MOVIES & FILMS WITH THE HALF PINT BRAWLERS:
Half Pint Brawlers with Puppet the Psycho Dwarf
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Reported April 2016
Half Pint Brawlers is a live touring wrestling company and television series. The company is considered the craziest and also the top midget wrestling company in the country. Known for controversy and also for their hardcore wrestling style, they often use staple guns, thumb tacks, broken bottles, and barbed wire in their matches. Half Pint Brawlers had a fraternity kicked off of campus for one of their politically incorrect shows, and have been publically outspoken against any censorship of their product.
Half Pint Brawlers is made up of Puppet, “The Psycho Dwarf”, who is the head operator of the company; wrestler, emcee, stage manager, and promoter. Little Kato, “The Dwarf Destroyer”, is the veteran of the group; notably, where he nearly dies in the very first television episode. Beautiful Bobby is Kato’s long-haired brother known for his high-flying style and being the ladies’ man of the group. In 2016 Puppet is opening up a new brand with the Half Pint Brawlers, which he is titling “The Half Pint Betties”. This is where he is going to bring in the “little” women wrestlers, which he states they are “Sexy, but Deadly” and then chuckles in amusement.
Spike TV aired the first season of the series following the Half Pint Brawlers in 2010. During the first season of the show, the Brawlers performed shows at a maximum security prison, on Bourbon Street, at a redneck festival, and a show with Luchadores in Mexico. The show was produced by the Lumberjack Crew and Idea Factory production companies.
The show drew up much controversy and was met with protest from the Little People of America for the Brawlers’ repetitive use of the word midget. The Little People of America attempted to have the show canceled from the network. TMZ followed the controversy and covered stories on the Brawlers. TMZ distinctly reported on the Half Pint Brawlers’ blatant use of the word midget.
The Half Pint Brawlers have made an appearance in a skit for the 2010 Paramount Pictures comedy documentary Jackass 3D, where Jason Acuña aka “Wee Man” gets into a bar fight with some of the members. Puppet the Psycho Dwarf has appeared in such media projects as The Babe, American Horror Story, Jack Ass 3D, OZ the Great & Powerful, and is in Pre-Production for the film entitled Craftique.
Half Pint Tours, Inc.
75 Willard Ave Unit 8
Elgin, IL. 60120
(985) 628 – 6904
Stevie “Puppet” Lee just landed a Feature film: The role of >”Michael” for the film “CRAFTIQUE” that will be shot down south in the Louisiana area and will be filming in 2016. Congratulations Puppet!
The American Horror Story – Freak Show starting in October 2014. Puppet the Psycho Dwarf starring as Evil Dwarf #2. You can see him on the FX Network. Evil little sh*t! LOL.
OZ the Great & Powerful - Out on DVD – Make sure to check it out- Stevie “Puppet” Lee’s character – Lead Munchkin 1 & Stage Coach Driver – In stores now
JackAss 3D the Movie - Make sure to check out Puppet the Psycho Dwarf, Little Kato, Beautiful Bobby Dean, and TEO in this film. Can you say bar room brawl!! Hilarious! – In stores now.
April 3 2012
Puppet/Pimp’N 2012 campaign picking up some speed on TMZ!
photo of the day: the wee bar brawl players
I may not subscribe to any particular religious philosophy, but I’m definitely down with the word according to Repo Man (1984). No other movie in the history of cinema has ever explained the workings of the world so well and the plate of shrimp upon which we all cosmically feast. Certain things were also illuminated regarding the bedroom practices of John Wayne, but for now I’m mostly focused on the lattice of coincidence that surrounds and connects us all, much like The Force.
Take, for example, our primary wee bar antagonist, Puppet. He was recommended, along with several other li’l thugs and coppers, by our longtime producer dude Trip Taylor, who worked with them on the first season of Half Pint Brawlers on Spike TV.
Now we didn’t realize it at the time—it was only after I was having Volney Howard IV assist me in converting a rare “director’s cut” of the Big Brother skateboard video number two (1998) from VHS to DVD in December 2010—but we had actually used a song by Puppet called “Belly Roll” from when he was performing in D&G Kore* in the ’90s. Understand that we had absolutely no idea at all who he was then. A promotional VHS tape of “Belly Roll” somehow made it into the Big Brother mail bag and that was the extent of our interaction. So, twelve years later, wonder of wonders, our paths crossed in a more decided fashion on jackass 3D by 100-percent pure coincidence. How’s that for a great big cosmic plate of all you can eat Las Vegas shrimp?
Miller was the prophet. I am the disciple. And in Repo Man we trust.
* D&G Kore is short—ha!—for David & Goliath, or Dwarf & Giant, seeing as his partner in music and the belly in “Belly Roll”, Scotty Sixes, stood 6-foot 6-inches, as compared to Puppet’s 4-foot 4-inches.
(Photo by Sean Cliver; San Pedro, California 2010)
Posted at 07:48 AM in behind the scenes, big brother, dickhouse, jackass, jackass 3D | Permalink
Half Pint’ Wrestlers Hit Woodbridge
January 15, 2012Our CommunitiesLeave a Comment
Half Pint Brawler Eric Smalls commands attention from the audience during his brawl at Hard Times Café in Woodbridge. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)
By Uriah Kiser
Photos By Mary Davidson
Woodbridge, Va. – They’re lewd, they’re loud, and they call themselves the biggest midgets and dwarves in all of pro wrestling.
Enemies of anything politically correct, the Half Pint Brawlers came to Hard Times Café in Woodbridge on Saturday night and preformed their mix of comedic antics no holds barred wrestling.
The fighters, all whom are under 5-feet tall, hail from the Spike TV show of the same and all were featured recently in the movie Jack Ass 3-D.
“If I am going to be stared at, then I said, I am going to make some money at it,” said Half Pint Brawlers creator and wrestler Steve “Puppet the Physco Drawf” Richardson.
Half Pint Brawler Steve “Puppet the Physco Drawf” Richardson and Eric Smalls battle each other at Hard Times Café in Woodbridge (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)
While warming up the sold-out crowd of about 200 who all stood around cocktail and pool tables, Richardson joked that many people, including his neighbors, used to stare at him when he walked outside to get his morning newspaper. He knew then we would use his height catapult him to celebrity status.
Richardson, who is from Columbus, Ohio, stands 4 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds and jokes about his 78-pound cranium, took on the equally as tall Eric Smalls, of Chicago, in an “anything goes staple gun match.” Both wrestled on a small stage that was set up near the cocktail tables, then rolled across poll tables, and back to the stage where a staple gun and garbage can were used a props (albeit damaging props that drew blood) to take each other out of the match.
This was the second stop on the Half Pint Brawlers’ U.S. tour which will take them to places like Daytona Beach, Fl., Texas and Las Vegas, Nev. through September.
Half Pint Brawlers wrestler Eric Smalls dives off the bar at Hard Times Café in Woodbridge. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)
But there was more than just wrestling to be seen Saturday night.
To shock the audience, much like a JackAss movie would, Richardson challenged a seven-foot tall man picked from the audience and Turtle – a wrestler from their troop – to a drinking contest. Both competitors stood side by side (the juxtaposition formidable) and chugged their drinks.
The tall man chugged a beer while Turtle was forced to drink his own urine. The man with the beer won by being the first to finish his beverage as the still-drinking half-pint wrestler’s face turned green.
Half Pint Brawler Steve “Puppet the Physco Drawf” Richardson and Eric Smalls battle each other during the second show in their 2012 U.S. tour. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)
The wrestling act is a departure from the regular Saturday night entertainment here, at a place better known for its chili, wings and large TVs showing the Capital’s game.
This really is the only place in town that is doing something like this,” said restaurant manager Todd Keogler.
Tickets to the event were sold at $15 each in advance and $20 at the door. The show sold out two hours before it began Saturday, at 7 p.m.
Staple guns and tin trash cans were used as props during the Half Pint Brawlers show in Woodbridge. Wrestler Eric Smalls was hit with the props several times during the “anything goes staple gun match. (Mary
Follow the adventures of Puppet “The Psycho Dwarf” on the new “Half Pint Brawlers: Season 1? DVDPosted on 19 December 2011 by Jonathan Williams
By Jonathan Williams
Professional wrestlers are typically mammoth men with larger-than-life personalities who settle their differences in the ring. But when it comes to Kato, Beautiful Bobby, Turtle and the rest of the Half Pint Brawlers, the personas are just as big as (if not bigger than) their larger counterparts despite their smaller stature. Proudly calling themselves midgets, dwarves and the like, the group previously known as the Bloody Midgets doesn’t shy away from political incorrectness. As seen in the first season of their TV show on Spike (now available on DVD), there’s actually not a lot that these guys will shy away from. From pulling pint-sized pranks on each other to wrestling hardcore matches in locales such as bars, a Southern pride festival and a maximum security prison, the show captures the in-ring action as well as the behind-the-scenes workings of one of the most controversial bunch of little guys to ever grace the wrestling ring or TV screen. As leader of this group, Puppet “The Psycho Dwarf” talks to Wrestling with Pop Culture about his controversial shows and the success he has seen as a result of the TV show.
