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Original Gordon from the Sesame Street test pilot has been identified

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by LinkiePie<3, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. LinkiePie<3

    LinkiePie<3 Well-Known Member

  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

  3. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, this is a big deal. It would be great if Sesame would release all 5 test shows with Garrett Saunders as a way to celebrate. As he said in the pilot, "Let's Dance!"
  4. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I'm sure somebody could explain this, but how did they lose track of who the guy was after all these years? I know this pilot was filmed 40-some years ago, but still, did they lose all the casting records or something? Had the print deteriorated so much that they couldn't consult the closing credits?

    It's really cool how they turned this out to the internet and it took only a couple of months to pin this guy down.
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Well, it took a little longer, since they mentioned it in the 40th anniversary book... but I guess no one saw it.

    I'd tend to think the problem lies in the fact that they were a start up company, and they probably didn't keep track of all the old paperwork. And I'm wondering if they planned to recast Gordon once the show went public anyway.
  6. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    It's possible, records get lost all the time, or after a certain period of time might be discarded as out of date.
  7. mbmfrog

    mbmfrog Active Member

    Well, I'll be this is a great thing for the show to find indeed. :wisdom:
  8. Katzi428

    Katzi428 Well-Known Member

    Well finally! I truly am surprised that Loretta Long (Susan) or Bob McGrath (Bob) didn't remember. (Then again this was 40+ years ago people are entitled to forget small things.;)) Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that the two are getting old and forgetful. They've had to work for a LONG time with Muppets & other humans. No disrespect for them at ALL!
  9. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    Wonderful news! I can now sleep a little easier tonight! :)
  10. CherryPizza

    CherryPizza Active Member

    In Street Gang, Jon Stone is quoted as saying that Saunders was cast at the last minute, and that nobody was happy with the casting, so most probably. He's not the only thing about the test pilot that's rough around the edges (Susan was almost at Vanna White-level in being 'set dressing'), and even though Matt Robinson's Gordon was more streetwise than Roscoe Orman's (I haven't seen enough of Hal Miller to comment), it is fairly clear that Saunders' character didn't have much 'Gordon' about him.

    I guess that with the combination of the test pilots being an intensive process (they would have had to be churned out AND been prepared for scrutiny so that changes could be made left, right and centre) and this being such an infantile stage of the show, it wouldn't have been that hard for him to be forgotten. I've been involved in courses or projects before where people drop out in the early days, and towards the end of them there has been a collective strain to even remember those people.

    Interestingly, when Sesame Workshop first put out the call to identify Saunders, one of the 'clues' was that Caroll Spinney didn't know. This barely seems relevant, since he was not in the test pilots and, it appears, was hired by Jim Henson after they had aired in response to the ned for Muppets on the street. This in itself is a testimony to how information innocently goes astray. Factor in the passage of 40+ years, and you can see how he was lost to the times.
  11. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Seems it didn't say if he was still alive or not. Somehow I'm assuming he is, but it's still hard for me to tell from the article (yeah, it says they wouldn't talk about his personal life, which is fine by me, but it'd still be good to know if he was still living).

    It's interesting, his name is Garrett Saudners. Some fans at Muppet Wiki thought the actor might have been Roscoe Lee Brown, who was a cast member on Soap playing a character named Saudners.
  12. CherryPizza

    CherryPizza Active Member

    The way that the article is worded, saying that the details are not being shared out of respect for his family's (not his) privacy, would imply that he is dead or in a bad way.
  13. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Ah, yes. I felt he was quite awkward, especially compared to Matt. I'm guessing he didn't really socialize with the rest of the cast when they were filming those, so I'm guessing that's why they forgot so easily. The only produced a few of these test shows... I wonder how many of them even had original footage, or if they reused a lot of the framing devices. That could be another reason. less studio time, less time to get to know the cast.

    I'd wonder if that meant that they didn't want to track down and interview the family as well about it as well.
  14. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

  15. terrimonster

    terrimonster Active Member

  16. Eaglekiller

    Eaglekiller Member

    When people say, "oh how could they forget who he was?" Let me tell you, I have been at my job for five years and I can't remember most of the people I worked with when I started that have left.
  17. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Apologies for bumping an old thread, but I had to share this. Here's Garrett Saunders singing, and you know what? He's got a really, really nice voice! :sing:

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