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  2. Sesame Street Season 49
    Sesame Street's 49th season officially began Saturday November 17 on HBO. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

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Episode info from trusted sources

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by minor muppetz, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    For the last few months, a few people at Muppet Wiki got access to many scripts from the show, creating episode pages cited as being from trusted sources. And these sudden scripts have been a nice asset for the wiki.

    Along with seeing new episode pages for old episodes, it's often fascinating to know about stuff in the scripts. I have seen some examples of scripts before (in the 40th anniversary book, on Mo William's site, and I've seen scans from an early draft of episode 1257), and yet it is cool to know more about scripts, like how sketch listings tend to have either a production code (which I've seen in most examples of script pages in the 40th anniversary book) or an episode number (which I did notice in the script for episode 1257).

    I know many of the scripts say "final aired version", though I also know that at least some of the recently-acquired scripts are not the final aired versions. I recently saw that at least one of the scripts was for a pledge drive edit, I feel it's odd they'd do that for a pledge drive (I would think, if anything, they'd just denote segments to cut for time). I wonder if any of the re-edited summer reruns do this. I've also recently started wondering if episodes that re-use past street scenes actually scripted the reused scenes (I did ask one of the contributors but had trouble comprehending the answer). I've also started wondering if they got scripts for other things, like specials (particularly Sesame Street, Special and some that were also broadcast during the shows usual timeslot) or home videos.

    It's also great to learn, in part via certain sandbox pages, early uses of Grover's name and the early evolution of Elmo. For years I've wondered if Herry Monster was named back when he had his furry nose (I haven't seen an answer for this yet). I've seen that many animated inserts list the animator/producer/production company. I'm hoping with this we can learn who animated the "Cracks" cartoon (though I saw one episode page from trusted sources that lists the segment but it looks like the animator wasn't listed there).

    I was a little surprised to learn that many inserts are scripted into these pages as opposed to just listing titles. I did see part of the first episode script which includes a script for Ernie and Bert's first appearance. I thought most inserts would have just been scripted onto their own pages as opposed to main episode scripts (maybe they copied them onto those scripts). I've also been told some episode scripts transcribe repeated inserts, which I was surprised by, but I've also been told that some scripts were likely transcribed from watching episodes (I guess the lost the old scripts and it's good they cared enough to make new scripts of old episodes).

    As surprised as I am that many Muppet inserts are written within the main episode scripts, I am thankful, because that means the wiki has info on a lot of rare, long-unseen segments. There are a lot of inserts I saw listed in the CTW Archives "first season show content" pages that I was really curious about, and am thankful to see detailed descriptions for them. I've also found info on first season skits that I think I overlooked when looking at those pages (or at least didn't care enough to remember from a brief description). But it does seem like not every insert, even in their first appearance, has detailed info in the script, judging from the fact that the Muppet Wiki page just lists the rare "G for Grover" and "Grover: Hey Frog" bits by title.

    It's amazing what all has been accomplished since May (and they still haven't completed all of them). Currently there's a guide for at least the first 30 episodes, the last few episodes of the first season, the first two or so weeks of season two, all of season 20, and nearly every episode past season 22 (season 21 is being worked on at the moment). We've also got a lot more firsts on the wiki (I've been told that the scripts have some kind of indication that it's a first appearance). It's been fascinating to recently learn of more Jim Henson-performed segments that debuted in his last season, and to see that the first detective series segment aired in season 18 while more debuted in season 20.

    Earlier this year when info from the CTW Archives guides for seasons 11 and 12 were finally sourced for the wiki, I thought it'd be cool to try to determine what segments appeared in the highest number of episodes, at least in terms of what the wiki has info on, and then we started getting info on so many episodes. Might be great to at least wait until they finish creating pages from all these sources. I also recently learned that clicking on an image can show via "what links here" can show all episodes the image is on, it's so cool to see what the last appearances of certain sketches are (if they aired in the 1990s or later) or if certain segments stopped airing by the 1990s. I've recently determined that the 1990s brought us the least amount of inserts that are so rare that the wiki doesn't have images for.
     
  2. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    There is something I had thought about for a while after the wiki started making these guides. I wonder, of all the episode pages compiled from trusted sources, which of them will be the first to surface, whether it's the whole episode or just the street scenes, whether it turns out somebody already had a copy and we just didn't know/it just wasn't on the wiki, or if Sesame Workshop puts it out officially.

    Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if one of them has surfaced since and I just missed when images were added after.

    Also, thanks to being able to see a listing of episodes where certain terms are listed for certain incomplete episodes, I saw that we now know what all HBO has cut and what all Noggin cut on 123 Sesame Street.
     
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    It's amazing what is now known thanks to these.

    Just a day or two ago, there was a page created for a season 21 episode with Oscar being against recycling, which turns out to be the episode that had a clip in the A&E Biography that showed Oscar, accompanied by Bruno, asking Bob "How long have you known me?" and Bob's "too long, Oscar". So we kinda finally have some context for that clip.

    Also a day or so ago, the wiki finally has info on one sketch I've seen listed in the "first season show content" that I had long been curious about: "Ernie Makes a Friend". For the last few years I wondered if maybe this was a sketch with an Anything Muppet's facial features being applied.... And now I know that it is! And it features Gordon (which explains why it hasn't surfaced in any of the international variants of the show). Reading the description, at first I thought it seemed a little like a Sesame Street version of the "change of face" Muppet bit from The Ed Sullivan Show, but now I don't think so.

    For a few weeks, the page has finally had a full guide to the episode where Gordon and Mr. Hooper need to find out who the garage belongs to. I'd say the ending isn't as interesting as I had expected. I know when info on that was added to the wiki a long time ago, somebody guessed that neither owns the garage and that Oscar owned it (since the one thing they can agree on is that the garage needs a paint job and Oscar wouldn't). I thought this theory was supported by "The Trash Hunt" clip that Sesame Workshop posted years ago, where Oscar has the authority to kick Hiroshi out from the garage. And by coincidence, on the day a full guide for the "who owns the garage?" episode was added, so was a full guide/page for the episode where Oscar had authority to kick Hiroshi out - turns out Hiroshi wanted to turn the garage into an art studio after Oscar decided to stop parking his car there and had to pay rent.

    In the past few months, thanks in part to these new guides, the wiki has had pages for almost every remaining episode I remember seeing. But just a few days ago I was remembering a scene that I had forgotten about, but also wasn't sure off-hand whether the episode had a guide on the wiki. That scene had Snuffy painting a Snuffleupagus variant of the Mona Lisa, with cabbage included in the painting. And then THAT episode got a guide on the wiki today (it's episode 2677)! Also added today was a guide for episode 2681, which has something I remember though looking at the guide it seems different from how I remember it - it has Bruno transporting Irvine in a trash can to day care. I recall the episode being about daycare, but also recall an ending scene with Oscar in his usual trash can spot talking to Irvine as she's in a can held by Bruno, the guide doesn't seem to note that in the final scene (which has Luis and Maria picking Gabbi up from day care) and it looks like the only scene with all three of them takes place in the day care as opposed to Oscar's home area. Maybe it's not noted in the guide, or maybe there's another episode where Bruno carries Irvine (I've seen another season 21 episode redlinked on the Bruno page), or maybe my memory of this is really mixed/faulty here.

    There's been a lot of great, recent discoveries here. I always suspected the Zork series of animated segments debuted around season 25 (maybe 24, maybe 23), but I know now that Zork debuted in season 21 (with the last one debuting in season 29.... the character had new appearances, without that many segments, over the course of 9 years). The first of the "Detective Series" shorts debuted in season 18 while the next one didn't air until season 20 (I wonder if there were any produced for season 19 that were held off for a year). I had long suspected Mysterious Theater to have debuted in season 21 or 22 but now I see it debuted in season 20 (actually I think I saw some mention of 20 online but thought maybe it was a guess). I've often seen people suspect the Rupunzel edition of Sesame Street News to be the first Sesame Street News segment, this is something I myself assumed long before I saw others do the same (and I don't know why I did). And then I saw that it first aired in either episode 409 or 410, during the first week of season four. There's still a few episodes that week that don't have pages, but it looks like we might have been right all this time (meanwhile, I've also seen people suspect the Little Miss Muffet one as being the first, but its first airing was in season five, though I've suspected that after seeing the segment have a 1974 copyright date in the end credits for Muppets Most Wanted).