The first season of Half Pint Brawlers was unlike any other wrestling show on TV. What were some of your favorite moments from the first season?
We got to go to a lot of interesting places, especially when I got the call to go to the maximum security prison down in Louisiana. At first I was a little hesitant and I didn’t really understand why we were going down there, but when I started talking to them a little bit they told me how we could inspire the guys and how everybody has a chance to do things in life. Knowing we might inspire some of those guys to change their lives is what got me to go down there and it was quite a learning experience having the door slammed shut behind you and feeling what it’s like to be in prison. We actually ate with them in the mess hall and talked to them a little bit and I’ve got to say that’s a memory that’s always going to stick with me.
We also pulled off something that’s never been done. We closed off Bourbon Street and put a ring right in the middle of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It was packed and the people were going crazy and that was a good time. When we went to Mexico and got to wrestle with the luchadores, which was always a dream of mine – the whole thing was an experience. That’s what’s great about this thing is I never know where this company’s going to lead, what we’re going to do, it’s something new all the time and we’re always off on new adventures, and the cameras are there to follow us.
When you went to Mexico, Half Pint Brawler Mad Mexx “The Immigration Sensation” was conspicuous by his absence. Why wasn’t he on that show?
He had a back injury and was not allowed to go. So I had to get Teo back for it. It was unfortunate for him, but he couldn’t fly at that time. He was a little disappointed.
Puppet’s looking like an angry little elf. Photo courtesy Half Pint Brawlers
How did things change for the Half Pint Brawlers after you did this show?
We’ve been around for 18 years, but the show definitely got us more into the mainstream. We always had the loyal underground fans that kept us alive. We’ve always had fun with it, but when the television show came out it got us a lot more mainstream into the media and into different venues. For example, we’re closing deals with Paramount Parks. We’re doing Kings Island, Worlds of Fun and this upcoming year we’re negotiating stuff with all ten of them around the country. So we’re getting bigger and better shows. As we progress and things go on, we’re kind of getting out of the bars a little bit and doing bigger venues. We’ve got some concert venues that are calling, so hopefully we can hop on some of those tours for 2012. We’re in negotiations with movie networks now, so we’re just taking it one step at a time. I just like to follow whatever direction it allows me to go and I just charge that way.
You were also in Jackass 3D. What other movie plans do you guys have?
Yeah, we were in the barroom brawl in Jackass 3D. I got into a brawl with Wee Man, then the guys came in and at first they didn’t know it was a prank. There was a police officer, the medics and all that other stuff and we would charge into bars and Wee Man was supposedly hitting on my girlfriend and we just played out that stunt there.
Doing the Half Pint Brawlers gave us a lot more opportunities, even in film work. I just got off Sam Raimi’s Oz: the Great and Powerful for two months. It’s been a wonderful year this last year and we’re just growing and expanding. We’ve also got a lot of new wrestlers coming into the Half Pint Brawlers. We’ve got Eric Smalls, J-Mazing, Ricky Benjamin and all these new talents. It’s a lot of fun and these guys are exciting, so it adds a lot more to the show.
Puppet delivers a Puppet Bomb off the top rope. Photo courtesy Half Pint Brawlers
Have any of the other guys had opportunities to do movies since the show came out?
J-Mazing was actually in the Oz film with me. He got to do the stunt work in it. Kato did some local stuff in Kansas City. Turtle is in Vegas right now doing a show at Planet Hollywood. So we’re really venturing out and doing a lot of different things. Plus we will be touring a lot in 2012, but we’re still finalizing dates now.
We usually take a break in December because what we do in October and November with the parks is four shows a day. In January we really kick in again. But we’ve been nonstop this year, doing three shows a week and traveling all year.
On the TV show we get to see a lot of what happens behind the scenes and outside the ring. How would you say the TV show compares to going to a live Half Pint Brawlers show?
I like to keep the guys on their toes, so I always try to find some fun entertainment. Being on the road as much as we are, things get really old. If I can find fun activities for them to do it keeps them fresh and shows up in the show. A lot of times we’ve been on tour, you go from one place to another, you never know where you’re at, all the hotels look the same and it gets draining. Life is short, I’m going to enjoy it so I play pranks and do fun activities as we travel.
Whatever town I’m in, I have to try the local food and that’s all I eat for the week. If I’m in Louisiana I eat gumbo, if I’m in Philadelphia I eat Philly cheesesteaks. Wherever we’re at I like to ask the locals where the local places are. I don’t like to hang out where all the tourists are, so I like to meet the people in the towns and really have fun.
Are you working on a second season of the show?
There’ll be a season two. We’re in negotiations with the networks now. It’s going to be another network and it will be on very soon.
Not long after Half Pint Brawlers came on, Hulk Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling show started airing on another network. How do you think that show compares to your show?
To tell you the truth they’re God awful. They’re not wrestlers. They’re a lot of little guys that actually tried to work for me, but they really wouldn’t train. It’s like a tall guy saying he’s a basketball player because he’s tall. A lot of these guys, because they’re small or midgets or dwarves or whatever, they just want to call themselves wrestlers because they spent two hours in a ring. You see how bad they are on the show. They’re not wrestlers. It’s an insult to the industry. If they’re not going to train, not only are they going to hurt themselves, they’re going to hurt somebody else. And it’s not going to be one of my Brawlers. They can hurt themselves if they want to. If Hulk Hogan wants to be responsible for that by putting them out there without training – you see it on the show, they admit it straight out – it’s digusting. It’s a weak show. [Eric] Bischoff and Hogan knew that I was doing this show when we were working with TNA and they tried to copy it. You can imitate, but you can’t duplicate us.
For more information, go to www.halfpintbrawlers.com.
March 3rd, 2011
Arts & Culture ·F Magazine Chicago · Life
The Half-Pint Brawlers
Ringside performances turn to profit
By Jennifer Swann, Web Editor
This March, graduating seniors will work tirelessly to add finishing touches to BFA projects, print business cards, set up websites, and finally start logging into those LinkedIn and Twitter accounts we set up when graduation was still months away. And while most seniors will spend more time in the studio than on their resumes this month, we still can’t help but wonder how to make ourselves more employable.
Throughout the spring semester, F Newsmagazine will examine professions that are inventive and profitable, even at the potential cost of your mother’s disapproval. This month, F Newsmagazine spoke with Steve “Puppet” Richardson, an entrepreneur and art school dropout, to uncover the high points of his 15-year career as a midget wrestler.
The Persona is Political
How did a four-and-a-half-foot-tall Chicago radio personality become the owner of a major sports league, the star of his own syndicated TV show on the Spike and MTV networks, and an actor in feature films like Jackass 3D?
It all started with a nationally syndicated talk show, a persona, and an idea. The show was Mancow’s Morning Madhouse, which Puppet describes as a Howard Stern type radio show, in which he developed his now infamous persona. As Puppet, he began to gain a steady following that included wrestling fans and marketers, who first pitched him the idea of going pro.
“At first I wasn’t too excited about it because what I saw in midget wrestling was clowns, they didn’t really wrestle. But then they kept hounding me and saying, ‘you’d be great in this business,’ so I went into it and I started training with Windy City [pro wrestling], which is [based in] Chicago, and I did a show, and I noticed that the little guys got a lot of attention,” Puppet said.
“My brain started racking and I figured, man, what if I just start my own league with little guys and we don’t clown around? We train, and we actually do the wrestling, we do everything that WWE does, and we do it hardcore style, which is the old ECW [Extreme Champion Wrestling] style.”
Puppet knew he wanted to create a league that not only capitalized on his appeal as a pint-sized wrestler, but that also used the term “midget” to novelize and monetize his stature. The result was the Half Pint Brawlers, a team of eight wrestlers under five feet tall who perform at bars and arenas across the country, and on television sets around the world.
Intent to Sell-Out
“We were known as the Bloody Midgets before we were the Half Pint Brawlers, but that name was too controversial for the In-Demand pay-per-views,” Puppet said. “I wanted to be taken into the hardcore company where we could do the thumbtacks matches, we could do all the crazy stuff that you see the ECW doing, but we’re all little dudes. And that’s kind of where I wanted to mix my market, and we were one of the very first companies to go into the bars, the clubs, the bigger clubs and set up a ring and come in and do a show.”
Their first show was in the middle of January at Sluggers, the Wrigleyville sports bar. Puppet recalled his first glimpse of success: “We sold it out, people were looking through the windows, watching the show in the freezing cold, and that’s when I knew we needed to do something with this and make it a tour.”
Puppet attributes his success to the fact that he created his own market for himself, in which he wasn’t competing with any other major or underground league. “We would come to the small towns, the big towns, wherever, we just packed our trailer and went. And so it kind of was like an underground band but we were underground wrestlers. We had very loyal fans and we just kept building the market.”
