Yeah, I did some small parts in high school and the first year of college and then fairly soon thereafter I settled into the backstage scenery, and then at the University of Maryland I was doing posters for their productions.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.
It's into the same bag as E.T. and Yoda, wherein you're trying to create something that people will actually believe, but it's not so much a symbol of the thing, but you're trying to do the thing itself.
Somebody like a Piggy or a Kermit, there needs to be several versions and so there will be several of them.
I do remember doing shows strictly in black and white, too, so you're right.
When I was a kid, I never saw a puppet show. I never played with puppets or had any interest in them.