    One thing from these trusted sources that I really hope we can learn soon: Did a Teeny Little Super Guy segment actually air in season 14? The timeline in The Street We Live On has the clip play over 1982, and Old School Volume 3 has the Baseball segment among the "season 14 classic cuts", but Muppet Wiki cites a season 15 press release that refers to it as a new segment that season. Of course I wondered if maybe the first one (or maybe first two) aired a year earlier before regular production began on them, or if maybe one was produced the previous season but didn't air until season 15, and in thinking about this I've also reminded myself of how I often think of that season 12 press release that refers to several characters as new when it seems half of them did appear on the show before then (and I had thought about a few things they could have meant but still...).

    One other thing about Teeny Little Super Guy: For at least the last ten years I've noticed Muppet Wiki mentions there were 13 segments (cited from an interview with the creator) but only eight are listed. And since then, none of the unknown TLSG segments have surfaced, while Sesame Workshop has made most of the known segments (with "danger" being the one exception) available online. I suspect those either never aired or were dropped from airing shortly after they debuted (I'm guessing they'd be in guides for seasons 14-16), as none of them aired after season 22 (unless any appear in the few episodes that couldn't be fully guided).
     
  4. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I've been finding a lot of interesting info on the newer episode pages compiled from this research.

    Some time ago, I noticed the page for episode 2592 mentioned an insert called "Great Snuffle Derby", which I assume features Mr. Snuffleupagus. While it now has an eka applied, it previously said it was from season 9.... So they were still showing segments where Jerry Nelson performed/voiced Snuffy as late as season 20! Of course now I realize that just because Snuffy's in the sketch doesn't mean that he talks.

    Pages for a few episodes with Aristotle have been added. I now realize that the character has a number of odd collections, with his debut episode mentioning three different collections. I remembered him mentioning some collections in one of the few Aristotle clips that's online but didn't think about whether that was a character trait.

    I've read in the past, either on Wikipedia or maybe some Muppet Wiki forums/talk pages, that there were multiple American Express parodies involving holding a grown-up friends hand when crossing the street (besides the Big Bird one), but now I've seen confirmation of the existence of the other ones.

    For about a decade, I had been wondering if any of Jim Henson's letter claymation segments aired after the first season. The first season show content has "dump" written by the E segment while the other letter segments have "use infreq" written by them, and those documents list "dump" by other claymation segments (which may or may not have been done by the same people), but I had noticed that for years there was no info on them airing in later seasons, but a week or so ago I saw a season two episode page that mentions the Z segment airing.

    These sources have provided the wiki with more "firsts", and there are quite a few I've been surprised by. Recently I've been thinking that a lot of segments that debuted in either season 10 or 20 are ones I thought were from different seasons (though I was still close in my assumptions), and in the last week it seems I've been learning of a number of segments that first aired in season 13 that I thought were from season 12 (and I think I had seen season 12 sources for some of them, a few if them were songs so I might have mistaken the 1981 copyright dates for being season 12 since a lot of song copyright dates apply to the year that the season ended). But one segment I am surprised first aired in season 12 is the Kermit and Grover nosewarmer bit - for years I had been thinking that would have been seasons 8-10, I know it is often hard to tell if a segment is from the late-1970s or early-1980s, and I had known that as far as season 12 they were still using old Kermit puppets with more noticeable felt texture (which it seems the Henson Company otherwise wasn't using), but it is still a shock to me. I'd also assumed for years that this one came between the earmuffs and tooth brush segment, but I see I'm wrong - part of that comes from the fact that in the sunglasses and hair piece (and I think head warmer) segments that Kermit mentions Grover sold him earmuffs, nose warmers, and tooth brushes in that order.

    Another that I'm slightly surprised by is that the Two-Headed Monster: MOM segment first aired in season 12. Back when somebody at the Muppet Wiki got some info about early Telly from Brian Meehl it was mentioned that they briefly used Telly as a generic monster until Meehl took on the character, somebody said that using him as the Two-Headed Monster's mother makes sense after learning that info. So I would have expected that to be from the tenth or eleventh season (and it still could have been taped before Meehl started performing Telly and gave him his personality).

