Joe Kudla (1951 – 2008)“He was a man, take him for all and all, we shall not look upon his like again” (William Shakespeare, Hamlet) For 35 years Joe Kudla played Thomas Snot, one half of the Puke n’ Snot team. This old man in tights made millions of family, friends, and fans tears with laughter. Sadly Joe passed away only a few days before his home town Renaissance Festival opened in Minnesota.
Joe and Mark Sieve (Ralph Puke) first got their start back in 1974 at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival under the names Mouldy & Wart. Shows were ten minutes in length, largely improvised, always in the streets. The next year they changed there names to Puke n’ Snot joined at the Minnesota Festival by Penn and Teller. As the years went on that act of Puke n’ Snot became bigger. They were seen at many other Renaissance Festivals, Soon the shows would become too big for the streets of any Renaissance Festivals so in 1983 Puke n’ Snot moved to stage. Puke n’ Snot putting there own spin “trademark brand of mock-Shakespearean vaudeville to audiences composed mostly of morbidly obese, turkey-drumstick devouring, semi-conscious yahoos.” Joe and Mark together put out four cds and one dvd of there work over the 35 years of play the old men in tights.
The show goes on Joe passing just days before the Minnesota Renaissance Festival opened millions of family, friends, and fans wondered what was going to happen to the show. It is a show you just have to see when Puke n’ Snot where out at the Renaissance Festivals. Joe has a Memorial Fund trying to help Joe’s daughter Angela go to college. A “Thomas Snot Pilsner Mug” and “Thomas Snot Memorial Tee Shirt” can be found in their store or online at their home page at www.magaga.com.
Joe “always believed that the show was bigger than the actors…the spirit of the show carries on. People still laugh. Joe would want them to keep laughing. So, to honor Joe and his long legacy”, Mark and the Puke n’ Snot team keep the shows going with a long time friend of both Joe and Mark. John Gamoke has picking up where Joe left off and is playing “Thomas Snot Jr,” and both man (Mark and John) are still acting at Renaissance Festivals today.
You can find out more about Puke n’ Snot and what Renaissance Festivals there are at by going to there home page at www.magaga.com. There you can also read more about Joe and what family, friends, and fans have said as will as leave your own thoughts about him, but most of all see there shows Joe would have like, it would make him happy. Long Live Thomas Snot!