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  4. 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.

Is Frank Oz still coming back?

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by Lourenzo, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. Lourenzo

    Lourenzo Member

    I looked it up on the Muppet wiki and it said the last time he played Grover was in 2013 Bert in 2006 and Cookie Monster in 2004
  2. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    2013 was a wonderful year. Frank played Grover twice that season and performed Anything Muppets in two other inserts. But that was ony two years ago, he may come back soon . This isn't the first time he's been absent for a season or two,he's also been absent for season 32,season 38,39 and season 41.
    cahuenga likes this.
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I've been wondering if Frank Oz was coming back. He hasn't been on the show since Jerry Nelson died, and most of his recent performances (outside of parodies) featured Jerry Nelson with him. Would the lack of Jerry Nelson (not to mention Kevin Clash, Fran Brill, and maybe Joey Mazzarino) make him reluctant to come back?

    I've read a few times that Sesame Workshop doesn't use Oz much because he's too expensive (and they have been having financial problems), and Oz did say in an interview that he comes back once a year "for fun", but in a more recent interview he said that neither Sesame Workshop or Disney ask him back because they have good enough replacements for his characters but is willing to come back.

    It seems like Frank Oz hasn't directed a movie in years. Maybe he's been busy developing scripts that didn't get made, or maybe he's left projects/been replaced. I know I saw an interview with him where he said that he wasn't desperate for money that he was willing to direct bad scripts. But it does seem like there's been plenty of time where they could have used him as a performer.
    cahuenga likes this.
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Dude, he came back to do the voice of Yoda in an episode of Star Wars Rebels. Isn't that enough?
  5. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Jared DiCarlo likes this.
  6. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Perhaps. He said in I AM BIG BIRD that since so many of the older/original cast and crew members are gone, the sense of camaraderie that used to be on the set isn't really there anymore - even Caroll said he feels odd whenever newer/younger crew members refer to him as "sir." For the longest time, Frank seemed to be doing Cookie almost exclusively, but it seems like once they started doing new material with Mr. Johnson, that's when he started doing Grover again (and again, almost exclusively), and I've speculated the reason for him doing Grover again in that capacity was because it meant working with Jerry again (in some way or form).
  7. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    From what I've seen Frank say about Grover in recent interviews, I feel like Grover must be one of his favorite characters to perform. It would have been great, though, if they had him perform Bert and Cookie Monster on those days in recent years when he's been exclusively Grover and a one-shot Anything Muppet.

    In recent years he's performed one-shot Anything Muppets in parody segments, after a long period when he only performed his own established characters. The fact that the show will have significantly less parody segments might be another strike (maybe "strike" is the wrong word) against him coming back.

    I wonder if they expected Frank to perform when they wrote last year's Estimation Vacation segment, since it has Bert and Guy Smiley interacting, the most they ever had. Like if he was going to perform that day, something came up preventing Frank to perform, and they just did it with Eric in both roles.
  8. MuppetSpot

    MuppetSpot Well-Known Member

    I think maybe Inside Out took some time out and the HBO deal. So maybe Frank will come back.
  9. Lourenzo

    Lourenzo Member

    Drtooth: I'm asked this mainly out of curiosity.
  10. JC Motors

    JC Motors Member

    I think that Frank Oz has one of those part time contracts like some of the WWE superstars have, like The Rock has. It would be cool to see him come back on a full scale basis
  11. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    The Muppeteers are all freelancers,so I don't think they have contracts.
  12. cjd874

    cjd874 Well-Known Member

    Exactly. You can pinpoint sometime in the mid-1990s when Frank Oz returned to perform Cookie Monster, Grover, and Bert on a regular basis. Most of these skits have him performing either with Jerry Nelson (the Count, Mr. Johnson, Herry Monster) or Steve Whitmire (Ernie).

    Additionally, Sesame Street used to have a lot more cutting-edge and ad-libbed humor, most of which was done by Frank (who can top Prince Charming's meltdown at the end of the Rapunzel News Flash skit?). Ever since the show was reformatted in the 2000s, I haven't seen as much of that dangerous wit. But then again, it's to cater to the different age demographic, if that's the right word to use. In the 1970s-1980s, you could easily picture an eight-year old watching SS with their younger siblings because there really was something for everyone...MTV parodies, animal films, hip cartoons, game shows, and so on. Now the show has a predictable format geared towards 2-5 year olds, and Frank doesn't have to, or need to do the show regularly. He's made enough money from his movies and his four-plus decades of work with the Muppets.

    It's also clear that the camaraderie is fading because Frank, Caroll, Loretta Long, and Bob McGrath have lesser roles; and Fran Brill, Sonia Manzano, and even Joey Mazzarino have left the show. There's that generational gap between people like Bob and Mando that might not translate well to young TV viewers.

    But back on track...it seems like a safe bet that Frank will come back within the next couple of years. He can't stay away from Sesame Street forever. Maybe he'll surprise us and perform Cookie Monster! In a sketch with Bob! Who knows? :insatiable:
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  13. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    Yeah. Those are good thoughts, but now with Jerry being gone and Billy performing Ernie now, Frank doesn't really have anyone to play off of like he used to. But like someone said, he could surprise us someday. You never know.
  14. MuppetSpot

    MuppetSpot Well-Known Member

    Maybe the older cast member like Bob or Gordon.
  15. cahuenga

    cahuenga Well-Known Member

    Or Caroll, Marty, David rudman...
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

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