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Rumor: Big Bird only in four Season 41 episodes

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by SSLFan, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    Just FYI, I heard a while ago that Caroll doesn't get online much (or maybe he was having trouble with his computer?), so it wouldn't be a bad idea to print this thread out and snail mail it to him...or if you can call him, read it to him over the phone. However you can work it out, just get the info to him (and Joey).

    I stand what I said before, if Joey has trouble writing for the bird, he can ask for help. Have conferences with Caroll, talk with the other writers (don't forget to ask Sonia Manzano), look through the archives and see what Stone and Stiles did. Study the material already established and build on it. Everyone can put their heads together and cooperate. It works on the street, so it can work off the street, too.

    We all love Big Bird. We NEED Big Bird. Sesame Street without Big Bird is like Kermit without his collar.

    Convincing John
  2. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Well-Known Member

    I don't pay attention too much to Sesame Street, but if one of the head writers is saying he is having problems writing in Big Bird, then that's just another way of saying "I don't care much for Big Bird anymore".

    The writers do have resources at their disposal to use, they probably don't care at this point if all they show is Elmo and the new character Abby.
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Joey Mazzarino may be the current head writer, but I doubt he's the only writer. Couldn't a different writer write some Big Bird scripts instead?

    It's probably too late for next season, but I think that they should give either Big Bird or Oscar their own recurring segment in season 42.
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I just realized something.

    It may say that based on a rumor that Big Bird is only in 4 episodes, but do we know for a fact Oscar isn't going to be in a larger handful of them too? Seems like kids REALLY like him. I'm seeing more and more kid's stuff with Oscar on it... books, toys... we might just make up for it in Oscars you know...

    I love Big Bird and all, but Oscar.... dude's my guru!
  5. zns

    zns Well-Known Member

    And of course, a lot of people seem to be forgeting the Workshop's true mission. To create a better world for their preschool audience, as well as adults. God bless them all.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It would be a big long thread for me to completely go on about that, so I'll cut it short. I think SW still does a great job, and any changes to the show aren't the show's fault and unfortunately necessary for them to compete with REAL crap that doesn't have an iota of heart or brain to it. There's some stuff I completely don't get and don't see, though. But most of the things that were weak were changed back over the course of the last 10 years. Only time will tell if any recent changes will be permanent, and I highly doubt it. The only change that we've had consistent was Elmo's World... and that unfortunately won't change soon, even though the producers have been hinting that they want out.

    That said, I still think if writing is to blame, it's all about comfort zones. Some characters you feel extremely comfortable with, and you'll wind up choosing those characters over others. And it's the same thing for ANY thing that requires a group of writers. Why other writers didn't write more Big Bird scenes or why Carol himself didn't give any input is beyond any of us, and I just think that maybe... MAYBE a lot of this has to do with the layoffs and budget cuts they're still facing. Again, I want someone GOOD to run PBS. Not some hand picked political politicking.

    But whatever the reason, it DOES stink, and I'm sure they push for Abby and Elmo anyway. And I really think Abby works BEST if she's organically in a storyline, not just forced (the way Elmo is like 80% of the time). But we ARE getting a lot of stories featuring characters who haven't had street stories in YEARS. Bert's at least got one... when was the last time we saw Bert in a Street Story? at least 4 years? 5 maybe?
  7. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    If the problem with including a lot of Big Bird is writing for him, then I wonder if Caroll Spinney could get promoted to writer. He's had experience, as he had written his Rascal Rabbit series (though he ran out of ideas after a few episodes) and wrote the story for Big Bird in China (though he was uncredited as writer).

    Or maybe they could let Big Bird have unscripted interactions with children. Maybe even have him come out to the real world and interact with real people (like they do with Murray).
  8. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    How can they have a problem writing for Big Bird but they can still write for other characters? I can't agree to that scenario. If they can't write for Big Bird, then they need to hire some of us and we'll do the writing, they can fit that in with the educational programming.
  9. SSLFan

    SSLFan Well-Known Member

    You know, deep down inside I actually figured that something like that was going on. Joey's a great writer & all, but if you can't write for Big Bird, who pretty much was SS's main "go to" character for much of the show's history up until now, then maybe you should reconsider your position as the head writer. Yeah yeah yeah, we are not the main focus of the show & kids love Elmo, but Big Bird is special, and I'm sure many of you would agree, even if he is not one of your favorite SS Muppets. As someone mentioned, Big Bird IS Sesame Street, and he shouldn't just be reduced to ONLY 4 episodes in a single season. That's just absurd.

    This REALLY doesn't sit well with me, it makes you wonder what exactly IS the bird's future on the street. I mean seriously, who'd ever think we'd be here discussing if SW was trying to phase out Big Bird? Of ALL characters, Big Bird?
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I don't think they're purposely try to get rid of the Bird at all... that would be a LARGE hole in the series right there... Elmo or no Elmo. Kids know Big Bird would be gone. They're not that mesmerized by the red one.

    Writers have unfortunate weaknesses... even the best of the best. Sometimes they just have to go into their comfort zones, and certain characters just get pushed into the back. Why do you think Meg gets so much abuse on Family Guy? The writers don't know what else to do with her.

