A Short Film About the Beautiful Friendship Between a NYC Puppeteer and a Local 83-Year-Old Woman

Inspired by a story about a beautiful friendship between a puppeteer and a former community activist that he first read on Laughing Squid, filmmaker David Friedman decided to explore the subject further and created “Rick & Doris: An Unconventional Friendship in New York City. With Puppets,” a short original piece for the newly formed AARP Studios.

Ricky Syers is an off-beat 50 year old street performer who found his calling as a puppeteer after a lifetime of manual labor. While performing in New York City’s Washington Square Park, he met Doris Diether, an 86 year old community activist. They became friends and he made a marionette that looks just like her. Now she’s joined his act and the two of them can often be seen performing together.


image via N*Studio

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.