Mochi and Waffles
Source: Netflix

'Waffles + Mochi' Stars Phenomenal Puppeteers Like Michelle Zamora and Russ Walko

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Mar. 16 2021, Published 12:36 p.m. ET

Starring Michelle Obama, Gaten Matarazzo, Tan France, and many others, Netflix's Waffles + Mochi promises 10 episodes of quality entertainment while also encouraging kids and their families to adopt a more curious approach toward eating and nutrition. Waffles + Mochi tells the tale of two besties who set out on a worldwide adventure — stopping in Japan, Peru, and Italy, among other locales — to broaden their knowledge about cooking. So, who are the puppeteers portraying Waffles and Mochi?

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Meet Michelle Zamora and Russ Walko, the puppeteers portraying Waffles and Mochi.

Striking the perfect balance between educational content and entertainment, Waffles + Mochi offers bite-sized pieces of information on topics such as Benjamin Franklin's role in popularizing the potato or the best way to make a thirst-quenching bowl of gazpacho. The cast features Hollywood hotshots such as Stranger Things alum Gaten Matarazzo and Queer Eye's Tan France — alongside phenomenally talented puppeteers such as Michelle Zamora, Russ Walko, and Diona Elise Burnett. 

waffles and mochi puppeteers
Source: Netflix
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A widely recognized puppeteer, Michelle founded her company, Viva La Puppet, in 2014, following a string of appearances on hit shows like Loveseat, Garfunkel and Oates, and A Black Lady Sketch Show. Michelle also worked on music videos for songs like "365" by Katy Perry and Zedd, and "California Roll" by Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, and Pharrell Williams. She has also contributed to ads for Vitamin Water, Old Spice, and many others. 

"There's something magical about bringing inanimate objects to life and into our world. Puppets have the potential to do anything," Michelle stated one reason behind her decades-long fascination with puppets in a recent interview with Remezcla

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waffles and mochi puppeteers
Source: Netflix

In Waffles + Mochi, Michelle portrays Waffles, the part-Yeti, part-waffle creature with an insatiable thirst for gastronomic knowledge. In the show, Waffles and her best friend, Mochi, travel around the world via their magical shopping cart to find out more about ingredients and finesse their culinary talents. 

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As part of the invigorating journey, they meet up with renowned chefs like Samin Nosrat, José Andrés, and many others. From sampling spices to learning about the art of pickling — turns out, patience is the recipe for success — Waffles and Mochi try their hand at some of the most vital cooking processes out there. 

waffles and mochi puppeteers
Source: Netflix
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Waffles' teeny-tiny friend, Mochi, is played by Russ Walko.

A puppeteer and puppet builder by trade, Russ has appeared in popular TV series like Team Smithereen, The Simpsons, and The Happytime Murders before joining the cast of Waffles + Mochi. Russ also runs a company, Puppet Garage. Much like Michelle, he too has an enviable list of contacts to boast, having worked with clients such as Erbert & Gerbert's over the years. 

Diona Elise Burnett, Taleia Gilliam, and Jonathan Kidder are just some of the other artists appearing in Waffles + Mochi. Diona portrays Steve the Mop, and she also provides the voiceover for Magicart. Taleia plays Shelfie, while Jonathan stars as Busy, the high-strung bee. Piotr Michael provides the voiceover for Mochi, George Konner voices Intercommy, and Andy Hayward is credited as the Puppeteer on IMDb

Waffles + Mochi is available on Netflix now. 

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