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Ruth Buzzi comments on SST from Laugh In interview

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by dwmckim, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Am going through a very severe depression today so i dug out my Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In dvds (one of my all time fave shows) and have been watching them to try to make myself feel better and among the bonus features is an interview with Ruth Buzzi. Throughout the 20-30 minute interview, she talks about how the production values on L-I were the highest out of any show she had worked on. This comes up again as she mentions her experience working on SST compared with L-I:

    "The Sesame Street show - it was interesting being on Sesame Street in comparison with Laugh In because Sesame Street -let's face it, that's a big hit show that had been very powerful but it was still more fun being on Laugh In because on Sesame Street, they don't understand the importance of rehearsals and as good as the show was, if they had really rehearsals for all the sketches and everything, those things could have been even far better, you know what I'm saying? Even if you were in a production number, in your apartment you would get a tape with what key you were going to sing it in and that's it - you practice with a tape alone at home, you don't go in and work with a piano player - it takes a lot of the fun out of everything. And then on the day you're going to tape that number, you go in and do the number - ba ba dup ba da da dup, folks! Do you know what I'm saying? Whole different thing! Wonderful people, smart people - incredible writers, incredible music, incredible songs - that's why I loved doing the show but the whole thing was lost with very little rehearsal."

    Thought some people might find this behind the scenes glimpse of what the behind the scenes production was like during that time. Of course, when Ruth was on, they were doing more shows a season, so the process may have changed a bit since.
  2. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Active Member

    I think there are a lot of great qualities in SS that don't exist with other shows, such as one friend of mine once pointed out that the photographers really know how to shoot a scene to make the Muppets really stand out and look good. Lighting is awesome, too; but, I think Ruth is right--there's something missing in the performances. I don't know if it's because they aren't all buddy-buddy the way they were in the 'Jim' days and worked a whole lot, or if it's the lack of work or shows. Also, I guess they don't have to pay the actors to practice at home with a tape, do they?

    I always felt there is a lot more SS could do with the show that somehow they are missing out on (these days). Not sure what it is right off the top of my head, but it does seem that there is distance between the characters somehow...even when the characters are supposed to be best friends.
  3. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    A lot of shows, whether they're from forty years ago, or even today, don't have a lot of rehearsal processes, mainly because it's just too time consuming, especially if you're shooting on a rigorous schedule.

    The next best thing you're going to get to a rehearsal on a TV show is what's called a "Runthrough", where basically, all the actors get together in one spot, read through the scene they're about to shoot, then they'll start shooting with the director calling the shots, obviously. If two or three takes are needed, that's how it goes, but there's just not a lot of time allowed for full rehearsals on a lot of shows.

    Otherwise, you're looking at like thirteen and forteen hour workdays.


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