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SST 40th Anniversary Library Exhibit Project, Coming in September

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by Convincing John, Apr 20, 2010.

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  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Wow. It's great to finally see pictures of the exhibet. A lot of it was different from what I expected. Very good job.
  2. Davina

    Davina Member

    fabulous! wish I lived closer so i could go...
  3. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Sweet sassy molassy! That's amazing! I love it! The pictures, the Baker replica, the everything! I'm sure the MuppetMinsdet would be happy to put this up on their site! Too many exclamation points!
  4. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    Thanks! I can't wait until the websites are up with the background photos/pages. Should be soon, though.

    I really loved working on this! It's fun to watch the people go by and look at everything. There are a lot of people who are only going into college now, so they only now Sesame Street post 1990. They have no idea who the baker is (one of my co-workers thought it was the Swedish Chef) and only have a vague idea of seeing the cartoon drawing of the old guy with the glasses in Big Bird's nest area.

    It was a lot of fun to show another co-worker the Kevin Clash/Elmo picture. I covered up Kevin and said "You see Elmo? Think about Elmo's voice and every time he laughs and dances around."

    "Yeah, I know Elmo. My daughter loves Elmo's World."

    "Well," I uncovered the picture. "That's who performs Elmo. Every time you see and hear Elmo, it's that guy."

    Her eyes went wide and she said "Him?"

    I also have fun telling people how Caroll Spinney is both Big Bird and Oscar. It's fun! We all know who's behind the scenes, but it's great when people learn stuff like that who normally wouldn't see it.

    Convincing John
  5. Davina

    Davina Member

    Is cool that you got to meet Caroll.. closest I've gotten to any sort of connection with any of the muppeting gang is that a friend's mom went to school with Caroll way back when...
  6. zns

    zns Active Member

    Congratulations Convincing John. You have done an outstanding job. But the greatest thing about it is that you got support from Caroll and Debra Spinney. This is something that you should be proud of for the rest of you life.
  7. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    If this exhibet is successful enough, you should try to see if you can do a similar Muppet exhibet!

    But I do have some nitpicky comments:
    • There's one section with four pictures, two on top and two underneath. There's no good enough pictures of this section yet, but it seems to showcase appearances by famous cartoon characters not associated with the show. So we get images from Sesame Street segments with Beetle Bailey, Batman & Robin, The Pink Panther.... And what looks like the Bumble Ardy segment. I know that Bumble Ardy also exists as a book (not sure if the book came first or the Sesame Street segment.... Another animated bit by Maurice Sendak, Seven Monsters, was later adapted into a book). But I would have instead included an image of Superman or Billy Jo Jive (he originated in a series of books before getting his own recurring segments).
    • There's a section on early Muppet monsters who originated on The Ed Sullivan Show and possibly other early Muppet appearances, and you point out that they can be found by name at Muppet Wiki... But "Fred the Dragon" is not the characters official name; That name was used for his Muppet Wiki article at first, but was later chaneged to "Fred (monster)". I checked and "Fred the Dragon" doesn't even redirect to the page anymore (it does show up in search, though).
    • You had a section dealing with the adoption of Miles and the wedding of Maria and Luis, but I think it would have been more appropriate to have included the birth of Gabbi or the adoption of Marco in place of the wedding. Also, did Debbie Spinney really come up with the idea for the wedding as stated there? I thought the wedding idea came because Sonia Manzano became pregnant. I guess the library didn't have copies of The Street We Live On or 20 Years and Still Counting, because those could have been noted when it comes to seeing the adoption and wedding.

    I like how the Two-Headed Monster is represented in the Jerry Nelson and Richard Hunt collages. It's a shame you didn't also put Biff and Sully behind the monster. Still, considering Jerry Nelson performed so many notable characters over the years, it's a shame you didn't fill that whole collage with Nelson's characters (or maybe had The Count say something like "Four characters performed by Jerry Nelson... But there are more!").

    I know you said that you were going to plug Sonia Manzano's books in the exhibet, bit I can't find where they would be plugged. I didn't notice any particular sections where Sonia appeared to get a bio (aside form the four Gordon's I didn't notice any kind of bio on the human cast), and didn't notice covers for non-Sesame children's books (I'm not very familiar with her books at all).

    Also, I didn't know until seeing the thing that Debbie Spinney has the nickname "Little Bird".
  8. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    But I do have some nitpicky comments:

    There's one section with four pictures, two on top and two underneath. There's no good enough pictures of this section yet, but it seems to showcase appearances by famous cartoon characters not associated with the show. So we get images from Sesame Street segments with Beetle Bailey, Batman & Robin, The Pink Panther.... And what looks like the Bumble Ardy segment. I know that Bumble Ardy also exists as a book (not sure if the book came first or the Sesame Street segment.... Another animated bit by Maurice Sendak, Seven Monsters, was later adapted into a book). But I would have instead included an image of Superman or Billy Jo Jive (he originated in a series of books before getting his own recurring segments).