    I saw that there's at least one post-Camp Echo Rock episode where Rusty visits Big Bird. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, since that arc ended with him revealing he lives around the corner and that he was in that Emmy's appearance from 1982, but it is still interesting.

    Finally, last week, the wiki added info on the season 21 episode where Oscar had a trash sale, so now the wiki has info on every episode that I have memories of seeing as a child! One thing that's different from how I remember is the Luis scene - I remembered it as him buying a toy wheel to fix a toy car, but the guide says he actually bought a part to fix a typewriter. Of course the guide does mention broken cars being shown quite a bit in the episode, so my memory's just conflating those.
     
  5. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    I will say this: the scripts may not necessarily reflect verbatim what happens in each scene. I have seen a number of instances where the dialogue and such is different between the script and the aired piece. It's entirely possible that particular instance was changed between writing and shooting, or it's also possible your memory is mixing it up.
     
  6. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Another thing I thought about was adlibs and rewording of lines, which probably aren't in the scripts (though I think I saw Scott say that some of them are clearly transcribed from watching the episodes, if that's the case then they'd probably include adlibs and such).

    I believe I read somewhere that in the early years, the street scenes would primarily improvise as a way of saving tape. The 40th anniversary book does show script pages of the first scene from the first episode, which is mostly an outline but the part with Big Bird is properly scripted. Though a lot of street scene descriptions for those episodes from the first two seasons do seem very detailed.
     
  7. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    One thing I've noticed in a few guides is segments called "NY Remote" and then a number and title (the only one I remember off-hand is "NY Remote #47 - Without People (Big Bird)"). I assume these mean they were shot on location in New York, and was amazed to see that there were at least 47 of these segments. Then I looked at the season 10 page yesterday and saw it mention that a lot of episodes that season have segments taking place on location. Of course they might not have started in season 10 (I saw today that the EKA for Gordon's bike ride segment was in a season 9 episode, but would that count among the "NY Remote" segments?), but considering they apparently applied numbers to the segments, it'd be neat to know what all of them are and how many are pictured on the wiki (the "What a Bird!" montage from 20 and Still Counting has a number of clips with Big Bird on location; by coincidence some of those images were added to an image parking page at the wiki today).

    I wonder if the "NY Remote" title would be listed for segments like David's disco skating, Gordon's bicycle ride, "Ride a Bike", Big Bird trying to get the adults meet Snuffy by a fountain, and Oscar jogging in Central Park (which is pictured and mentioned in the 40th anniversary book, I don't think we have an episode number for that one yet). Kinda makes me want to see a wiki page for segments shot on location at New York (maybe start a sketch table on the New York page) or a Sesame Street on Location page (is there already a page for episodes and segments shot on location?).

    A lot of sketch listings seem to list the titles of segments as listed in the scripts, and some are intriguing. I saw that the sketch with Kermit buying a t-shirt is called "Frog for Forg", for years the wiki had it listed as "The Wonderful World of T-Shirts" (which I never thought was the official title, I believe the location's name is only mentioned once), after seeing examples of titles in various CTW Archives documents I figured it'd have a title like "Kermit T-Shirt Store" or "Kermit T-Shirt Bit". And I believe I saw that the sketch with Guy Smiley taking his audience to lunch is called "Dinner for 39", which is weird because he specifically says he's taking them out to lunch. But titles are sometimes listed differently from various official online sources and DVD menus. I wonder if any titles are listed differently from script to script or if they're generally consistent (save for maybe occasional typos).

    And I wonder, after learning how so many segments are referred to in scripts, if I make future wishlists or sketch listings in fan fic outlines, will I start doing what I know is the script title or do what I would list them as/expect to be an easier way for people to know what the sketch is (then again, if I hadn't already been consistent with how segment titles are listed elsewhere before....).
     
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Thinking more about this, as I learn of more titles as they appear in scripts, and after more segments are added to the "unidentified Sesame Street segments" sandbox page at the wiki, if there's a new Sesame Street DVD release for the hardcore fans in the future, there probably won't be anything left that the wiki doesn't have some kind of inf on (even if all we have is a basic title), but if there's something for us and we get a rundown of chapter stops/bonus clips, if there are titles we haven't heard of/can't instantly determine we could feasibly be able to figure out by looking at the wiki (though it could potentially be hard to really know where to look on the wiki) before the releases come out.
     


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