Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, is a puppet that was given to me by my parents one year in the 1980’s. I played with it for awhile, even brought it along on a few Scout functions. It was a fun puppet to have around. Kids loved it. Adults thought it was cute.
The hardest thing about using the puppet was not playing with it or making it do things. That comes easy to me. The hardest thing about Buttons was coming up with a voice for him. It had to be a voice that fit his looks. I also realized that the voice would also play a major role in the type of personality that Buttons would have. After playing around with several voices, and rejecting most of them, I finally decided on a deep throat-style voice based on a surfer-type dude’s way of talking.
Buttons has never been the same since. The voice defined his personally like I thought it would. Suddenly this puppet became alive. Kids would howl with laughter. Adults would smile, and even giggle once in a while. But there was a price to pay for using that voice. It was very hard on my throat, and I could usually only say a few sentences at a time as Buttons.
When I did the first videos with Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, they were short videos. I wanted to see how the puppet looked, how the voice worked, and if he would look real enough to pass what I wanted to accomplish. After viewing the videos I was pleased with what I saw. I began to expand the videos, and take Buttons away from the den. He toured my family room, went around town filming in parks and at school. People saw these videos and enjoyed them.
It was time to take Buttons to the next level. It was time for him to perform with a live person. Michael is the Cub Scout brother of one of my Boy Scouts.
When he saw a video of Buttons the first time he broke out laughing and could not stop. I thought it might be fun to try doing a video in which he would have to interact with the puppet. I knew he would have a tough time trying to keep a straight face, but to tell the truth, I did not want him to be too serious.
This podcast video is the first video in which Buttons shares the limelight with Michael, the radical Cub Scout. Michael tries to teach Buttons the Cub Scout Promise. And tries, and tries. Buttons proves to be a slow learner. Michael has a hard time not giggling. It has become the most popular video featuring Buttons, the radical Boy Scout.