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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.

Sesame Street Season 45 Episode 4502 - Bert's Training Wheels

Discussion in 'Season 45' started by Phillip, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member


    I wouldn't worry too much about CGI completely taking over the show. Those backdrops don't look cheap, with all that advanced lighting and texture work. Not ideal for a show that's struggling with budget problems.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
    Phillip likes this.
  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Agreed. But the fact that the CGI backdrop looks that good makes the Giant, flat Bert sliding through Sesame Street look lazy and amateurish. They certainly didn't skimp on that background shot, but it's actually so good it's distracting.
  3. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Well-Known Member

    Really enjoyed this episode but was kinda disappointed in Steve not voicing Ernie knowing that he's doing other things. But like I have read I hope it's not permanent. It's cool to see a new street story with Bert and Ernie. Just love this guys.
  4. beakerboy12

    beakerboy12 Well-Known Member

    Man, I loved this episode. The street story is something I've wanted for a long time coming and it was executed nearly perfect.

    I will say this in regards to the Ernie performer change :p, I honestly barely noticed a difference. I did feel like something was a little off, but overall Billy Barkhurst did a great job in my book!

    Likewise, like @SpinneyBigBird1 said, Eric Jacobson is Bert at this point. Bert was perfectly written for in this episode and, even if he didn't act adult-ish, I think Bert was rightly handled. :(

    Oh, and in regards to CGI backgrounds, I think it was fine. It does seem a little expensive-looking, but, in the end, I think it's something nice Sesame has up their sleeve. Now they have a ready made background for future use, in my opinion.

    I will say this about the episode, though, a good amount of the songs in this I wasn't that in to. Bert's street story song was good, but "Power of Yet" I did not like and the Taye Diggs one was just not that memorable. No offense towards the guest singers.

    The new "Murray Has a Little Lamb" is neat and, I know it's a rerun but, Repair-Monster the Musical was spectacular. Anything that comes from that segment is truly gold.

    With these awesome segments and the letter and numbers of the day, all and all, this episode is one I love 2 much! :) You get it? Wocka Wocka!)
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  5. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    Yeah. I've noticed a difference in the voice at the beginning of the street story, but by the time they got into it the voice did sound more like Steve's. That's why I wasn't sure until I read the forums. I noticed in the ep guide that Ernie does have another street scene this season, so we'll see if it's Steve or Billy there.
  6. Kasey Kockroach

    Kasey Kockroach Well-Known Member

    In regards to Billy as Ernie, I have a feeling that after all the work on MMW, Steve probably wanted a break.

    Yes, Jim made time for both Muppets and Sesame Street. But his devotion came at a price. He was left with barely any time for his family (which would, among other things, deteriorate his marriage).

    So, it's likely that after Muppets Most Wanted, Steve didn't have the energy to fly all the way to New York for one single character. And that's another aspect. Eric Jacobson has Grover and Bert, David Rudman has Cookie Monster and Baby Bear, so on. While Steve just has Ernie.

    I adore Steve Whitmire's Ernie, but I can perfectly understand and accept him being unavailable from time to time. If anything, it's surprising just how often he IS available (with a few live shows, some Play with Me Sesame and this season having been the only exceptions so far in the past 21 years).
    sesamemuppetfan, cahuenga and Drtooth like this.
  7. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    I see what you mean. Since right now, Steve only has one character so he's not needed on the show as much as he used to be. But you can look at it the other way around too, because he only has that one character it shouldn't be hard for him to make it to the set every once in a while. So it sort of goes both ways there. So I guess what they're doing by giving Ernie two pupeteers is the best decision for the time being. Yet I'm still hoping to hear Steve's Ernie is "Ernie's Dance Video" if he's the one performing him for that one. But that's just my opinion. Like other people have said having Billy perform Ernie will give him some more airtime, but like I keep saying, we'll see what happens.
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Regardless of who's playing him, I'm just glad to see that Ernie and Bert can actually be on Sesame Street and not a floating entity of just themselves, mainly for the foreign markets. I still can't fathom why half of the claymation segments were deemed unworthy for American broadcast, especially with such a budget conscious entertainment company like SW. And it seems that whatever Ernie and Bert stuff we did get was already used on or planned for foreign markets. Especially last season's Ernie and Bert story that was far removed from the actual street for cultural ambiguity. You know, the same crap that gives us gibberish writing on signs in cartoons? I HATE that stuff. But that's a tangent.

    Ernie and Bert had the biggest absence of major characters on the show as of late. They're slowly bringing them back where they should be. Meanwhile, Germany abounds in so much Ernie and Bert, it pretty much was one of the factors that chased original German characters off the show. And remember, Ernie and Bert predate any other Muppet on Sesame Street. They predate the show being on national television itself.