Little Products, Big Profit
The Half Pint Brawlers weren’t always so marketable. The owner of the company known as the Half Pint Brawlers knows that the loyal fans in his market might also be comprised of people who simply want to see midgets wrestling. For this reason and because of the use of the word “midget,” the advocacy organization Little People of America has protested the wrestling matches, comparing their use of the word midget to the hateful and politically charged use of the n-word. For 42 year-old Puppet, semantics is of little consequence, except when it comes to the only m-word he’s concerned about: marketability.
“Nobody’s going to come out and see little people wrestling,” he said, acknowledging that the term “midget” helps to sell what he refers to as his product. Although his cage-fighting, thumb-tack-throwing antics have caused an outrage from activists, Puppet defends the trained athletes in his league, who, for obvious reasons, could never pursue careers as professional baseball or basketball players.
“This is what America is about, man,” Puppet said. “We started the company, had an idea, had a product, marketed the product, and got a lot of attention with it, and now are making great livings with it. This is how we feed our families. We’re just like anybody else, and the fact that [Little People of America] doesn’t like the way we market it, that’s fine.”
Little People of America isn’t the only group of people that opposes the wrestling spectacles that are intricately staged by the Half Pint Brawlers. When they played a series of shows at Bannerman’s Sports Grill, in Bartlett, Illinois last November, residents of the Northwest Chicago suburb tried to ban the Brawlers.
“I had to go to city council meetings because, whatever was wrong with my product, neighbors didn’t want it, they were using the lamest excuses that you could come up with,” Puppet said of the experience. Ultimately, Puppet prevailed by arguing that banning his shows would be unconstitutional. “The city council pretty much turned down the ban and said that we were getting all the permits and everything,” he said. “It made a big stink in the papers and it helped me out. I love it when people try to protest this stuff because it just gets us in the paper and we win the argument.”
As a sport, wrestling has always relied on a certain level of shock value, and the Half Pint Brawlers are only contributing their performances to this spectacle as a whole. Their self-titled reality show on Spike TV and MTV Australia is giving the Brawlers a mainstream audience, and perhaps making their repeated performances less shocking to the masses.
“Before [the show] we were underground, but we’re a little more mainstream now. Some people, they might think it’s going to be a funny thing, but by the time they leave the show, they’re buying our merchandise, t-shirts, DVDs, you name it. I think it’s more mainstream now,” said Puppet, who looks to the 1970s as the heyday of midget wrestling. The Brawlers’ appropriation of 1970s midget wrestling aesthetics is as obvious as the members of the league themselves. Brawlers Beautiful Bobby and Little Kato are the sons of midget wrestling legend Lord Little Brook.
Though Lord Little Brook is a major inspiration for Puppet, the Brawler said his revival of midget wrestling is evolved and different from the old-school midget wrestlers in the WWE, who were forced to market themselves as the token midgets within a major league. “Back in the day, it was almost like a circus. They were very athletic, they did a lot of things, they did funny gimmicks to make people laugh,” said Puppet.
His hope is that when the audience laughs at a Brawlers Show, it will be because of his opening stand-up act, not because of the wrestling itself. And if anybody’s laughing last, it’s Puppet, who is truly the master, not the puppet, of his own persona.
MTV NEWS – Interview With Half Pint Brawlers
“We’ll Never Be Basketballers, But We Can Be Hardcore Midget Wrestlers”
Jan 25, 2011
Photo Source: Penny Newton
MTV New Zealand
Think you’ve seen it all? Then you haven’t seen ‘Half Pint Brawlers’ – MTV’s brand new show!
They’ll do almost anything to prove it’s the littlest wrestlers who deliver the biggest action; and that includes enduring relentless groupies, getting protested against by fellow ‘little people’ and of course, going hell for leather against each other in the ring – all in the name of entertainment.
MTV rings up for a chat with their fearless leader Puppet, about what it’s like to be the star of one of the most dramatic, funny and slightly disturbing shows on television right now…
MTV: Hi Puppet! How’s it going?
Puppet: Hi! I’m just getting back to Chicago, literally getting off the plane and getting ready to rock with you baby!
MTV: So Half Pint Brawlers has been playing on MTV for a while now; how did it come about?
Puppet: The Half Pint Brawlers started about 15 years ago. I was doing a radio show, and the independent wrestling market started talking to me wanting me to do things, and at first I was like naaahh…. But I gave it a try and fell in love with it, and noticed that the midgets got all of the attention. So I’m thinking man, I’ve got to get in there and get my own midgets together and do our thing!
Our very first show was in Chicago and it sold out – people were watching through the windows and I knew I had a hit. So I figured out how to get it on the road and 15 years later, here we are – our show is on in Australia now. I couldn’t ask for more.
MTV: You’ve had a lot of rookies join your group lately, what’s the single most important factor you teach them before they get into the ring?
Puppet: My whole aspiration on this is that I teach them personality, confidence, and I teach them to develop whatever they are.
MTV: You’re known for your pranks, what’s been your all time best prank?
Puppet: The last episode of this season’s ‘Half Pint Brawlers’ is my best prank yet, but I don’t want to give it up. It really is my best. It is something Turtle has to live with for the rest of his life. So it’s really my ultimate. But I’ve had a lot of good ones…I love pranking the dudes. That’s what I’m about.
MTV: Our new season of Jersey Shore is about to air here. If you could get any one of them in the ring, who would it be?
Puppet: I would love to get ALL those punk-asses in the ring and take them down. Every single one of them. They all think they’re tough asses and they got nuthin!
MTV: You’ve got a huge fan base now, have you got any that are bordering on the fanatic?
Puppet: Oh sure. I run into it every week. This is something I’m learning, this is something that’s really new to me – if you don’t respond in the way they expect, you get some pretty wild reactions.
This past weekend we had a girl that pretty much thought we were in a relationship, and I had no idea who she was. They can even have their boyfriend with them, and they still want to make out with you. And I always say, it’s not cheating when you’re with a midget. You know why?
Puppet: You can go home and tell your boyfriend that you messed around with a midget, and they won’t even believe you anyways. Ha ha!!!
MTV: So what about groupies? Do they come with the territory?
Puppet: Everyone’s territory with me honey… ha ha… I got a bunch of memorable stories.
MTV: There are those that say midget wrestling propagates stereotypes, what’s your response to that?
Puppet: You know what’s wrong with this world? Everyone wants to be politically correct. That’s boring.
I’ll tell you another story. We were doing a show in Chicago and the LPA (Little People of America) wanted to protest me. So I had midgets out there protesting me with signs, in front of the place we were performing. But I was like ‘go for it’! Because you know how much attention I got off of that? They helped me sell out the joint!
But there’s people out there that don’t like that I use the word midget – but it’s totally ridiculous because no one’s going to come out and see “little people” wrestling.
MTV: And you guys are trained professionals that take your sport very seriously…
Puppet: We’re a hardcore midget wrestling company and we’re not clowns man! We’re athletes! My crew train, and they have to know what they’re doing otherwise they’re not in our company.
We’re never going to be football players or basketball players, but you know what we can be? We can be hardcore midget wrestlers. And that’s our niche. So I don’t see the problem. But the more people that want to come yell about it? Just spell my name right and I’m all good about it…
MTV: Is there anything that’s off limits?
Puppet: No. We do it all. We just finished up a barbed wire match, we’ve done eight-foot steel cage matches, staples… You name it, we’ve done it. Next year, we’ll be doing a taser match, and I’m going to hang tasers from ropes, so every time you hit the rope you’re going to get tasered.
MTV: Wow, that sounds really, um, fun. So what do you say to those people who think it’s all fake?
Puppet: Come on in the ring and feel it with me.
But we are an entertainment company, and we’re like brothers man, I’m not gonna lie. We’re a family, we got to take care of each other, we make our living off each other. If one of us gets hurt, we all get hurt. We just make sure we make it through each night, and the first thing we do when we get off stage is ask ‘hey brother, you alright’?
MTV: Any plans to come to come Down Under?
Puppet: Yeah! We’re planning a tour now. My next goal is to get a two week tour of Australia in. So we’ll see you soon!
Don’t miss ‘Half Pint Brawlers’ Thursdays @ 9pm on MTV New Zealand.
Copyright : MTV New Zealand
Half Pint Brawlers ready for controversial Bartlett show
By Ashok Selvam
Daily Harold 11/21/2010
It’s safe to say Murray Friedman isn’t playing down his next big event.
Friedman, owner of Bannerman’s Sports Grill in Bartlett, is comparing his bar’s hosting of the television show “Half Pint Brawlers” Tuesday night to the thrill of the Chicago Blackhawks’ run to the Stanley Cup championship.
“I’ve seen them on TV so many times, now I’m going to see it in person,” Friedman said. “It’s going to be almost like the Stanley Cup with the chills.”
After several bumps in the road, including some resident protests and claims it would harm Bartlett’s image, the village’s board of trustees last week voted to allow the midget wrestling show at Bannerman’s, near Stearns and Sutton roads.
