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Carlo Alban's greatest fear while working on Sesame

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by dwmckim, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I'm suddenly reminded of a slightly different tone in someone's attitude about doing such work...

    I remember reading an interview with Mandy Pitinkin about doing EIG, saying how much he loved doing the movie, because of the opportunity he got to work with the Muppets, which he very much enjoyed, saying that he would rather work with the Muppets than anyone else.
  2. DTF

    DTF Member

    And this is the whole reason why I insist on seeing every fictional universe as a real universe just like ours except for those characters' existence (and whatever stems from them - to take the Hogan's Heroes analogy, in that universe several people lived who didn't in OTL and ran an espionage unit inside Germany, with incompetent people stuck there and with at least 1 of the Germans probably complicit in the whole thing. To stay on that tangent for a second, on the fanfiction.net HH forum there are a number of people who believe General Burkhalter was a spy mentioned in one episode name Nimrod, for reasons such as his funnelling scientists and others to Stalag 13 and putting up with klink. And, someone wrote a very good story about Gestapo Major Hochsetter being an American agent and Jewish acting teacher in New York City! :eek: I forget the name, but you can look it up easily at fanfiction.net - something like "misunderstood Major" is int he title or summary)

    Phew, sorry for that long rabbit trail. Anyway, as someone else said, the smoke and mirrors are needed sometimes, with something like ALF. It's fun to fantasize and have fun. That's what's great about Sesame Street. Even though - as I noted in another thread once - it's gone from looking like a place the puppets actually live to a "Muppet Show" style show that the puppets put on, it's still great to see humans and Muppets interact and to just sit back and have fun for a while.

    If fans want to dig deeper,t hat's fine - they can dig so deep they come up with stuff like the "Full House" Chronology, which was an excellent and fun project and i think helped at least one group of fans really fget into the spirit of the idea that there's a real fictional world created here, where stuff happens in the 99.75% of the time we don't see and which is totally separate from the performers.

    that's what I think I'd recommend to any actor or actress who didn't like their part. Just say to fans, "Look, that is a fictional world, it's a fun world." If someone like Barbar Eden wants to enjoy having played the part, that's great. But, fans need to realize that they're not watching their favorite stars. They're actually watching fictional characters who happen to be performed by their favorite stars. And it's a world where things can usually be explained, given enough time - like the complicity of the Nazis on Hogan's Heroes (granted the russian pilot might still have been too hard to explain) or "FUll Hosue"'s Uncle Jesse's faked graduation as a way to explain the sudden change. (Only he ever mentions his graduation before it's revealed he was a dropout.)

    Also, Heralde said, "Well I get that the guy [who played the dad on ALF] was a "Shakespearan actor" (I saw him in Twelth Night at Lincoln Center years ago) and probably felt embarrassed doing a sitcom with a puppet. But seriously, did he actually think the stiff human father was supposed to get more attention than the funny alien puppet? Sometimes the writers do actually know what they're doing, heh. Plus I always found the whole cast to be very funny, so the upstaging wasn't that bad, IMO. But yes I understand how demanding and frustrating it can probably be to work with a perfectionist like the puppeteer seemed to be."

    Yes, what was that? Did the fellow's agent call and say, "I've got a role for you to audition for as a dad in a sitcom" and nelgect to mention a puppet or that puppet's role? If so, he should be fired. As I understand it, agents are supposed to fully inform clients about their options.

    Not all clients listen, of course, so it's not certaint hat this agent's fault, but the agent - if good - must have said at some point, "Now, I really doubt you'll get top billing, and you might wind up playing the straight man sometimes, so it might not be for you, but I'm putting it out there for you to consider," at least in a conversational tone so if he or she thought the actor knew that they would still make sure of it. That's just professional responsibility.

    Some people prefer different types of acting, like theater. Others can pull off both (Patrick Stewart comes to mind right away) I think with theater, you're more used to being inthe limelight. I'm guessing that's more of the problem than any connection to a character there.

    But, again, I agree that it all comes down to the decision. If he made it for the money, then as someone else noted, he should have been happy to be working and enjoyed it. If not, he should have fired his agent and turned downt he role after it was offered to him. He would not have been the first actor to do so.
  3. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Yeah but agents also want to persuade their clients to make them money. ;)

    Actually I'm not sure that's the case. Theater is very under appreciated. In order to get real mainstream attention, you often do have to some TV or film work.
  4. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    You touched some more on the subject of Hogan, well, here's another little something I heard from an interview with Werner Klemperer (Klink)...

    Klemperer said that he was one of those actors that people knew his face, but could never remember his name (sort of like a character actor), and that one day his agent called him and asked him if he wanted to the play the Kommandant of a POW camp, and he said that would be wonderful because he had played those kinds of roles before... but his agent never said it was a comedy. Werner played Kommandants on a serious level, and was expecting this to be serious/dramatic, so he walked into the producers' office, and they gave him a copy of the pilot script, THEN told him it's a comedy, to which he replied, "You're out of your bloody minds!" Of course, he took the job anyway, because after he read the script, he thought it was a clever farce.
  5. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Lol, exactly, agents want their clients to take the job. And if they think leaving out some vital piece of information will make that happen quicker, they will do it. ;)
  6. DTF

    DTF Member


    Thanks; I never looked at it that way. I guess I'm too used tot he law angle - trying to analyze all the best options for the client and providing details instead of just trying for the most money.

    Then again, that is more an aspect of estate planning then even other areas of law. Which is probably one reason I've chosen not to do those.
  7. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member


    From pages 107 and 108 of his book...