    If Ernie needs to be recast, it is kinda sad that Steve's not available, but hopefully this means more American Ernie and Bert segments for an American audience :attitude:. Had to put him there.
  9. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    Yeah. I agree. It's not like when they had the old format or even "Journey to Ernie" where we're guaranteed an E & B (at least Ernie anyway) sketch per episode or a few seasons back when "Great Adventures" was a a regular thing. Now B & E sketches on the show are very rare and having them appear in street scenes is the only way to give those two enough airtime so having someone else play Ernie, (whether this is a permanent recast or if Billy is just an understudy for Steve) is a very good decision. So overall I agree what everyone else is saying here. Just thought I'd put in my two cents.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Even then, we have a LOT of Ernie and Bert bits intended for everywhere else but American Sesame Street. I don't see why they can't use one of those instead of the same parody/celebrity segment twice in one season.
    Phillip likes this.
  11. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    I agree. I still see no reason why they can't replay the classic sketches back when Jim played Ernie. Sure they may be outdated, but replaying those have been part of the show even after they changed the format. If they're hesitant about going that far back, then maybe they should introduce it as a 'back in the day' clip or something like that.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The show doesn't like to rerun anything over 10 years old, period. Whether it's the new HD format, the fact that only older audiences want those skits and can find most of them conveniently on line, or wanting to have a smaller roster of more current clips while retiring others, they just don't. Sure, they had segments from the late 70's right up until about 2003 (mainly one instance of Pinball Number Count and a couple Ernie and Bert sketches), but they've always retired clips if they're old enough. And again, most of them are found online.

    My bigger beef is with currently produced segments made with the international market in mind, but taped here in English before it had to be dubbed (the Ernie and Bert fairy tale songs are made in Germany for Germany and therefore don't count).
  13. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Oh wow, I'm dumb. I thought they played Repair Monster the Musical because it had a bicycle in it. Then I realized the word of the day was "repair." D'oh!
  14. sesamemuppetfan

    sesamemuppetfan Well-Known Member

    OK...after missing this episode every time it came to my TV, I finally found the half hour version on the PBS Kids website last night. But, I will say that I'm pleased that I was warned about Ernie's new voice beforehand- which I finally got to hear yesterday in the Dance Video episode.

    My opinion on the possible new Ernie? Well...how do I put this? It was easy for me to adjust to Ryan's Elmo and Matt's Count (as well as David's Cookie Monster and Eric's Bert and Grover) right there on the spot, but Billy's Ernie is gonna take some time for me to get used to. In both episodes, I couldn't help but wince nearly every time he spoke. I know it sounded rather similar to the voice John Tartaglia used for Ernie in PWMS, but this voice Billy used for Ernie was just...well...I don't even know what to say right now. Before anyone criticizes me for what I'm saying, I just wanna point one thing out: if Steve chooses to stop performing Ernie for life, that's OK. I know that having a new performer for Ernie is better than having no Ernie on the street at all. If Billy eventually becomes the new Ernie performer, I do hope he gets some practice and eventually I'll become immune to the new voice.

    Rant over. Let's get on to the street story. It was absolutely lovely! Though, I'm still a little surprised that Bert was the one not being able to ride his bike without training wheels as he's the older one, but oh well. It's cool that Luis now owns a bike shop. "That's How I Roll" was catchy (both Bert's version and Luis/Ernie's version). Like Weston (SpinneyBigBird1), I not only appreciated Eric having mastered Bert by this point in time, as well as his love for pigeons and paper clips being mentioned, but I really enjoyed seeing several other major characters/humans in the background while Bert was riding his bike near the end; I wish it could happen more often.
  15. MikaelaMuppet

    MikaelaMuppet Well-Known Member

    Is Steve Whitmire still performing Ernie?
  16. sesamemuppetfan

    sesamemuppetfan Well-Known Member

    Well...we don't know for sure. It hasn't been officially established whether Steve will come back or not.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  17. MikaelaMuppet

    MikaelaMuppet Well-Known Member

    I will be heartbroken if Steve leaves Sesame Street.
  18. sesamemuppetfan

    sesamemuppetfan Well-Known Member

    ALL OF US will be heartbroken. But it's probably gonna be for the best- these days, he's been incredibly busy with the Disney Muppets, and like another user pointed out, after Muppets Most Wanted wrapped up production, he more than likely wouldn't have been up to flying up to New York to film at Sesame Street. With Eric, David, and Matt, it was a different story. They have more than one character to perform; Eric has Bert and Grover, David has Baby Bear and Cookie Monster, and Matt has The Count and possibly Big Bird. Steve only has Ernie to perform, so it makes sense that he's not needed so much on the set these days.

    If Steve does leave the show, at least he'll still be performing Kermit, and several other Muppet Show characters- it's not like he'll no longer be performing with the Muppets all together. Fran Brill just retired, and that's a little heartbreaking, even though it was her choice, but that's another story.

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