The show will feature performances from the Half Pint Brawlers, and will be recorded for later airing on the Spike TV network.
Winning village board approval pumped up Steve Richardson, who created the program and is one of its star performers. The 4-foot, 4-inch tall Richardson, who wrestles under the name “Puppet, The Psycho Dwarf,” said the objections added motivation for Tuesday night’s performance.
“I’m excited about every show that we do, but I’m really excited about this one,” he said. “I love it when people tell me you can’t do something and we win.”
Richardson said he’ll start the event with his comedy routine while another wrestler, who performs under the stage name “Turtle,” will serve as master of ceremonies.
Overall, event will be toned down from the group’s usual performance, one of the restrictions the Bartlett village board required before granting approval.
“We’ve cut back a little, but we’re going to have a blast. It’s hard-core midget wrestling, beer and girls,” Richardson said. “What else do you need to have a good time?”
The show starts at 9 p.m., but Richardson and his pals will be there when doors open at 7 p.m. Bannerman’s expects a crowd of about 400.
According to the “Half Pint Brawlers” website, the show kicks off a tour that will see the wrestlers crisscross the country from California and Las Vegas to Rhode Island and Mississippi.
Richardson said he’s also traveled the world trying to sell “Half Pint Brawlers” DVDs internationally. He’s just returned from France, and he’s also selling DVDs in India, Netherlands and Australia.
“There’s a lot of opportunity,” Richardson said.
The assurances of a tamer show haven’t satisfied everyone. Friedman said he’s still receiving e-mails criticizing him for hosting the wrestlers. There’s also talk of a protest outside the bar Tuesday night.
“You wouldn’t believe some of the messages I’m getting,” he said.
The Little People of America, a California-based advocacy group for folks of short stature, sent a letter to the Bartlett village board asking them to prohibit the event. They said the use of the word “midget” was derogatory and that midget wrestler propagates stereotypes.
Richardson said “midget” is merely a marketing term. No one would know what “little people wrestling” is, he said.
“I was basically just laughing when people were saying this is all a moral issue,” Richardson added. “If you don’t like it, don’t show up.”
Puppet the Psycho Dwarf at the Red Carpet Event for JackAss 3-D
‘Half Pint Brawlers’ are living large in the sports world
By Tom Hoffarth, Columnist LA Daily News
Posted: 07/03/2010 10:12:09 PM PDT
Updated: 07/04/2010 12:37:17 PM PDT
The cast of the Half Pint Brawlers, from left: Teo, Bobby, Mad Mexx, Puppet, Kato and Turtle. (Spike TV)
Little, did we know.
About how a legit midget wrestling operation works. About how real it is when heads split open, and real blood is shed in the course of an otherwise crowd-pleasing bar-storming event.
About our own threshold for pain, plus the pained expression we’d get when we realized we couldn’t turn away.
Say hello to our little friends, the “Half Pint Brawlers.” They’ve brought us to our knees.
When Spike TV started a test run last month of a six-episode documentary series about this Chicago-based troupe of bantam grapplers, most must have thought it was some fabricated comic relief.
A network that sets itself apart with high-testosterone-based programs decided to wedge this thing
right into its mix of mixed martial arts, UFC and Pride fighting presentations, serious stuff that focuses on the Brock Lesnars of the world.
Don’t sell these guys short. They’ve earned our respect.
“You have to be an athlete to do this or, yes, you’ll get hurt,” said Steve Richardson, aka Puppet the Psycho Dwarf, who operates and performs with Half Pint Brawlers as they’ve toured the country for the past 15 years and are the stars of this series.
“And I hate to tell you, but even we don’t know who’s going to win every match. We go off the audience. We aren’t predictable.”
Puppet knows sports, no strings attached.
the Yankees’ Willie Randolph was his idol. He’s “not half bad” in playground basketball. He enjoys golfing (“I don’t hit it long but I’ve got a pretty good short game” and shoots in the low 90s on a regulation 18-hole course).
Mostly, he’s ultra competitive.
“We all know we’re not going to be professional basketball players or football players, but we can wrestle,” says the 4-foot-4, 125-pounder.
As a result, a show that pulls back the curtain might reveal the partying and pranking Puppet has with teammates Kato, Bobby, Teo, Turtle, Mad Mexx and Spyder (a normal-sized ring announcer who also grapples when needed) is far more than just The Three Stooges meets “Entourage” with a little “Jackass” scripted in there.
These guys work out in the gym. They practice religiously. They stand united. They’ve got each other’s backs.
“They perform their craft, they legitimize the story you’re watching, and for our viewers who enjoy ultimate fighting and mixed martial arts, this has become an extension of all that other stuff,” said Tim Duffy, Spike TV’s vice president of original series programming. “This isn’t `train-wreck TV’ like `Jersey Shore.’ They are spectacular at what they do. They adapt to situations. And they’ve developed a great fan base.”
In the premiere episode, Kato needed 28 stitches to close a wound in the back of his head, injured when he was wrestling against his brother, Bobby. Kato toughed it out and was back in the ring on the next episode.
“That was legit; he had a 24-hour recovery,” said Puppet.
Sports always seem to be a subplot to their shenanigans. They’ve been bull fighting, shooting pool and jumping motorcycles.
“We refuse to do midget tossing,” said Puppet. “We’re not clowns. No jokey stuff.”
That seems more to be what organizations such as the Nashville-based Micro Wrestling Federation and the Oklahoma City-based Extreme Midget Wrestling Association are better known for.
As you might guess, groups such as the Little People of America don’t endorse “Half Pint Brawlers,” offended from the start that the term “midget” is too demeaning.
“If I called it `Little People Wrestling,’ no one would know what it is; everyone knows midget wrestling,” said Puppet, whose company includes “midget” in their title, an homage to the hey-day of the sport back in the ’50s and ’60s.
With this platform to enlighten viewers about his business model, Puppet explained in one episode: “I’m proud to be a midget and I think other midgets catch onto that. We embrace it.”
The series ends Wednesday with “The Littlest Battle Royale Ever” – promoted on the network as a “mini-pocalypse.” Puppet is frustrated when he tries to gather 10 wrestlers to compete, but not all are up for the athletic challenge.
That’s a big issue.
In a sense, the “Half Pint Brawlers” are a special kind of prideful fighters, with Puppet’s mastering to keep it real.
“If you’re doing a back flip off the ropes and onto the mat, you better know what you’re doing or you’ll break your neck,” says Puppet, whose more serious injury was getting accidentally bounced on his head during a choke slam, suffering a blood spot on his brain and having to recover from cerebral palsy that paralyzed part of his face.
“We get sore like all athletes. A lot of aches and pains. No broken bones yet. Just a lot of sprains.
“All I need is wheat grass, Super Glue and Neosporin, and I’m all good.”
Junior Jackass: Chicago’s Half Pint Brawlers going national
The Chicago-born hard-core wrestling group Half Pint Brawlers opened its first can of whoop-ass 15 years ago at Wrigleyville bar Sluggers.
Now the Brawlers have their own reality show. In rings and bars across the country, their bodies take a good beating: Staple guns. Body slams. Stitches to sew up a head wound.
“I like to describe our show as the background of hard-core midget wrestling meets ‘Jackass’ meets ‘Girls Gone Wild’ meets ‘Little People, Big World’ with beer,” said founder Steve Richardson, 41, who goes by the wrestling name Puppet The Psycho Dwarf.
The new Spike TV reality show “Half Pint Brawlers” features the exploits of entertainment wrestlers Puppet “The Psycho Dwarf” (Steve Richardson), Turtle (Jacob Colyer) and Teo (Tony Elliott). The show is set to premiere June 2nd on Spike TV. Brian J. Morowczynski Photos for RedEye
Chicago native Puppet and his crew of five–all little people under 4 feet 7 inches tall–are the stars of Spike TV’s new unscripted reality series “Half Pint Brawlers,” which premiered June 2, the day after Puppet threw out the first pitch at a White Sox game. The show captures their lives on the road.
At least three other shows have launched this year that follow the lives of short-statured people in a market cornered by TLC, which airs a trio of shows that catapulted little people to the center of attention.
Despite their popularity, the shows are not without controversy. Some think the little-people-focused entertainment programs are exploitative. And while some consider the term midget offensive, Puppet uses it as a marketing tool for the Half Pint Brawlers.
“During this show, no one’s taking advantage of us. No one’s doing anything against us,” said Puppet, who is 4-foot-4. “This is something we love to do and you’re going to see that. I think people are going to laugh with us, have fun with us.”
Sharon Levy, Spike TV’s executive vice president of original series, said that within seeing two minutes of the Brawlers brawlers on tape, it was obvious to her viewers would be compelled to watch the guys. Their height, she said, was irrelevant.
“The magic that was the chemistry between the ‘Jackass’ guys, that’s what I see in these guys, unbelievable chemistry,” Levy said.
“They are the kind of guys that if you were anywhere out in the world and walked by them, you’d want to be part of their crew. They’re charismatic, so funny, so fearless.”
