Born in Japan as the son of a Czech diplomat, Paul spent his boyhood in Vermont, then moved to Czechoslovakia, where his uncle was that country's first Communist Prime Minister. He later escaped to Holland, and from there made it to the USA where Christopher Robinson picks up the story:
In 1971, Fierlinger found some much needed support in the form of Dave Connell, an executive at the Children's Television Network. Connell commissioned Fierlinger to make a variety of short films for both Sesame Street and the Electric Company. He also created one of the most popular series, Teeny Little Superguy for Sesame Street. "Teeny Little Superguy came out of insecurity. I wanted to make a series. I needed a series. I needed a steady flow of work but Dave said that I was too small and that I couldn't produce fast enough." Fierlinger took a plastic cup, drew on it, and surrounded the character with other household objects. "It's like a cel and you can draw on it. You can pre-fab all the steps. Then we set up scenes with everyday household objects. Connell liked the idea and Jim Thurman (a long time Fierlinger collaborator) wrote the first stories. Then they trusted me." Teeny Little Superguy received some of the highest ratings from test groups and Fierlinger made thirteen installments. Fierlinger was surprised that he was not asked to produce more installments, but in the end the experience at Sesame Street turned out to be a great asset. "It has got me work. Clients don't want Sesame Street but they know you are a good animator if you worked there." Fierlinger continues to animate for Sesame Street to this day and has made films about the alphabet, numbers, concept films (eg. Up and Down), and most recently the problem solving series Alice Kadeezenberry.
UPDATE: More info is now available at Paul's personal website, paulfierlinger.com. Also, Wikipedia now has articles on both Paul Fierlinger and on Teeny Little Super Guy. The TLSG article links back to this very post you are now reading! All together now: "I'm Not Worthy!! I'm Not Worthy!!"
And just a thought: Maybe PBS could use just a tiny fraction of the $100 million Congress just gave it to make a few more TLSG episodes. Are You With Me, America?!?!?!?