    Billy Jo Jive already appeared in the extra images included in the case's back. Also, I included Batman instead of Superman simply because we have a large collection of Batman graphic novels for our patrons, who check them out all the time. It serves as a connection.

    There's a section on early Muppet monsters who originated on The Ed Sullivan Show and possibly other early Muppet appearances, and you point out that they can be found by name at Muppet Wiki... But "Fred the Dragon" is not the characters official name; That name was used for his Muppet Wiki article at first, but was later chaneged to "Fred (monster)". I checked and "Fred the Dragon" doesn't even redirect to the page anymore (it does show up in search, though).

    I tried Fred (monster) typed just like that, but it didn't look right when being presented. Also typing in "Fred" looks incomplete. "Fred Monster" is not the character's official name. Since the character was only seen briefly (and only altered for the one Sesame sketch) typing in "Fred the Dragon" is not only more of a complete name, but also refers back to his roots on Ed Sullivan. The actual web page for patrons will lead them to Fred's link if they want to know more about him. I think with the lack of Fred coverage there is nowadays, Fred would be pleased he is mentioned at all.

    You had a section dealing with the adoption of Miles and the wedding of Maria and Luis, but I think it would have been more appropriate to have included the birth of Gabbi or the adoption of Marco in place of the wedding. Also, did Debbie Spinney really come up with the idea for the wedding as stated there? I thought the wedding idea came because Sonia Manzano became pregnant. I guess the library didn't have copies of The Street We Live On or 20 Years and Still Counting, because those could have been noted when it comes to seeing the adoption and wedding.

    Well, I chose both of those ideas simply because they both originated from Debi Spinney. Yes, Sonia was pregnant, but the idea for them to be married was Debi's. So was Miles's adoption. Caroll told me himself. He said the writers expanded on Debi's basic ideas, then wrote the scripts. Orman's son, the first Miles was on the set a few times as a baby and that gave her the idea. So there you go, straight from the horse's...er, bird's mouth.


    I like how the Two-Headed Monster is represented in the Jerry Nelson and Richard Hunt collages. It's a shame you didn't also put Biff and Sully behind the monster. Still, considering Jerry Nelson performed so many notable characters over the years, it's a shame you didn't fill that whole collage with Nelson's characters (or maybe had The Count say something like "Four characters performed by Jerry Nelson... But there are more!").

    Most of the Muppeteers from the old days played so many characters, to include them all would make a huge collage, too many so that they would cover up the other information and facts. Adding "but there are more" for the Count could apply to many of the Muppeteers. Biff and Sully appear on the back of the exhibit cases. True, they were a great Jerry/Richard pairing, but since they were paired up so much, why not have the most linked character of all on the Street?

    I know you said that you were going to plug Sonia Manzano's books in the exhibet, bit I can't find where they would be plugged. I didn't notice any particular sections where Sonia appeared to get a bio (aside form the four Gordon's I didn't notice any kind of bio on the human cast), and didn't notice covers for non-Sesame children's books (I'm not very familiar with her books at all).

    Her information is included in a page called "Beyond the Street", which showcases non-Sesame works in our collection done by Sesame-related people (soon to be a webpage, but is displayed just above the "Veggie Monster Rumor" page). No, there is no bios for the human cast. The four Gordons only are mentioned because he is the only major human character to be replaced (and all 4 appear as Gordon in the DVDs patrons can check out).

    Also, I didn't know until seeing the thing that Debbie Spinney has the nickname "Little Bird".

    Yep, that's Caroll's nickname for her! (He told me that, too).

    Again, as with any project, there is only so much time and so much space one can use. So, there is no room or time for things like in-depth bios on Arlene Frantic or Leslie Mostly. You get what you get. If you want to make your own exhibit, you are certainly welcome to. When you do make something that takes this amount of research and effort, you can always expect nitpicking from those who aren't satisfied. Oh well, You can't please everyone.


    Convincing John
  9. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    Thank you! It was truly the best part of the exhibit! They looked at my research and were quite impressed! They both loved the drawing of Mr. Looper, I mean Hooper. :)

    Convincing John
  10. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I must say, my favorite parts of the exhibet are the "People in Your Neighborhood" section, the baker display (it almost looks like an an honorary Palisades Toys figure and playset), the section on monsters who originated on The Ed Sullivan Show, the storyboards (I don't ever remember seeing those segments), and the big picture of Oscar and Bruno from Follow That Bird.

