beloved puppet Lambchop. (Illustration: Yahoo News; Photo: Getty Images) (Getty)

“Women who have always been underestimated”

Sally and lamb chops tells the “inspiring story of an accomplished, constantly undervalued woman” who found her way in a competitive, male-dominated industry.

Making this documentary was a labor of love for Mallory. She credits “Sally” director Lisa D’Apolito as “a complex person who saw her for who she really was and then portrayed it.”

“I love artists that you think you know but you don’t,” Dapolito told Yahoo Entertainment. “Especially those female artists that you think are amazing, but they deserve to be recognized even more.” [Shari] As a children’s performer, but she is so much more than that. “

Shari makes her first appearance on the seminal show alongside Lamb Chop captain kangaroo 1956. In 1960, when Sally was still in her early 20s, NBC gave her her first national network show, this sally lewis showreplace hello doody show.

But Sally still had a glass ceiling to break.

“When my mom first started working as a major producer on children’s television, she couldn’t get her own credit card because women weren’t able to get their own credit cards until 1974,” Mallory explains.

Lewis was popular for decades with “Mutton Chops,” but she had to reinvent herself and her puppets to remain relevant. Lewis made his debut in 1992 Lamb chops accompanimentis a children’s show that helped her reach a new generation of children and families. The show, which airs on PBS, features Lewis and her adorable cast of puppets, including Hush Puppy, Charley Horse and, of course, the eponymous Lambchops. Also introduced is the earworm that would become Lewis and her furry minions’ signature tune, “The Song That Never Ends.” (I’m sorry this song stuck in your head for the rest of the day. )

“Oh my god, people are suddenly singing [the song].We were walking around New York today and people spontaneously erupted when they saw lamb chops [into] Mallory said: “This song won’t end”

“I don’t think anyone can hold Sally down. She just keeps doing her thing until she achieves what she wants, which is to get back to television,” Dapolito explained. “Her drive and belief in reinventing herself myself, even if other people don’t believe her, I find really inspiring.”

July 27, 1971: American ventriloquist, puppeteer and author Shari Lewis (right) entertains children of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, George, Earl of St. Andrews, and his sister Helen Windsor with puppet mutton chops lady.  (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)July 27, 1971: American ventriloquist, puppeteer and author Shari Lewis (right) entertains children of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, George, Earl of St. Andrews, and his sister Helen Windsor with puppet mutton chops lady.  (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Sally Lewis (right) entertains George, Earl of St. Andrews and his sister Lady Helen Windsor, children of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, with her puppet mutton chops in 1971. (Photo: Keystone/Getty Images) (Keystone via Getty Images)

Today’s lamb chops

After Shari died of cancer in 1998 at age 65, Mallory took over the puppet show and toured the country with Lamb Chop, although her performances looked a little different from her mother’s.

“Lamb Chop and I have been touring for 25 years, which means we’ve been working together half the time she’s been working with her mom, which is fun,” Mallory explains. “We tour performing arts centers and the show is not for kids. I mean, it’s appropriate. It’s not like mutton chops on stage with martinis and cigarettes. But it’s not for kids. It’s for 30-plus people [crowd]”.

Half of the show is a performance, and the other half is Mallory “telling stories about her mom.”

“Carrying on the Lamb Chops legacy is one of the greatest joys of my life,” she said. Continuing to tell her mother’s story is “a tremendous joy.”

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: (LR) Lisa D'Apolito, Pat Kaufman and Mallory Lewis present NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: (LR) Lisa D'Apolito, Pat Kaufman and Mallory Lewis present

Directors Lisa Dapolito, Pat Kaufman and Mallory Lewis attended Sally and lamb chops Premiered in New York. (Photo by John Nacion/Getty Images) (John Nacion via Getty Images)

“My mom is a mother to millions of people in this country. So I have a big family and they always love my mom, and I’m very lucky,” Mallory said. “How many people have hundreds or thousands of kids? “beautiful [well-lit] Was there any footage of their mother edited? “

although Sally and lamb chops There is currently no designated streaming home or release date, and Dapolito is working to book additional dates for live screenings.

“I think Sally’s message is to keep going and believe in yourself no matter what,” she said. “I hope so [audiences] Feeling inspired, they feel empowered to be whatever they want to be. “



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