The show features Puppet along with Chicago-area residents John Elliott, 29 (aka Teo), and Jacob Colyer, 26 (aka Turtle). Mikeal Santoyo (aka Mad Mexx), 41, lives in Kentucky; and brothers Chris Dube (aka Kato), 40, and Bob Tovey (aka Bobby), 33, whose father is the Hall of Fame wrestler Eric Tovey, hail from Missouri.
The wrestlers all have gone through a rigorous training process, much like what WWE superstars do, Puppet said.
“We’ll go to the top rope and we’ll do everything the WWE does, but we just fall farther,” he said.
Puppet knows how to put on a good show in and out of the ring. He was first bit by the acting bug as a kid when he attended a performing arts school. He’s even snagged a role in the movie “The Babe”–with John Goodman as Babe Ruth–and performed stunt work in L.A.
Later, he moved back to Chicago, worked with radio program Mancow’s Morning Madhouse for a couple of years and decided to give wrestling a shot. He said he was the only little person when he trained in 1994 at Windy City Pro Wrestling in Chicago’s East Side
A year later, Puppet produced his first wrestling show at Sluggers in Wrigleyville. “The line was around the block. People were looking in the windows and watching,” he said. Following that success Puppet created the Half Pint Brawlers and took the show on the road.
“It’s a rush, man. When you’re onstage doing your thing, the crowd’s going crazy for you, your heart’s pumping, they’re high-fiving you. It’s just fun to be a performer,” Puppet said.
The group’s big break came after an executive producer, who had seen the wrestlers years earlier, pitched the show to Spike TV at a time when the network was hunting for a docu-soap.
Certainly, reality shows centered on little people are the flavor of the moment, much like shows about families with multiple children used to be, said Michael Niederman, chairman of the Television Department at Columbia College Chicago.
“It’s really all about one thing: People are interested in watching people overcome adversity,” Niederman said.
Traditionally, little people have appeared onscreen as comic relief, but now there’s a more diverse representation of little people on TV thanks in part to reality TV, said Gary Arnold, vice president of public relations for Little People of America, a nonprofit organization that supports people with dwarfism and their families.
“It’s sending a message,” he said. “As little people, we’re not defined by dwarfism. It’s one aspect of who we are.” Shows such as “Little People, Big World” have transcended the novelty and connected with the audience, he said.
While gawkers might come in thinking they’re going to laugh at the wrestlers and mock them, Puppet said, by the end of the show they’re supportive. After shows, the wrestlers are hanging out with the crowds, drinking, selling their merchandise and posing for pictures.
“Do we have groupies?” asks Puppet. “Hell yeah.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the team
RedEye got up close and personal with the three Half Pint Brawlers who hail from the Chicago area.
John Tony Elliott
WRESTLER NAME: Teo Total “E” Outstanding
MOTTO: The world’s smallest extreme athlete
HOMETOWN: Station, Ind.
3 feet 11 inches
NUMBER OF TATTOOS: Lots
HULK HOGAN OR THE ROCK: Neither. Macho Man.
PUMP UP SONG: Pantera
FAVORITE CHICAGO SPOT: Sluggers
FAVORITE CHICAGO SPORTS TEAM: White Sox
WRESTLER NAME: Turtle the Midget
MOTTO: I may be the slowest, but that means I can last the longest
HOMETOWN: Cincinnati, Ohio
HEIGHT: 4 feet
NUMBER OF TATTOOS: 3
HULK HOGAN OR THE ROCK: Neither/ every wrestler has their own personality that is great
PUMP UP SONG: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” theme song
FAVORITE CHICAGO SPOT: Sluggers
FAVORITE CHICAGO SPORTS TEAM: Bulls
WRESTLER NAME: Puppet the Psycho Dwarf
MOTTO: Hard core in and outside the ring!
4 feet 4 inches
NUMBER OF TATTOOS: 10
PUMP UP SONG: “American Idiot” — Green Day
CHICAGO ATHLETE/ACTOR YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE RING: Jeremy Piven
FAVORITE CHICAGO SPOT: Wrigley Field
FAVORITE CHICAGO SPORTS TEAM: Cubbies
Spike TV’s dwarf wrestling show targets young, male demographic
The little people involved in ‘Half Pint Brawlers’ are as hard core off camera as they are in the ring. But some worry about the message the show is sending.
By T. L. Stanley, Special to the Los Angeles Times
June 2, 2010
If you’re at all squeamish about seeing someone get cash staple-gunned to his privates or 4-foot-tall wrestlers mauling each other while beer-drinking bar patrons egg them on, you might not be the target for the Spike network’s new late-night series, “Half Pint Brawlers.”
But if you’re into “Jackass”-style stunts, choreographed grappling matches and pants-dropping spectacles, you may have just found your new appointment viewing.
Spike, the testosterone-fueled home of “The Ultimate Fighter,” “1,000 Ways to Die” and “Manswers,” launches the six-episode show at 11 p.m. Wednesday. It will follow a group of little people, led by outspoken actor-comedian-entrepreneur Steve Richardson, who goes by the stage name Puppet the Psycho Dwarf.
Richardson and his five Half Pint Brawler cohorts travel the country performing at bars, nightclubs and sports arenas — and a Louisiana maximum-security prison — for a series that also captures their shenanigans outside the ring. The guys haze the rookie in the crew, nicknamed Turtle, with extreme manscaping in the first episode. Again, not for the weak of stomach. (Executive producers include Duke Straub, who shot the initial footage that helped sell the show, and Trip Taylor, a veteran of crazy-stunt TV series like “Jackass” and “Wildboyz.”)
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Spike, laser focused in its pursuit of the young male demographic, sees the show as a “character-based docu-soap,” according to executive vice president of original programming Sharon Levy. “The pilot tested through the roof,” she said. “You want to hang out with these guys.”
Richardson himself admitted, “It’s not the most politically correct show,” as evidenced by the “Got Midgets?” T-shirt he sometimes wears. But it’s not a throwback circus act either.
“We’re not clowns, we’re athletes,” Richardson said. “We’re never going to be professional basketball players or football players, but we can wrestle. We do everything you see the big guys do.”
That can involve getting their heads split open, as brawler Bobby did during filming, smashing thumbtacks into one anothers’ faces, drinking heavily and shamelessly flirting with groupies. And they’re as hard core in their daily lives as they are when they’re performing, cast member Kato said, describing his daredevil motorcycle jump over a couple of farm animals as the group made its way through the South en route to an appearance on New Orleans’ Bourbon Street.
Gary Arnold, vice president of public relations at advocacy group Little People of America, said he’s impressed on one hand by television’s newfound interest in people of short stature and the diverse portrayals he’s seen, from “Little People, Big World” to “Little Chocolatiers.”
“I’m not sure what the motivation is, but the shows about little people, their families and pursuits and careers don’t put us on display as freaks to be gawked at and laughed at,” he said. “It says that we’re not defined only as little people.”
On the other hand, he turned down an invitation to appear on “Half Pint Brawlers” because he wasn’t sure if he’d have a chance to seriously debate sensitive issues that little people face today. Arnold said he’s not opposed to the series or to the stars’ chosen profession, but he doesn’t approve of the frequent use of the “m” word (that is, midget).
“It reinforces archaic stereotypes, and it’s derogatory and objectifying,” he said. “The LPA and other groups have worked really hard to raise awareness about language and its message. That’s what worries me about the show.”
Spike executives said they aren’t censoring the brawlers, who refer to themselves as midgets, and don’t think a backlash is forthcoming. The channel’s on-air promotions for the show don’t use the “m” word but play with the stars’ stature as the unique hook. “The biggest new thing on TV is 4 feet tall,” says the promo. “Say hello to our little friends.”
Richardson, a pint-sized P.T. Barnum who formed his troupe more than a dozen years ago at a Chicago bar, doesn’t mince words. “Nobody would care about something called little people wrestling,” he said. “They come to see midget wrestling.”
The brawlers draw the line, though, at dwarf tossing and similar games. “I don’t knock midgets who make money that way,” Kato said. “But if I don’t see normal-sized people getting harnessed up and thrown down a bowling lane, then I don’t want to do it either.”
Since it’s a cable show scheduled for late night, “Half Pint Brawlers” may be able to push the edges more than a prime-time series. For advertisers looking for the young male audience likely to be watching, that content may pose no problems at all.
“Advertisers who are fine with being in ‘South Park’ will probably be fine with this show,” said Shari Anne Brill, media industry analyst. “But anyone else will be very cautious about it.”
Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times
Life is short
TV’s growing obsession with reality little people By MAXINE SHEN Last Updated: 4:07 AM, December 24, 2009 Posted: 1:20 AM, December 24, 2009 TV trends are usually pretty pre dictable — doctors one year, law yers the next. No one guessed that 2010 would be the year of the little people. Spike TV is expected to announce next week that it’s launching a program called “Half Pint Brawlers” this summer, a half-hour reality series starring little person wrestlers. It joins Animal Planet’s new docu-soap “Pit Boss” — set to debut next month — about Shorty Rossi, a little person actor who has turned his life to rescuing neglected pit bulls in LA. And TLC is gearing up this week to bring back “Little Chocolatiers,” about a Salt Lake City chocolate shop run by little people, for an additional six episodes beginning late next month. TLC’s mini-hit (no pun intended) “Little People, Big World”– about a married couple and their kids, some of average height, some not — which began in 2006, is the father of the genre. It cleared the path last summer for “The Little Couple,” starring newlyweds Jen, a neonatologist, and Bill, who owns his own telecommunication company, as they contemplate starting a family. But being little is, it seems, no longer enough to get on TV.
“Puppet” is this incredibly charismatic character,” says Sharon Levy, senior vice president of original series at Spike TV, about the star of “Half Pint Brawlers.” The six-episode series follows the over-the-top antics of Puppet, who calls himself “The Psycho Dwarf,” and his stable of “psycho midget” wrestlers as they travel the country putting on shows, building a successful business and dealing with the bigger world. “The fact that they are little people is irrelevant,” Levy says. “No matter what that person looked like, if they came in and they had that personality, I was going to do a show about them — they could’ve been coal miners with big personalities.” Still, Levy concedes that the world of little people holds a unique fascination for people of average height. “There’s always going to be something interesting about learning about people that are different from you,” she says. “But at the end of the day there has to be something that’s relatable and that you recognize in yourself.”
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/tv/life_is_short_aSXs4pm6gCOW9BaztiCeiL#ixzz0adC1QAI9 For show booking: Half Pint Brawlers, Inc. Elgin IL. 60120 (224) 856 – 1399 – office or (702)813-7103- #2 office
Puppet “The Psycho Dwarf” Talks About “Half-Pint Brawlers” on Spike TV
Published May 21, 2010 by:
Calling “Brawlers” a Midget Variety Show, Puppet Isn’t Afraid of Big Controversy
In some social circles, the term “midget” often is treated as an offensive word, but Puppet, the “Psycho Dwarf” and owner of his own hardcore, midget wrestling company, sees nothing wrong with using the “M-word.” “I am
small, so big deal,” Puppet told Associated Content via telephone.
“We’re not trying to be politically correct because I use the word midget and I get a lot of controversy about that. Midget is just a term that describes something small. Nobody is going to come out and watch ‘little people’ wrestling, but when I advertise the hardcore midget wrestling, they know exactly what they are getting,” he said.
Puppet brings “Half Pint Brawlers” to Spike TV on June 2
Puppet said the concept of hardcore midget wrestling has been around for about 15 years, and it has been growing through the years. On June 2, “Half Pint Brawlers,” an unscripted series about Puppet and his crew, debuts on Spike TV. “A good way to talk about the ‘Half Pint Brawlers’ is hardcore midget wrestling meets ‘Jackass’ meets ‘Little People, Big World” meets Ozzy Osbourne meets ‘Girls Gone Wild’—all in one,” Puppet said.
“Spike TV got the opportunity to follow us out on the road and see our crazy antics, and what we are doing. I am always playing pranks on the little guys, doing things to keep them on their toes. We’re like a family that travels on the road, but we just happen to be a hardcore midget wrestling company,” he said. “We do all kinds of crazy stunts. My little gimmick is that I always carry a staple gun with me. I always say that midgets are like strippers—if you give us $1 bills, we’ll staple them all over each other’s bodies for your long-legged pleasure.”
“We fall farther because we are midgets…”
Smackdowns, No Height Limit
Steve Richardson, a k a Puppet, at Michael’s in Midtown
By MELENA RYZIK
Published: May 28, 2010 New York Times
STEVE RICHARDSON is not squeamish about using the word “midget.” Then again, Mr. Richardson, who stands 4 foot 4, is not squeamish about a lot of things, like diving headfirst into a pile of broken glass or stapling dollar bills to his genitalia. But let’s get to the controversial point first.
“I would rather be called a midget than a little person,” he said recently, “because I consider myself a very large individual.”
That outsize personality is evident on “Half Pint Brawlers,” a reality show set to debut on Spike TV on Wednesday. It follows Mr. Richardson and his fighters as they stage wrestling matches around the country, performing ring dives and other stunts for cheering — and leering — fans.
“Nobody is going to come out to see little people wrestling,” said Mr. Richardson, who prefers to be called Puppet. “They don’t know what it is. ‘Little people’ could be a short guy. Midget wrestling, you know exactly what the product is, and what you’re coming to see.”
In the first episode audiences also get to see him nearly vomit from his signature stapler move, which he called par for the course. Another character has his head split open when a blow delivered by his own brother lands wrong. And there is the hazing of a new member, Turtle, who is forced to run around a rest stop in his underwear, screaming about his stature.
Given all this, it seems unlikely that battles would be pitched solely over word choice. But “midget” has long been considered derogatory, said Gary Arnold, a spokesman for the advocacy group Little People of America. Over the years “midget became closely associated with the sideshow, the freak show, being objectified, being put on display,” he said. “Whenever the word was used, it was used as an insult. It took on this dehumanizing value, which is why the majority of people say, I want to be known as little people, or a person with dwarfism.”
Mr. Arnold, who once protested a “Half Pint Brawler” show in Chicago, added: “I have no problem with what they do. It’s cool that they’ve been able to create their own business, and if it’s what they like to do, I’m happy they have the chance to do it. That said, I wish that Puppet wasn’t such a proponent of the word midget. It just carries so much baggage.”
None of this dismayed Spike TV. To the contrary.
“It was kind of like seeing water in the desert,” Sharon Levy, Spike’s executive vice president for programming, said of seeing the “Half Pint” pitch tape. “We had been looking for four years for a docu-soap about larger-than-life characters that would connect with our audience.”
Spike billed it as “Little People, Big World” meets “Jackass,” but Ms. Levy said the channel was not trying to court controversy. “The show is about their rock star lifestyles,” she said. “It’s about their characters. It’s not about their height.”
But the network also staged a debate with Mr. Arnold’s group. And Mr. Richardson said that Spike had asked his announcer, Spyder, the sole tall member of the group, not to use the word midget. (Ms. Levy denied any knowledge of this edict.)
“Everybody needs to loosen up,” Puppet said. “What’s the difference? It’s a word.”
But he is not as insensitive to social mores as he seems. The Brawlers, which he founded in Chicago 15 years ago, were originally called the Bloody Midgets. As they got more attention — they built their reputation via pay-per-view — he changed the name. Still, he is not above pandering. “Don’t feel sorry for me, being little,” he says in the opening of the first Spike episode. “If they’re going to stare at me, I’m going to make money” off it.
Over a lunch of bunless burger and light beer at Michael’s, the media canteen in Midtown, Puppet, in a sleeveless shirt with skull and crossbones above the breast and a Half Pint Brawlers do-rag, explained how he came to his unusual perspective. He trained as an actor, occasionally doing Shakespeare and then stunt work before turning to wrestling. (The thespian history is represented by a tattoo of the comedy and drama masks: the cheery comedy mask is labeled Steve, and drama, a k a Puppet, has glowing, evil red eyes.)
“I think a lot of times people might come in thinking they’re going to laugh at us,” he said, but they leave “very impressed” by the moves. At 41, he is “still pumping hard,” he said with a wink. Also: “4 foot 4 and still hard core.” How many lines like this does he have? “Thousands.” He does stand-up to warm up the crowds.
He was a hit at Michael’s, where he briefly put the manager in a headlock and charmed some ladies who lunch. “Amazing,” they cooed, after he climbed atop the bar and posed for a photo with them. Self-exploitation is no more demeaning in Puppet’s world than “midget.” His verdict on the TLC hit “Little People, Big World,” about a Portland, Ore., family fitting in? “Boring.”
“We’re just different,” he said. “We’re not trying to belong. I want to be out there. I want to be the Ozzy Osbourne. I want to be the character. I don’t want to fit into this little niche. Why? I’m fun.”
Half Pint Brawlers aim high
By Mike Mooneyham
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Photo of Mike Mooneyham
Move over UFC and TNA. The Half Pint Brawlers are on the way.
Building on its reputation as a network designed for an audience described demographically as “young adult males,” Spike TV is adding to a fight lineup that already consists of UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series and TNA’s weekly Impact wrestling show.
“Half Pint Brawlers,” an unscripted half-hour, six-episode series premiering June 2 at 11 p.m., will chronicle the adventures of an infamous touring troupe of little people founded and managed by pro wrestler Puppet “the Pyscho Dwarf.”
This “little person” wrestling, however, is far removed from the days when midget performers such as Little Beaver, Sky Low Low and Lord Littlebrook entertained fans as special attractions on pro wrestling shows throughout the country.
The Half Pint Brawlers are entertaining as well. But these extreme little people are out for blood.
The series, billed as a cross between “Jackass” and “Little People, Big World,” takes a behind-the-scenes look at these unique performers, and the problems and issues they encounter along the way.
Puppet hoists Teo in a ring littered with foreign objects.
