RIP, Mr. Snot
Joe Kudla, half of the team of Puke and Snot, passed away on Monday. He was 58 years old, and had been performing Ren Faire stages for over 30 years, including letting young upstarts Penn and Teller open for them.
Read more below (obit from the Pioneer Press) or visit the Puke and Snot website, listed below for more details. At the website listed below, Joe’s partner Mark Sieve shares stories and fan email about Joe.
PUKE AND SNOT WEBSITE: http://www.magaga.com
Actor Joe Kudla of ‘Puke and Snot’ team dies at 58
By Dominic P. Papatola
Article Last Updated: 08/11/2008 06:30:56 PM CDT
Minneapolis actor Joe Kudla – half of the “Puke and Snot” comedy team that entertained crowds at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival for more than three decades – died Monday at the age of 58.
Kudla died at his home in Northeast Minneapolis, according to his performing partner, Mark Sieve. A cause of death was not immediately available.
“I’m wondering if Bud Abbott felt this way when Lou Costello died,” said Mark Sieve, who played Puke in the popular comic duo that mixed swordplay and groaner jokes. Sieve said he and Kudla were supposed to go over some new material Monday, but that Kudla wasn’t returning phone calls.
“I was complaining to my wife about my irresponsible partner not answering his phone,” Sieve said, honoring his late partner with a bit of gallows humor. “Turns out he had a good excuse.”
Kudla was already a fixture on the local performing scene when he and Sieve conjured the idea of a pair of medieval types who would crack wise and cross swords. The first iteration of the duo, dubbed Mouldy and Wart, premiered at the 1973 festival.
Puke and Snot appeared the next year. At the height of their fame, the opening act for their routine was a young pair of comic-magicians named Penn and Teller. Kudla and Sieve trained others their shtick, and have been a fixture at Renaissance festivals across the country ever since.
In 2007, Kudla took a break from playing Thomas Snot, earning rave reviews in the History Theatre production of “The Baron,” a paean to old-school professional wrestling in which he played, among other famous grapplers, Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon.
Sieve intends for the show to go on when the Minnesota Renaissance Festival opens later this month. “It would be a great tribute to Joe to keep it going,” he said, “but I don’t know. I might break down in the middle of the routine.”