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And Now For Your Host . . .

And Now For Your Host . . .

Who: David Strassman

HE'S equal parts ventriloquist and stand-up comedian. Now DAVID STRASSMAN has his own television show which premieres on NBN this Monday at 9pm.

As audiences have come to expect from Strassman's live shows, his characters are just as likely to be expecting star billing on the interview chat show as their master or even the guests.

Already the precocious CHUCK WOOD has proven to be a headache for the show's producers, ruffling a few feathers by upstaging both Strassman and numerous of the guests.

It is the fourth visit to Newcastle in the seven years he has been coming to Australia. In that time Strassman says he has picked up enough knowledge about Australia to be able to handle interviews with Aussies KERRIE-ANNE KENNERLY, GRAHAM RICHARDSON, JACKIE WEAVER and MOLLY MELDRUM. In Monday's show Strassman asks guests 'standard interview' questions, while his 'teenage' puppet Chuck 'adds in his comments and quips'.

On one episode Chucky upset AFL football player DERMOT BRERETON so much that the boofy big fella took out his frustrations by thumping the puppet.

Brereton's frustration with Chuck, rather than its operator, is a good illustration of Strassman's art of creating characters with lives of their own.

As audiences will witness at Saturday's live concerts at the Newcastle Civic Theatre, at 7.30pm and 9.30pm, Strassman's puppets have benefited from a revamp thanks to the wonders of television.

Since working with long-time friend and scriptwriter RITCH SYDNER, who has worked on SEINFELD, ROSEANNE and JEFF FOXWORTHY, Strassman's puppets have found even more depth.

'With my show the characters have parameters, they have personality, things that you see on the stage,' Strassman said.

Many of the puppets have had their personalities overhauled to provide more of a narrative for the audience to become involved with.

TE has a double pass to give away to Saturday night's show. The lucky winner will also receive a TED.E.BEAR replica doll which Strassman will autograph at a private meet-and-greet session after the show.

To go in the draw send an envelope, with your name, address and telephone number, to STRASSMAN GIVEAWAY, PO Box 200, Newcastle, 2300.

Or click your entry through to the TE web site at www.nnp.com.au and look for the TE home page.

Winners will be notified by telephone on Friday afternoon. TE

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