    And if there IS something going down, there are so many theories we can speculate. Maybe Matt's too busy with Jerry's characters and appearances and virals for the other Muppets to be the understudy. Maybe the suit's getting less ware because of the fact it costs a lot to maintain. Maybe, and this is what I'm thinking, it's all a big oversight, and they just managed to write more of other characters before they realized Big Bird wasn't really used much. I dunno.
  11. ISNorden

    ISNorden Well-Known Member

    For Pete's (or Jim's, or Caroll's) sake...

    Count me in with the long-time viewers who want Big Bird kept on Sesame Street! He's been around since Episode 1; he's seen a good chunk of the outside world; he's taught at least two generations of preschoolers more than all the other Muppets combined. Even though Elmo may appeal more to the pre-K audience, Big Bird has spent 40 years evolving into the bright older child showing younger ones what they need to know. Sesame Street needs a character in that role, a role that comes only with experience. If another Muppeteer needs to perform him eventually, that's not the end of the world; Bert and Ernie have survived a change in performers, and so has Cookie Monster. If Joey Mazzarino doesn't like writing for Big Bird, let Sesame Workshop find a talented writer who does want to create new material. Big Bird doesn't deserve to be thrown on the trash heap like Roosevelt Franklin, Lulu, or Aristotle: he's too iconic a character to ignore completely.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I think we're being a LITTLE nasty here.

    Every writer has strengths and weaknesses, even Shakespeare and Poe

    The lack of Big Bird seems to come from an odd comfort zone, and I just somehow think they didn't realize that he was in so little episodes until they shot them. It is easier to write for broad, loud, characters with big personality flaws than it is to write for someone as deceivingly complex like Big Bird or Kermit.

    I'll put it this way. Let's say you're writing for Tiny Toons (first thing that popped into my head) and you can write Buster and Babs sketches, but you're more comfortable with Plucky Duck stories. Now, let's say there's no character per season quota... you'd submit a LOT more Plucky cartoon scripts than any other character, even if you tried to be balanced. Comfort zones.

    And remember, this IS a TV show, for every script that gets produced, there's several that don't and even more story ideas that aren't completable. Not to mention the edits for time. Who's to say Big Bird wasn't just cut out of a bunch of episodes for time constraints? Weren't we supposed to have Super Grover at The Count's Counting booth at one point this season? It happens.

    And of course my other theory... Carol needs Matt to understudy the bird in some cases... but Matt has more characters both on Sesame Street and The Muppets... who's to say the fact that he's busy isn't a small part of what's happening too? Again, we don't know how many Oscar episodes there are. Maybe Carol's just a little busier with him. There's a lot to this budget cutting we don't know about. Maybe more segments have to have lesser takes and have to be produced faster.

    That said, if they actually WERE trying to phase out the bird (something I find totally ridiculous), then I'd be upset. You'd get the impression they were trying to get rid of Ernie and Bert (and a lot of others) this current season, due to the lack of new footage. But I highly doubt it. The Bird is worth TOO much to them to get rid of. Even Kermit was in Muppets Tonight, even though he wasn't the host.
  13. zns

    zns Well-Known Member

    I agree with everything you are saying. But let's be realistic. Sesame Workshop will never really get rid of Big Bird, or Bert and Ernie either. They are still well loved for who they are and they represent great role models for children besides Elmo. What needs to be said though is that the writers and producers are doing their best to make sure that the show works for their target audience.

    But once again, I am sure that Big Bird will never be taken off of Sesame Street. As I recall, at the 2009 Daytime Emmys, one of the red carpet interviewers, whose name I forget, said that Big Bird is the bomb. Big Bird was also the only character featured in the programs opening theme song. He is also the only Muppet, besides Kermit, to have a star on the walk of fame. What's more, both Big Bird and Caroll are the only people from Sesame Street to be considered a living legend from the Library of Congress, and Caroll is the only performer to have a Lifetime Achievement Award, ahead of the rest of the show.

    So don't forget, just because another character or two gets more airtime, doesn't mean that the ones we also love have been forgotten. I am positive that even when Caroll is gone, which thankfully doesn't look like anytime soon, Matyt Vogal will continue to pick up where he left off.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    He's too iconic. That's exactly the point. If they actually, purposely tried to get rid of Big Bird, there would be a massive writing campaign to get him back. Even if there was some sinister plot against Carol for some reason (some sort of health insurance thing?) we still have at least one other person who performs him.

    Elmo or no Elmo, there's no need to worry. They aren't going to phase him out. This isn't 2001-2008 Disney that tried to phase out Mickey and co. The Bird's safe.
  15. Mupp

    Mupp Well-Known Member

    Speaking of which, these days Disney seems to be trying to make Mickey popular again (not just a corporate symbol). They are trying to bring back "mischievous" Mickey, as evident with the "Epic Mickey" video game, and not have him be such a boring goody-two-shoes.
    They also have "short" and "full" versions of some classic Mickey and friends cartoons online. (The short versions are re-recorded with the current voice actors and somewhat different music.)

    But yeah, I agree that they are NOT going to get rid of Big Bird. He is classic. They know that people would throw a fit if they ever got rid of Big Big.