The “Half Pint Brawlers” consist of Puppet, the leader and founder of the group; Bobby, billed as the ladies’ man; Kato, Bobby’s brother and veteran wrestler; Mad Mexx, the Immigration Sensation and hardcore wrestler; Turtle, the rookie of the group paying his dues to become a Brawler; Teo, the smallest and most athletic member; and Spyder, the regular-size announcer for the group.
“Along the way, Puppet deals with issues surrounding little person wrestling events while, at the same time, keeping his rambunctious wrestlers in line,” according to a press release. “The series follows their actions inside the ring, but also their wild lifestyles outside the ring, filled with chaotic parties and over-zealous groupies.”
And that’s putting it mildly.
The hardcore midget group began performing in the late ‘90s. Their brand of midget mayhem includes industrial staple guns to the head, thumbtack matches and broken bottles.
It’s a formula that apparently has worked.
They sold thousands of copies of their first two DVDs, a combination of hardcore wrestling, stunts and Girls Gone Wild, and have opened for acts such as Kid Rock. One DVD promised that “midgets bleed what little blood they have for your enjoyment.”
Pint-sized rock stars
Steve Richardson, the wrestler, showman and entrepreneur behind Puppet “the Psycho Dwarf,” claims it’s all about the show, the blood and the spectacle. It’s a stage on which the pint-sized grapplers enjoy rock-star status with their fans.
Richardson, who is “four-foot-four and totally hardcore,” says he has no problem with the term “midget” wrestling, and has little use for fellow little people who think the word, and what he does for a living, is demeaning.
Little People of America, an advocacy group for short-statured folks founded in 1957 by entertainer Billy Barty, has been vocal in its opposition to the word and the product.
“It’s just a word,” says Richardson. “A lot of the LPA debate me on using that for my marketing tool. I don’t see a problem with it. They compare it to the ‘n’ word, but I think that’s ridiculous because the ‘n’ word was used in hatred. The word midget is just a word used to market my company. I don’t see any problem. I’m proud of who I am and how I’m built. We’re not clowns at all. We’re the stars of the show. It’s a full little-guy midget company, except for one guy, who is our announcer.”
The group stays busy and works three to four shows a week on the road.
“Being a Half Pint Brawler is one of the greatest things I’ve ever done,” boasts Richardson. “We’ve been able to travel the world. During these episodes we went to Mexico, Louisiana, Chicago, Los Angeles. We’re non-stop and a constantly moving company.”
Richardson says he helped transition midget wrestling into a totally new direction.
“We have a blast. What’s different about us, not that I’m taking anything away from the old-timers, but we wanted to move into something a little different. We didn’t want to be ‘mini’ anyone. I just wanted to be my own character. We play our own characters and we do hardcore style. That’s what makes us different. We do barroom brawls. We can do everywhere from 300 to 5,000 fans … we’ve opened for Kid Rock and we’ve done small bars. We do thumbtack matches, staple gun matches, we did an eight-foot steel cage match.”
They’re entertainers, Richardson says, but they’re also highly trained professionals. One can’t just break into the business without solid wrestling experience.
“You have to be trained. I make the guys do their own schooling, and then they come in and we teach them our style of wrestling. But I don’t really have to do much of that with my guys. They’ve been in the business for years.”
photo PROVIDED BY SPIKE TV
Puppet “the Psycho Dwarf” is the star of “Half Pint Brawlers.”
The new show on Spike, he says, will transcend the wrestling business and delve into personal relationships and the rigors of being constantly on the road.
“We all have our expertise, and that’s why I think we make a good mix. We’re like a family. This show is going to be something totally different.
“It’s not only wrestling. Wrestling’s the background. It’s a reality show. You see us on the road and our relationships. We do a lot of Jackass-style stunts. We do a lot of pranks. I like to keep the guys on their toes, so I’m always trying to take them different places. They don’t get bored on the tour.”
One of the wrestlers, Mad Mexx, the Immigration Sensation, had a dream to ride a bull, says Richardson.
“I had to go find a bull, and I found one. It’s hilarious.”
“Bobby loves to jump bikes, so we got him a miniature motorcycle,” he adds. “He jumped a creature — I won’t tell you what it was — but we were down in Louisiana, so you can imagine what it is.”
The Half Pint Brawlers are the miniature version of Extreme Championship Wrestling, and the participants use everything from staple guns to cheese graters to beat one another to a bloody pulp. The performers entice members of the audience to throw money into the ring, and willingly staple it onto each other’s foreheads, buttocks and tongues.
“These guys are hardcore in every way,” says Richardson, whose forehead is pockmarked with dozens of dents. “We’re hardcore in the ring, and we’re hardcore outside the ring. How much more fun can you have? You’re touring around with a bunch of midgets, beer and women. We’re cocky. It’s just a real, real fun show. We’re laughing all the time.”
Sometimes, though, the over-the-top antics can get out of hand.
“Sure, there’s some serious drama,” says Richardson. “Kato suffered an injury, and you get to see how we handled that. It was one of the worst injuries for the Half Pint Brawlers. He split his head through a table. There’s drama, there’s family, you get to see how tight we really are. Basically you’re going to see how I have to deal with all these different personalities. I am in charge of this darned thing, and it’s taken me to a world where I never really thought I’d be.”
The 41-year-old Richardson started the group, originally called “Bloody Midgets,” about 15 years ago at Sluggers sports bar in Chicago, directly across the street from Wrigley Field, and has never looked back.
Richardson’s acting skills come honestly. He was trained as a Shakespearean actor and had a role, as Eddie the Bat Boy, in the John Goodman bio-pic of Babe Ruth, “The Babe.” He had roles in a number of “Tales from the Crypt” episodes, and he did stunt work, including “Batman Returns,” in Los Angeles.
“I was a serious actor. I went to the Shakespeare National Repertory, I went to Columbia College, an entertainment school, in Chicago.”
He’s also done stand-up comedy. And comedy is what jump-started the wrestling gig.
Richardson didn’t particularly like the roles Hollywood had for people of his stature, and he moved to Chicago, where he hooked up with morning shock-jock Mancow and developed his “Puppet” character.
He says he was talked into getting into wrestling. He knew it was something he could do, and he ended up training at the Windy City Professional Wrestling Academy in Chicago.
“This is right up my alley,” he thought.
With one slight change.
“We were going to do something totally different.”
Wrestling’s the ticket
Steve Richardson, aka Puppet “the Psycho Dwarf,” knows how to warm up a crowd.
The first question he asks the normally rabid fans when he makes his appearance is: “Who wants to see a midget bleed tonight?”
“That’s when the crowd gets crazy because that’s what they come to see,” he says.
But he’s also a shrewd businessman who knows he can’t do hardcore alone. Some of his shows are family oriented, and that’s fine with him. His performers are versatile enough to adapt.
“We can do both. We cut it back for the family shows, but what we’re known for is the hardcore.”
Some critics, however, say Richardson’s brand of wrestling and showmanship is degrading and does nothing to elevate the stature of little people. They contend that it makes little people into a spectacle, and is a throwback to when little people were put on display in freak shows. The troupe has drawn protests from other little people in cities such as Chicago.
Richardson thinks it’s a fascinating subject, since he’s highly trained, good at what he does and, as an athlete, his options were fairly limited.
As far as he’s considered, this was the way he was born, and he’s going to use it to full advantage.
“We’re athletes … all our lives we grew up wanting to be athletes. We’re not going to be basketball players, or baseball players, or football players. One opportunity we can take advantage of is to wrestle. We train, we work at it, we’re just like any other athlete or any other wrestler. Why is it degrading when a midget goes into the ring? We’re not biting referees’ butts? We’re not doing the clown work. I don’t discredit all that, because thank God for Lord Littlebrook and guys like him, but we had to move into the future. We had to move somewhere or the industry would die.”
After all, he says, his brand of midget wrestling is not that much different than what other hardcore wrestling groups do at their shows.
“What is different? Us doing hardcore midget wrestling compared to ECW and guys going hardcore? I toured with Sabu in TNA (Total Nonstop Action) and WWA (World Wrestling All-Stars), and what is the difference? Is it because I’m a midget and they’re telling me I can’t wrestle? That’s ridiculous. I tell people to come out and see the show, but don’t judge us. People need to loosen up and have some fun.”
Life is too short — pardon the pun — to take things so seriously, says Richardson.
“We’re making a living, we’re having fun and we’re all doing what we want to do. A midget owns the company — that’s me — it’s not like we’re working for five dollars. My guys are paid real well. I put on long matches. It’s not just a wrestling show. It’s a comedy show. You’ve got to see it to believe it. I can’t make everybody happy. No one can. But most of the people are walking out of there buying our merchandise, buying our T-shirts, and shaking our hands and coming back.”
“LPA is supposed to help little people,” he continues. “Now they’re trying to put me out of work. How is that helping little people? How is that helping anybody? Now what is America about? What are we fighting for? There’s a lot more to the business for me than just going out to a show. That’s only 10 percent of what I do. We have a marketing team, we have sales, I’ve got to take care of rings, travel, everybody.”
