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Character duplicates

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by muppet maniac, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. muppet maniac Well-Known Member

    It seems that there have been multiple variations of some of the Sesame Street Muppets. I'm not talking about the different incarnations that the characters underwent through the years, but rather, times when there was a copy or two (or more) of the character in addition to the standard model that was appearing at the time.

    For instance, since 1998 we had two Big Birds, one of which we first saw on Zhima Jie, the Chinese co-production. This Big Bird puppet is the one that Matt Vogel performs, and also appeared in the Japanese co-production (from 2004-07), the 2007 revival of the Brazilian show, and the 2010 revival of Zhima Jie.

    There are currently about 8-9 Elmos, according to Muppet Wiki, and also the dozens of Elmo variants appearing in Elmo's World (not counting the ones based on different animals). Elmo has appeared in South Africa (same puppet, but different character), Japan, France, India (since 2008), Indonesia (since 2010), Denmark, China (since 2010), Pakistan and Israel (starting in 2012).

    I'm guessing that there are at least two or three other Grovers, as Grover appears in the Indian and Israeli co-productions - one of them is still running, or both...not sure. I did see some pictures of Grover on the Israeli set that looked pretty recent.

    A significant example of this I can think of is Oscar, after he turned green. There were two alternate puppets used during the 1970s in addition to the one introduced in season 2 (who would continue to be rebuilt every couple of years up until today). The first one was a less fuzzy looking version that can be seen in the sketch where Ernie loses his rubber duckie and in some Sesame Street/CTW closing signs. The second was a rather butt-ugly looking version that had a slightly smaller head, bigger pupils and a big jaw, known as "Bucket Mouth Oscar" (as referred to by Earl Kress/Was Once Ernie). There might have been three, as there was also a different looking Oscar in "C is for Cookie", although I'm sure that one was the bucket mouth variant, yet it had a bigger head. (I'm looking at a picture of the crowd scene at the end of The Muppet Movie taken from the book "The Art of The Muppets", and apparently they used the bucket-mouth Oscar in that scene. There was also a darker green alternate in the early 1980s, as seen in the other two Muppet movies). There's a different puppet seen recently in public appearances, such as the interview with Qtv.

    Cookie...I'm going to say there were two, because he was appearing in the Japanese co-production at the same time he was appearing in the U.S. Bert and Ernie are in the German co-production, so there must be copies of the two characters. (Then again, maybe not --- they seem to be appearing a lot more in Germany than in the U.S. these days, I've noticed.)

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