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How to get to Sesame Street and other information!

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by BEAR, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. BEAR

    BEAR Well-Known Member

    If there is any area of the Muppets world that I specialize in, it would be Sesame Street. I grew up watching and learning from the gang on the street and have even written many articles, reports and essays on the program and its characters. I fancy myself an expert, and as the title of one of my essays says, "Everything I ever learned, I learned 'on the Street". As a service to fellow Muppet fans, I would like to use this thread as a source for information and insight into the lovable characters on SS. If anyone has a question or query that I can help out with, please post them here and I will do my best to dig in my archives (in my head and documented) to get you an answer. It's fun for me. We can even help each other learn more. Let the stroll down Sesame Street begin!!
  2. BEAR

    BEAR Well-Known Member

    Just a reminder that I am still here if anyone has a question. :)
  3. Larcen Tyler

    Larcen Tyler Active Member

    I'm not sure if you read my thread about the unusual skit, where these kids, along with Gordon and a woman (who is leading the group apparently) are doing this movement thing where they lie on their backs with their knees bent, doing breathing exercises, then they rock up to a seated position and then back down a few times, then they sit up and do some more breathing.

    At any rate, do you have any information on that?
  4. Vic Romano

    Vic Romano Well-Known Member

    Excellent, I wanted to start a thread about some questions I had, but this works out great. There are lots of very knowledgeable Sesame Streeters (is that even a word?) that I admire here; so please don't find me ignorant, it's just I was always a huge TMS fan and while I still love SS, I didn't follow it very well, so here's a TON of my SS questions that I really look forward to hearing your answers. Some are silly, but others I really wanna' know!

    • David... what's the deal with him? Now I'm most familiar with the cast of SS that starred in "Follow That Bird", but thanks to MCR I've grown to really appreciate David, what a tremendous singing voice! So my question is; he was obviously on SS in the very begining, where did he go? Why did he leave? What was his relationship to the other human characters? Does anyone have a copy of "The Arm" that he sings on the SS Live album!?

    • I've been trying to watch the newer episodes on TV lately and I saw Bob (he's a LOT older now then when I remember watching him!) What other classic human characters are still on?

    • Is it me, or does Cookie's right eye spin and twitch more then his left?

    • Did Carol Spinney ever do any work on TMS?

    • When did Snuffy become visible to everyone else?

    IN relation to the movie "Follow That Bird":
    • Hoots is at the table discussing with the other birds in the begining of the movie, but his voice is not the one he has now, did he start as a regular after the movie?

    • The Street was obviously re-built for the movie (at least I believe it was), were any elements from the TV set used in the construction of the new set? Is there a blue print of the actual layout of SS? If you're facing the famous steps; to left, is that a cul-de-sac? And what's to the right?

    I have more, but I just drew a blank, but I think this is good for now.
  5. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hey Vic, I can help answer a few of your questions.

    1 Bob. Reason he's older than what you remember him to be is cause he's been there since Season 1 all the way back in 1969.
    As for what other humans are seen on the street nowadays: Luis, María, Gabriella, Gordon, Susan, Miles, Gina, Bob, Alan. Would say that's it, along with all the random kids they get.

    2 David.
    The character of David portrayed by Northern Calloway suffered when Northern Calloway died. Lemme explain. In 1990, Jim Henson died and the world mourned. What might have gone unnoticed or at least unsung is that Northern Calloway died shortly after. What happened to the character of David on the show is that to explain the actor's non-appearance, the writers and cast said he moved away from SS to live on his grandmother's farm. And that's what happened.
    David was the first assistant at Hooper's Store, under Mr. Hooper's tutorship. Him and Olivia were known as the groovy singers back in the 80's. David had a brief relationship with María before she hooked up with Luis. After Mr. Hooper died, David took in Gina as his assistant before he left in the early 90's.

    3 Hoots the Owl.
    This is something I've wondered myself. The puppet in FTB is similarly alike to Hoots, and I'd think that he was brought in after the movie once Kevin Clash had cemented his position in the Muppeteering ranks following his work on JHH. Remember, that Kevin was working on the Great Space Coaster before joining JHC and CTW/SW, which is why his voice as Hoots the Owl is remarkably close to his previous character, Goriddle Gorilla.
    Hope this helps.
  6. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hey Bear, hope it's OK to help you out in answering some questions if there are others of us here on the boards who might know them.
    BTW: Got questions of my own, mostly regarding characters for the Muppet Listings. Is all of SS fair game to ask you? Can we even ask about the international versions? Or is it just US SS?
    Hope to hear from you soon before bombarding the thread with my own queries.
  7. Vic Romano

    Vic Romano Well-Known Member

    Thanks Count, I'm getting a clearer picture now. But I'm still curious; why did Northern Calloway the actor leave the show? And with such a great voice, I'd hope he went on to do other things, if so: what?
  8. salemfan

    salemfan Well-Known Member

  9. jeffkjoe

    jeffkjoe Well-Known Member


    Good question!

