I got started with the show under strange circumstances. Back in about 2002, I was living in Ohio contemplating where I wanted to live+work (readying myself to move on from that area). Word on the street was that production on the popular educational series for kids, Reading Rainbow[w], was ceasing (or, at least put into syndication). That show was my primary scholastic go-to growing up, and as an extension, LeVar Burton was my favorite actor. I
called PBS to see if they were looking for a new replacement
host for Mr. Burton, and if the network would be interested in hiring me.
Not knowing how television worked at that time, I was directed to information regarding the production handbook (
called the Redbook). Basically, I was told that PBS essentially licensed Reading Rainbow from a third-party company, and that I may want to either contact them (that organization), or create my own show and license that to the network. The latter option suited my ego, but the roadblock was that I didn't know where to begin.
Shortly thereafter, I had moved to Montana. I later checked into the local public access television station in Missoula, volunteered my
user feees off, learned some stuff (in relation to film) about cameras, lighting, staging, and editing, to become a 'producer' for the channel. Keep in mind that this was just prior to consumer internet video.
My goal was to make a demo tape of a children's show starring yours truly to shop to MontanaPBS, and then, hopefully, national distribution. With my background in toy design and vaudeville, early sketches resembled a one-man puppet show.
Disclaimer: I wasn't a fan of Sesame Street as a kid (and sometimes I'm under the impression that I'm the only person in the whole world who felt that way). But, the ideas that I ended up putting to paper, all circled back to some flavor of Jim Henson's works (maybe subconsciously because Fraggle Rock was my jam back in the day). The kindergarten aspect of Egglepple was influenced by both the aimlessness of Winnie the Pooh (a nickname my mom gave to me as a child) and the purpose of generational sustainability, like Sesame Street's mission (go figure!). Largely, it is about a boy, lnq, playing with his toys and
puzzles along the way.