    For the same reason that they made sure to keep cookies in Cookie Monster's diet. (And not to get rid of him)
    And yet some fools still think that the "veggie monster" exists.
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Well, there's a long post I could go into about Mickey. I used to really hate Iger, but now I know what he's been planning, and I recind all my anger towards him. Sure, I don't like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse's tone or Dora model of education... but it got Mickey, Goofy and Donald right back out there after Eisner put them all in a closet so they could stiffly market Winne the Pooh and Dalmatians. As for Mickey himself... the problem was that he was pretty dull in most of his older cartoons... sure there were some pretty good ones... but Donald and Goofy shorts were just better in every way possible. Even during Walt's day they pushed the Mouse aside to make more Donald shorts. But I think a lot of the stuff we've seen since the 80's, and especially the 90's-2000 or so era was gold, doing better than Walt himself ever did. I still say we lost the best Mickey we've ever had with Wayne Alwine (sp?)... he really gave the character personality.

    The whole group was pushed aside until that kid's show I mentioned... and it seems that's just the kick in the red shorts they needed. Shame they haven't made another Three Musketeers or House of Mouse yet... but we just might get that in time.

    I still say "veggie Monster" was a PR stunt gone horribly wrong when they were trying to save face from having McD's as a sponsor... no one complained about Zyrtek or Spaghetti-o's (which was a full freaking commercial :batty: no kidding). But that's another story. Heck, when they changed the Fix it Shop to the Mail it Shop, they managed to change it back. No way are they gonna give the Bird the bird. They KNOW that the fans will be VERY angry about it. A trillion times more than anything Elmo has done or had done to him.
  17. Mupp

    Mupp Well-Known Member

    That's true, and Walt always called Donald "The Gable of our stable."
    Donald and Goofy always had the best cartoons.

    Yes. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is great to get the young kids interested in Mickey and friends, but I would love to see another project like House of Mouse.
    I will say that Iger does seem to have more of a vision than Eisner.
  18. ISNorden

    ISNorden Well-Known Member

    The Veggie Monster rumors are alive and well on YouTube, judging by the comments I see on every other Sesame Street clip. Still, it seems that great minds think alike: Sesame Street has taught about nutrition for years, since parental complaints about Cookie Monster's influence go further back than most fans realize. But the lessons turned a lot preachier and more heavy-handed after Sesame Street started accepting funds from McDonald's. Once PNC (a bank) took over as the main corporate funder, the nutrition lessons went back to their normal level--coincidence? I don't think so! :rolleyes:

    Your comparison with the Fix-It Shop hit the nail on the head (no pun intended); even when the old shop location became a laundromat two years ago, the writers were careful to imply that Maria and Luis had moved their Fix-It Shop somewhere else on the street. They couldn't risk hearing more fan protests or losing those toaster-repair gags, after all... :)

    Back to Big Bird, though: I agree that fans of all ages would protest if he were retired from the show. Even the pre-kindergartners are used to seeing him there, especially when the recent seasons imply that he's a long-time resident and a friend to the newer characters. A die-hard Elmo or Zoe fan wouldn't want to see his favorite character lose an old friend, right? :wisdom:
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Well, to be clear, McD's sponsored the show at least 1-3 seasons before the Veggie Monster mess. And that was indeed nothing more than PR. Of course, the real outrage is that SS has to even run these commercials before and after the show every day. But the same health nuts who rally against this sort of thing have tight purses and wallets when it comes time for pledge month. And a Bank... really? That's a LOT safer than advertising junk food... advertising bank conglomerates... yeah... they'd never do anything to hurt us :rolleyes:... sorry... I need to vent.

    Anyway, I always sort of agreed with the Mail it Shop thing, even though it was kinda disappointing. It was a sign of the times... if it's broke, toss it away. There'll always be more, that's what more means. You're buying stuff there's no way you can afford, and once it breaks down, buy another one and toss it out while you're still paying it off! It's a coincidental commentary on our society that they changed it back to the Fix it shop just when things were bottoming out from that mindset. Money's only valuable when you have none. but it WAS a staple of the series, other than the fact incompetence and greed made repair shops irrelevant culturally. Hence the Mail it Shop, which was supposed to be like Mail box Inc (or whatever it was) that was sort of popping up everywhere in that period too. hey! As long as Hooper's doesn't become a Starbucks... or WORSE! one of those places that charges 10 bucks for an over-rated cupcake.
  20. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    Yeah. Joey should figure out someway to work BB into the show more. After all he's been the star since the show began. I agree that there is too much focus on the other other characters like Elmo and Abby. They should maybe give BB his own segment or at least play earlier sketches with him or something.

    I've been wondering about that one as well. After all, though the FIS has been seen on the street, we haven't really seen Maria and Luis work there in the past couple seasons. They should write that into more eps. In fact, they could have used the Fix-It Shop in the 'Inspected by 4' episode. They were worried about the guy closing down Hooper's and the Laundromat, but there was no mention of the Fix-It Shop. The next thing on the list was the letter R! Anyway, I know I'm getting off the Big Bird topic, but I thought I'd point that out. I'll stop here.

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