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Topo Gigio

Topo Gigio (Italian pronunciation: [ˈtɔːpo ˈdʒiːdʒo]) was the lead character of a children’s puppet show on Italian television in the early 1960s. The character, created in 1958 by artist Maria Perego, debuted on Italian television in 1959 and has been customarily voiced by actor Giuseppe “Peppino” Mazzullo and later Davide Garbolino. The Italian nickname “Gigi” is a derivative of Luigi (“Louis”), so Topo Gigio could be translated as Louie Mouse. Topo Gigio, a soft foam mouse with dreamy eyes and a friendly, childish personality, was very popular in Italy for many years—not only on TV, but also in children’s magazines, such as the classical Corriere dei Piccoli, animated cartoons, merchandising and movies. In 1963, the character’s popularity spread to the world after being featured on The Ed Sullivan Show in the US. Today, Topo Gigio still has a cohort of faithful fans and has become an icon of Italian pop culture. He performs regularly at Zecchino d’Oro festival and other programs created by Antoniano and RAI. In 1965, a feature-length motion picture The Magic World of Topo Gigio was released internationally. The puppet has made appearances and has a fan base in many other countries—including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Uruguay, Venezuela and the former Yugoslavia.[citation needed] The puppet made several appearances on UK TV on ITV’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium in the 1960s and his wistful persona endeared him to British viewers of all ages.

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