    The answers:

    1) Northern Calloway, had a bunch of episodes where he was arrested for weird behavior (one was in Nashville, where he was making an appearance in the early 1980's) and they briefly dismissed him from the show. He came back off and on the '80's before leaving for good in 1990 (David was written out by going to 'take care of his grandmother.') Shortly thereafter, Calloway died of stomach cancer.

    2) Bob McGrath (Bob) and Loretta Long (Susan - very rare appearances now, as she's in her late '60's, early '70's) are the only regulars from Season 1 still on.

    3) The only time Carroll was on TMS was his guest appearance as Big Bird. Otherwise, his SS work was kept separate from any of the MUPPET SHOW work.

    4) Snuffy became visible in 1985. A very early Elmo helped restrain Snuffy in the nest, while Big Bird brought all of the humans in to meet him for the first time. For the record, Gordon, Maria, and Linda were the only humans to ever believe Big Bird's claims.

    5) Hoots was an extra in FOLLOW THAT BIRD. Same with Elmo. But Elmo was voiced by Richard Hunt in FTB.

    6) FOLLOW THAT BIRD was shot in Toronto, so the Street set was built there on a backlot . Many movies and TV shows are shot in Toronto. That's why it's got that "exterior" appearance as opposed to being (obviously) shot in a studio.

    As far as the set is concerned, that's changed A LOT over the years, mainly because they've switched studios where Sesame Street is shot, THREE TIMES since 1969. What's seen beyond Big Bird's home has gone from a painted city backdrop to what appears to be a chain-link fence and a brick wall. Originally they had a street "around the corner" from Sesame that went beyond Big Bird's house, but they've nixed that idea.
  10. Vic Romano

    Vic Romano Well-Known Member

    Ah, fascinating! Thank you so much! I am gonna' pick my brain of every question about SS I've ever had and dump 'em all here. Thanks guys!
  11. BEAR

    BEAR Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Count. Please feel free to help out. There just might be something i leave out.

    Also, I really am not too familiar with the international versions of SS. Sorry. As I have only really seen bits and peices of Plaza Sesamo. I am an English speaking American. It would make no sense for me to watch and enjoy those other programs without understanding a word they say. :zany:
  12. BEAR

    BEAR Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot of documented/recorded information about him. The owl that you saw in Follow That Bird certainly looked a lot like Hoots, but it was a different character. The character of Hoots the Sax player did not arrive until much later.

    It was 1985 when the writers decided to have Snuffy be seen by the adults on the street. One reason for this is that they were running dry on ways to have Snuffy to be "just missed". The creators and researchers also felt like this was sending a negative message to kids that adults would not believe them if they said something strange or unnormal. There was also issues of child molestation and abuse in the news at the time and SS were concerned that if parents or adults did not believe their children (even if it was true), that couldn't talk to them about more serious issues that may happen to them.

    Keep 'em coming at your pace! Sorry for not checking back sooner to respond.
  13. Vic Romano

    Vic Romano Well-Known Member

    Well I still have some unanswered ones from above:
    • Does anyone have a copy of "The Arm" that David sings on the SS Live album?
    • Is it me, or does Cookie's right eye spin and twitch more then his left?
  14. redBoobergurl

    redBoobergurl Well-Known Member

    I just have to say that this is a great thread!

    I have just one question for right now:

    -What was the deal with Frazzle the orange monster and what happened to him? Who played him? I remember actually being frightened of him when I was younger and then he just disappeared. So any info on Frazzle would be interesting to me.
  15. BEAR

    BEAR Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I for one do not have a copy of "The Arm" available. Also, yes, I have also noticed the same the same thing about Cookie's eyes! I love how they google around like that.
  16. BEAR

    BEAR Well-Known Member

    Frazzle is a classic character. Unfortunately, he is also very obscure. I will be sure to check on it so I can give you as much info as possible. In the meantime, if anyone else wants to jump on this one, go for it!
    Thanks, redBoobergurl.
  17. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for checking in and starting the thread Bear. The questions I have are precisely concerning the human cast from Plaza Sésamo, specifically who played what character or who was the character played by said actor/actress.

    If I posted what I have, would you be able to help? Or would it be best if I saved the questions for someone more... uh, knowledgable on that specific subject?
  18. BEAR

    BEAR Well-Known Member


    Frazzle first appeared on Sesame Street in 1971 (season 3). It was in a Guy Smiley game show sketch called "Beat the Time." Apparently, unlike other Muppet monsters, Frazzle was meant to be scary, which led to less frequent appearances in the spotlight between the 80s and 90s because of his
    Frazzle had his own language that sounded like some strange monster gibberish that he was known for. It wasn't until a sketch in 1993 that we hear him speak as he tries to check into the Furry Arms Hotel.

    hope this helps.
  19. BEAR

    BEAR Well-Known Member

    I'm terribly sorry, Count. I just don't feel at all qualified to assist you in your Plaza Sesamo information. I would love to learn more about the program though. I am just not familiar enough with the characters, etc, to provide decent help.
  20. Larcen Tyler

    Larcen Tyler Active Member

    BEAR, so you don't have any information on the skit I asked about?

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