    As far as I know that was the first live action photo of Debi Spinney I've seen. Only other photos I remember seeing were the illustrations in Caroll Spinney's book.

    I know that sheet music for the theme song was there, but did you also put in sheet music for other songs? Because that looked like a lot of pages of sheet music for just one song.

    I know you had said how big the cabnets are, but I was still surprised by how tall and wide they are.
  11. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    I must say, my favorite parts of the exhibet are the "People in Your Neighborhood" section, the baker display (it almost looks like an an honorary Palisades Toys figure and playset), the section on monsters who originated on The Ed Sullivan Show, the storyboards (I don't ever remember seeing those segments), and the big picture of Oscar and Bruno from Follow That Bird.

    A Palisades figure of the Baker...oh man, wouldn't that've been sweet if they had made one?

    The storyboards...let's see, the first one is "Story of L". It has the phrase "Never Leap on A Lying Leopard" at the end. it's on Youtube here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59AF0JBdz-0

    The other one I have never seen, just read about. According to the storyboard, it's called "N for Naughty and Nice". Both clips are by Fred Calvert.

    As far as I know that was the first live action photo of Debi Spinney I've seen. Only other photos I remember seeing were the illustrations in Caroll Spinney's book.

    There might be more out there, but I can tell you for a fact that photo's not from any book, article or any other commercial item. Y'know how I know? I took that photo! They were nice enough to let me do that. (Nice picture, eh?)

    I know that sheet music for the theme song was there, but did you also put in sheet music for other songs? Because that looked like a lot of pages of sheet music for just one song.

    Yep, just the theme song. It didn't matter that it was repeated, though. (My boss liked it, so I stuck with it). I liked it because it was photocopied from Sesame Street Unpaved, which was photocopied from the real deal (which IMHO should be on permanent display at the Smithsonian).

    I know you had said how big the cabnets are, but I was still surprised by how tall and wide they are.

    Yeah, they're pretty big. About...45 inches long and 34 inches tall if I remember right.

    Convincing John
  12. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    It's online!

    The exhibit is now online for everyone to see! More about it will be on the Muppet Mindset very soon, but this is the website for it that my boss put together:

    http://www.library.illinois.edu/ugl/exhibits/sesame/index.html

    FYI, some of the links are still under construction and need some fixing, but everything should run smoothly here in a couple of days.

    Convincing John
  13. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I prefer seeing the images on this site over the previous site. It's great to see close-ups of things that didn't have close-ups previously.

    By coincidence, yesterday I was thinking about that section with four animated segments (Typewriter, Computer #10, Pixar lamps, and King of 8) and started wondering if that section had to do with the show's different animation styles... And then I saw that it was in fact about the different kinds of animation (though I would have put in some kind of clay animation over The King of 8, though I guess clay and stop-motion are more-or-less the same thing).

    I noticed a few instances where you referred to "40 Years of Sunny Days Vol. 1 & 2" as opposed to discs 1 & 2. I guess they are available seperately at the library... But if only there actually WERE two seperate volumes in existience! It would be cool if they released a second volume at the end of the anniversary, with a "Season 41 Sneak Peek". (If Sesame Workshop/Warner Bros. is reading this and gets any ideas, I'd like it to include most of the stuff pictured that didn't make it into the existing volume!)

    I still question the logic of including Bumble Ardy with other familair children's characters... As far as I know he was only in one book, and I don't have any memory of the book or sketch before I saw it on Old School Volume 2. I guess it makes sense if the library has a copy of the book.

    Interesting fact about Bumble Ardy not mentioned in the exhibet: The segment was a collaboration between Maurice Sendak and Jim Henson! A year ago somebody contacted Karen Falk about Jim Henson's invovlement in the Number Three Ball Film, and she sent a response, where she mentioned that Henson collarborated with Sendak on that source. The message was copied at http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Number_Three_Ball_Film I don't blame you if you didn't know that, as that's the only official source I know of that mentions it (the 40th anniversary book doesn't mention Henson's invovlement with the segment, and it doesn't show up in a search for "Henson" at sesamestreet.org, though all of Henson's other films that are available there do show up when typing "Henson" in the search).

    I enjoyed looking at the sections on celebrities and pop culture references. I didn't notice before that there was a section on the hawaii episodes. One thing that I noticed is that in a number of different sections there seems to be one segment not available on DVD while the other moments pictured are on DVD (though there are some where pretty much all pictured segments aren't on any commercial DVDs, like the one on monsters from The Ed Sullivan Show and the cultural trends).

    Anyway, once again, good job!


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