The Toby Gribben Show Highlights


Michael Nolan

Season 2022, Ep. 76

Michael E. Nolan was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, but grew up in Columbus, Ohio. He is the son of an Irish-American sailor who married a beautiful Puerto Rican from a good family. His dad would spend a few decades, after leaving the Navy and having a stint at the University of Michigan, engaged in various creative entrepreneurial endeavours until he eventually became a farrier, invented the Nolan Hoof Plate, and enjoyed some modest success towards the end of his days. The entrepreneurial roller coaster of his father’s life, however, was offset by Michael’s mother who provided the family with some stability through her own employment at the Ohio State University and the support of her family back in Puerto Rico.

Once he turned eighteen, Michael joined the military as an infantryman and eventually served in the Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserves, and the Army National Guard between the years 1990 to 2016. During his military service, he participated in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Provide Promise/Deny Flight, and United Nations Operation Somalia with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines. With the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines he participated in Joint Task Force Six along the U.S.-Mexican border. He also did two tours in Iraq, first with the 1452nd Transportation Company in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 04-05, and then with the 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-08. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal (3 awards), Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (7 awards), and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge among others.

During this time, Michael graduated magna cum laude in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Franklin University. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree (2006) from the University of Phoenix as well as a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy (2013) from The Eisenhower School at National Defense University where Michael was an Afghanistan/Pakistan Fellow and a member of the Land Combat Systems industry study. He also has almost twenty years of civilian service in both the defence and intelligence arenas that included roles as the Chief Financial Officer for the standup of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency as well as a Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Defense of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Having been raised by an entrepreneur and seeing first-hand how to start, build, and eventually sell a business, Michael was always tinkering with businesses of his own. This ranged from ventures as diverse as farrier services to a business brokerage. Michael’s passion, however, always seemed to lie with financial related endeavours. He found success helping clients in both real estate and as a foreign exchange proprietary trader before settling into the management of his own portfolio and shifting his attention to writing. Now, Michael focuses his time and efforts on producing high-quality content focused on the warrior tradition.

When he’s not working, Michael enjoys spending time practising the martial arts. He is a lifelong martial artist having studied various arts from all over the world but focusing his efforts primarily on the Chinese martial arts. He studied Wing Chun and Tai Chi from Dr Fred Ming-An Wu starting in 1983 until Dr Wu’s death in 2000, excepting periods of military service. Currently, Michael studies Shuai Chiao in Northern Virginia under Master Nick Masi, a student of Dr Daniel Chi-hsiu Weng, himself a top disciple of the world-renowned Grandmaster Chang Tung-Sheng.

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Craig Shemin

Season 2022, Ep. 273
Craig Shemin is a former Jim Henson Company staff writer and currently serves as the President of The Jim Henson Legacy. Shemin began his career with Henson as a college intern during the summer of 1987. After he graduated, he was hired in the Public Relations Department, during which time he also worked with the Jim Henson Archives. By 1996, however, he had transitioned to writing, contributing to a wide array of programming, merchandising, and appearances.In TV, Shemin served as writer and consultant (and sometimes lyricist) for the first season of The Wubbulous World of Dr Seuss and received a Writer's Guild of America Award nomination for his work on the show. For the Hallmark Channel, Craig co-wrote all 26 episodes of Telling Stories with Tomie dePaola and contributed to two seasons of Donna's Day. Shemin also co-wrote a single episode of Dog City ("Comedy of Horrors").For Jim Henson's Muppet Stories book series, Shemin wrote three short stories for The Muppet Show characters as illustrated by Richard Walz: "Let Me Help!" and "Forgetful Rowlf" from Off to Storyland, and "Hot Off the Presses" from Cozy Campfire Stories.In the multi-media realm, Shemin scripted two 1996 video games, Muppets Inside and Muppet Treasure Island, as well as's MuppeToon series and the lyrics to the "Muppets Party Cruise Rag." In the publishing realm, he helped Miss Piggy with her 1996 cookbook, In the Kitchen with Miss Piggy, coined the title for One Frog Can Make a Difference, and contributed humorous text and character quotes to The Muppets Big Book of Crafts. He also wrote material for countless Muppet press interviews and appearances, and text for innumerable licensed products, such as the Palisades action figures.In 2001, he hosted the second day of MuppetFest, and with Jim Lewis, co-wrote The Muppet Show Live. He also scripted the concerts Jim Henson's Musical World in 2012 and The Jim Henson Retrospectacle Live in Concert in 2018. Shemin has hosted numerous Henson-related screenings, panels, and events, as well as prepared video content for said events. He currently serves as a "guest curator" for the Museum of the Moving Image's "Jim Henson's World" screening series.In recent years, Shemin researched and wrote the liner notes for Music, Mayhem and More!, co-wrote the "Muppet Morsels" feature on The Muppet Show Season 1 DVD, and produced the extras on the 2005 Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas DVD, including directing and editing the behind-the-scenes featurette. He also directed a documentary on Muppet photographer John Barrett for The Muppets Say Cheese, a 2005/06 exhibition of Barrett's work at New York's Museum of Television and Radio. He also hosted a feature for the Dinosaurs DVD set. In 2014, Shemin wrote and compiled The Muppets Character Encyclopedia, a 200-page guide to The Muppets characters released by DK Publishing. Shemin later penned Sam and Friends: The Story of Jim Henson's First Television Show, published in 2022.