Comes back for second season to play the loud and rude adolescent pal of Cole Jenson's Wyatt
Tim Lagasse and Crash meet with the press on the Disney set in L.A.
Tim LaGasse was a high school student in New Haven when he learned it was possible to get a college degree in puppetry.
“I said, ‘Wait, that’s a job?’ ” recalls Lagasse. “And then everyone in
my family spent the next two years trying to talk me out of it.
“My dad to this day is baffled that I’ve been making a living at it for 20 years.”
Those years have included stints with puppet projects as prestigious as the Muppets and “Sesame Street.”
They have also, in the earlier years, included putting on a bear costume and delivering singing telegrams.
That’s not a bad memory.
“It’s good training,” Lagasse says. “You learn to be entertaining and
leave. That was particularly useful at children’s parties, which I also
did a lot of. The most important skill is knowing when to leave.”
At the moment that’s less of an issue. Lagasse today is the voice and
puppeteer for Crash, the co-star of the Disney XD show “Crash &
Bernstein,” which launched in October and airs Mondays at 8:30 p.m.
It just got picked up for a second year, which is good news and also a tribute to Crash's resilience.
“He’s lost his head, he’s been trampled,” says Lagasse. “Bad things
happen to him all the time. Fortunately, he’s a puppet, and you can do
anything to a puppet.”
That also works the other way. Crash can do almost anything to the people around him, though most of his assaults are verbal.
He was brought into the world at the Build-a-Bestie craft store by
12-year-old Wyatt Bernstein (Cole Jenson), to be the brother Wyatt never
He has minimal social graces and no filters, traits Wyatt obviously finds welcome and Lagasse says he cherishes.
“He’s loud and rude,” says Lagasse. “Exactly what every 12-year-old boy wants to be.
“I’m 40 and I can say things that 4-year-olds would say.”
At first, Lagasse admits, no one was sure how “Crash & Bernstein” would play out.
“After Eric Friedman created it, we didn’t know exactly where it was
going,” he says. “We’re still learning. But Disney knows what it’s
doing. It does all this stuff incredibly well.”
The success of “Crash” has rearranged his life somewhat. “I liked to
build puppets,” he says. “I haven’t had as much time for that and I miss
But a steady sitcom is a good consolation prize. Probably even better
than delivering singing telegrams in a bear suit, though Lagasse says
those days were full of good life lessons.
“You also learned not to be self-conscious,” he says, holding up Crash
and noting how, at this point, everyone under 10 would ignore him
completely and talk only to the puppet.