The 125-pounder with the outsized personality says he wants every member of his troupe to feel powerful. He remembers what it was like growing up as a small person. The business has emboldened him and given him confidence. He wants that same sense of confidence and empowerment for his team.
It makes Richardson feel good when a veteran such as Little Kato (Chris Dube) tells him that Richardson reminds him of his dad (midget wrestling legend Lord Littlebrook).
“I consider that a major compliment,” says Richardson. “He was a great star in the business.”
Midget wrestling, cloaked in vaudeville, enjoyed its heyday during the ‘50s and ‘60s. While the more traditional style of midget wrestling has waned over the past several decades, hard-core midget wrestling has gained in popularity in recent years.
But what would midget stars of yesteryear such as Littlebrook, Little Beaver and Sky Low Low say about today’s brand of midget wrestling and these diminutive bad boys?
“I would hope they could accept it,” says Richardson. “Considering that I have Lord Littlebrook’s son doing this, I think they would accept that. They would realize that the industry is changing. Puppet took it to a new style. I would hope they’d be proud of it.”
Little people, lot of beer
As for the new series, Richardson says he tries not to look too far into the future, because as a businessman he realizes that sometimes looking into a crystal ball only invites disappointment.
“I just plug away. I would like to get some national tours and make the production bigger … I really think this show is going to be a hit. It’s not going to be a one-season deal. I think people are going to be surprised. A lot of people will watch it to try and insult us, some people will watch it to find out just what midget wrestling is, and once you actually see who we are as people, we’re just like a family.”
A very unusual family, he admits, but overall a happy one.
“We’re always laughing. And that’s happiness. And isn’t that what everyone really wants? We took charge of our lives, we love it and I wouldn’t ask for anything else. I just would love to see it grow.”
Richardson doesn’t mind the current success of little people-oriented shows on television. But their show, he says, will be different.
“I’m not knocking shows like ‘Little People, Big World,” he says. “But we’re like “Little People, Big World, with a Lot of Beer.’
“We’re going to be the Ozzie Osbourne of the midget shows. This is going to be a totally different style. We’re not trying to belong or be accepted. We’re trying to go outside the line. That’s just who we are. We’re entertainers. They’re doing a reality show, and we like to be outside the line.”
“You know how wrestling is,” he adds. “There’s a lot of drama.”
Richardson is scheduled to appear on a TNA show in a couple of weeks as part of a cross-promotional venture.
“They’re going to help me out, so it’s awesome.”
The show also will enjoy the advantage of having the popular “The Ultimate Fighter” as a lead-in.
“It’s just been a real eye-opening experience,” says Richardson. “I’ve had a great time. Spike did a very good job with the show, and they represented us well. I’m really looking forward to this.”
No support group needed
Richardson is the only little person in his family. He has a brother, nicknamed “Baby Huey,” who is 6-4. His dad was six foot tall and his mom is 5-11.
“It’s just genetics,” he surmises. “Two midgets can have a tall child. Blond hair, blue eyes, midget.”
Technically Richardson is a dwarf. But the terms are interchangeable in the wrestling business, and Richardson says he’s fine with the label “midget.”
His girlfriends are tall, he says, and he never really dated a little girl.
“You just don’t see them that much. I see little people more now since I’m in this industry, but before that, I just didn’t see them everyday. I was around tall people. I’m not really into the LPA stuff. I just want to live my life. I don’t need a support group to tell me that I’m OK. I know I’m OK. I had really good, strong parents who raised me really well. I got a lot of schooling. I see a lot of guys in the industry who didn’t have that kind of schooling and didn’t have the opportunity that I had. I was lucky.”
One of the reasons he’s still in Chicago is because of his mom.
“I don’t like the cold weather, but I like to stay close to her.”
What does she think of Puppet “the Psycho Dwarf?”
“She won’t see the show live,” he laughs. “She waits until the taped version because of all the hardcore stuff we do. But while I’m sitting there, she knows that I’m OK. As long as I’m having fun and making a living, she’s proud of me.”
Little people can have big dreams, says Richardson, and every once in a while they come true.
Richardson says he’s having a good time, making good money and seeing places he never thought he’d see.
“We love our jobs,” he once said in an interview. “We get drunk, we go wrestle and we pick up chicks. What else is there in life? We have a lot of opportunities here.”
Half Pint Brawlers: A little fist That Packs Lot Of Punch
April 29, 2010- Matthew Hester – TheSports Dossier.com
When you talk to a wrestling fan and bring up midget wrestling you may get a couple of reactions. The first one you may get is” I didn’t know that stuff was still around”. The other reaction would probably be ” Those guys are pretty funny”. I know that’s what I thought when I was contacted by Spike TV to cover their promo for a new show called Half Pint Brawlers. I was shocked when I found out that not only are these guys for real, but they are also hardcore. They beat the piss out of each other like any other wrestlers. In fact, when I was there I saw how hardcore they are. Puppet one of the wrestlers on the show put a staple into Kato’s head. It was all very real and he bled. They were even nice enough to throw me in a good head lock and give me a few chops. I can tell you from experience that those guys are strong.
The five guys I met that will be on the show are Puppet, Kato, Turtle, Bobby, Mad Mexx, and Teo. In the ring they are some of the toughest S.O.B’s you will ever want to see. Outside of they ring they are pleasant polite and treat each other like family. What surprised me was how long Puppet has been running this show. They started off working small bars and other venues and now have made there way to TV sets all across the country. The show its self seems to be a very interesting one. It is a show that will show their lives in and out of the ring. You will get to see your normal wrestling matches, Hardcore matches, and they mix it up with some funny “Jack Ass” type hijinks’s.
I look forward to seeing how this show pans out. It is nothing us wrestling fans, or the regular TV audience has seen before. I have a feeling we will be in for a real treat. It has a little something for everyone. We the
wrestling fans will get to see some solid action in the ring, and for the regular folks you will get to see midgets having fun. Make no mistakes about it folks, This may be midget wrestling, but it is midget wrestling with punch.
The show is scheduled to premiere in June, and it will be a six part series. I hope all of you take the time to check out what these ” Little guys” have to offer. If the show is half is big as their hearts then we are all in for something special.
Stay tuned for a one on one interview with Puppet, the promoter for half pint brawlers. In the interview we discuss every thing from wrestling to ring rats.
In The Ring With Half Pint Brawlers
May 6, 2010 Heavy.com | Author: Spike McCue | Tags: Half Pint Brawlers, Midgets, Reality TV, TV, Wrestling
How to survive a car crash, how to survive on a desert island, how to locate your girl in the dark by the light of your glow in the dark extra large Magnum condom, how to get back at your boss for being a complete dick: these are all how-tos that I have read in my time. Yet, I’ve never seen the how-to that follows: how to wrestle a midget. If you’re like me, and increasingly worried about this likely scenario, then this is the how-to for you.
I got a chance to learn these valuable skills when I was recently thrust into the ring with the Half Pint Brawlers – a group of surprisingly tough little people who travel the country, putting on a WWE style show for crowds everywhere.
First: know how to fall.
These dudes will put you on your ass. Particularly if you’re 6?2?, cause come on, that’s hilarious. So remember: tuck your chin into your chest, bend your knees, spread your arms so they hit at the same time as your back, thrust your hips forward and let yourself fall backward. This is terrifying. I was terrified. And consequently not particularly good at it.
Second: when the little person goes for your neck, he doesn’t want to make out with you.
He wants to do a lock up. When he comes towards you, remember to go left. Bonking heads does not look tough. Extend your right arm to grasp the back of his neck, and put your left hand at about his elbow. Scowl convincingly as possible.
Naturally, the next thing he will do is put you in a headlock, so you’re bent at the waist and your pale skinny legs are jutting out at odd angles, and you get a good whiff of his midsection: hints of fruity B.O, spice and the deep scent of anger. Make sure your legs are positioned in a T relative to his, that’s important for the next step.
Now I can’t explain what happened next, but suddenly I was laying on my back, being dominated by a little person in flaming tights. No, not like that. He was just on top of me, that’s all you weirdo.
Someone started yelling at me to swing my legs in a kung fu like circle. Incredibly, this resulted in us staggering to our feet.
At this point, the only natural reaction is retaliation: run him into the ropes and send him flying towards the other side of the ring. Run towards him like a man, like a man who is going to stomp this little turd, like a man embarrassed in front of the surprisingly cute photographer who was shooting the Half-Pint brawlers when I showed up. Run at him like a freight train, all 160 malnourished Brooklyn hipster pounds. Realize too late that this is where you get knocked on your ass.
Tuck your chin, throw out your hands, thrust like you’ll never do with that cute photographer, and take your fall like the disgraced 24 year old you are. It’ll be worth it, because one day you will be at a party talking to some hot chick and you’ll be able to say: “So I’m wrestling these midgets, right?”
Half Pint Brawlers premieres Wednesday, June 2 on Spike TV.