  8. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Don't mind me, everyone. Just making a quick observation that after nine days, no moderator has fixed the title of the thread to correct the subject matter's name.

    Who does one have to sl...okay, that might not be an appropriate enough question...What does one have to do to get a mod to fix something anymore 'round here? Ya can't get threads stickied, ya can't fix a glaring mistake in a title - but the mement a mod wishes to do something random and unnecesary with a thread on their own, they're all over it!

    Eep.
  9. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    It's like I've been asking all along: how come there's periods of time where every single one of my new threads had the titles changed for no reason? It got to the point where it was so annoying that I simply started posting "Title this thread for me" so it didn't matter to me what the new title was... THEN those threads weren't retitled.

    :confused:
  10. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Lol, sounds like a Muppet sketch, doesn't it? Lol :insatiable:
  11. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I'm honestly trying to picture that...

    Day One
    WHATNOT #1: *Finishes painting sign* Oh boy, business is gonna be boomin' today... I better get ready...
    The Whatnot enters his locale, a movie theater, and gets things ready, while another Whatnot passes by, and reads the sign that says "HALF OFF ALL POPCORN SIZES TODAY!" The second Whatnot cocks his head as he reads the sign, then takes it down, and begins painting a new sign, before he places it up, and walks away. The First Whatnot walks out of theater, and changes the closed sign, to open, but is confused as seeing his sign now saying "ALL SIZES OF POPCORN ARE HALF OFF TODAY".
    WHATNOT #1: What the? Odd...
    The first Whatnot shrugs it off, and re-enters his theater, as various different Muppet patrons begin to congregate.

    Day Two.

    The first Whatnot exits the theater again, hanging up another sign in front of the building to draw in business, this one reads "SPECIAL MOVIE RATES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS"; the Whatnot re-enters his theater, as the second Whatnot passes by again, and reads the sign. Once again, the second Whatnot shakes his head, removes the sign, and paints a new one, before hanging it up, and walking away. The first Whatnot sweeps out the theater, and does a double-take when he sees his sign now says "SENIOR CITIZENS RECEIVE SPECIAL RATES ON MOVIES".

    WHATNOT #1: Hubba-whuh? ! *Shakes head in a daze* I gotta lay off the day-old popcorn for breakfast!
    The first Whatnot weerily re-enters the theater, as a group of elderly Muppets arrive at the theater.

    Day Three.

    The first Whatnot hangs up a new sign, but before he goes back inside, he reads of the sign, very carefully.

    WHATNOT #1: *Reading sign* "KIDS WATCH FREE TODAY". "KIDS WATCH FREE TODAY." "KIDS WATCH FREE TODAY." That's what it says... *Enters theater* Kids watch free today, kids watch free today...
    After the first Whatnot has walked back into his theater, the second Whatnot walks by, and notices the sign hanging up, before taking it down, painting a new sign, and hanging it up, before continuing on his way. After a few seconds, the first Whatnot tip-toes out of the theater, and slowly glances at the sign that now reads "CHILDREN WATCH FOR FREE TODAY." The first Whatnot loses his cool, and begins freaking out by throwing his hands into the air, and running around in circles, while wailing hysterically, just as a bunch of little tykes bombard the theater to see free movies.

    Day Four.

    The first Whatnot storms out of the theater, and hangs up a blank sign.

    WHATNOT #1: *Calling out* I give up! I give up! Say whatever you wanna say on this sign! I couldn't care less! I'm gettin' too old for this... and I haven't even reached 20 yet!
    The first Whatnot storms back into the theater, just as the second Whatnot continues on his daily rounds... and walks right by the theater, without bothering to change the sign; shortly thereafter, the first Whatnot races out of the theater to see what his new sign says, only to find it's still blank. The first Whatnot faces the camera, whimpers, and falls faces forward, just as more patrons line up to see movies, walking all over him.
  12. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    It's updated now. Thanks for your understanding. In the future if there's an issue you feel isn't being addressed feel free to send me a note and we'll get it taken care of asap.

    The article was an interesting read. Thanks for starting this thread.
  13. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Wow, even before I finished your story I was thinking, "this can only end with the first Whatnot falling to the ground, lol.
  14. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Standard Muppet Magic. ;)
  15. Katzi428

    Katzi428 Well-Known Member

    You sure about Mandy Patinkin saying that he liked worked he worked w/the Muppets? Because when he played "Officer George" on an episode of SS, he seriously looked like he couldn't be bothered doing a kids' show.(To me, he's always seemed like a pompous idiot anyway.:rolleyes:)
  16. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Well there was a long period in between him appearing on Sesame Street and then doing the Elmo movie, right? People do change their minds about things.
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    At least he didn't punch Big Bird's head off for ruining a take that he didn't ruin himself...
  18. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    All I know is that's what I read: he said something along the lines of, "If you can't work with the Muppets, you can't work with anybody".

    EDIT: Here's a reprint of the interview on his official website...

  19. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Well correct me if I'm wrong, he was on Sesame Street in its 16th season, 1984-85. If I remember correctly, in the Special Features for The Princess Bride, Patinkin talked about how he hadn't had great luck with movies until The Princess Bride came long in 1987. So you know, he may have been just disatisfied with his career in general when he appeared on Sesame Street.

    Great, now I've got The Princess Bride theme stuck in my head! Lol
  20. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    And let's think on this too: he's playing a cop... not all TV cops are gonna be like Smitty and Hoppy from Sanford and Son, but perhaps Officer George could've been a little more understanding with Big Bird and his plight of missing Barkley, but it seems like he's in the attitude that "Look, if you're not going to be serious, then I can't help you, I have other things to do."
    Katzi428 likes this.


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