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The first 25 years

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by BooberFraggless, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. BooberFraggless

    BooberFraggless New Member

    Through the first 25 years, Sesame Street has changed in many ways. Each year brought a new change, some were big changes, some were minor and hardly noticeable.

    1969: The show premires

    1970: Oscar is Green, Cookie and Grover have names

    1971: Big Bird meets Snuffy, 6 new humans join the show.

    1972: Snuffy's eyes go from yellow to white, 3 of the 6 humans introduced the year before are gone Molly the mail Lady, Rafeal and Tom. David takes Tom's place and starts working at Hooper's Store

    1973: Biff and Sully make their premire, Don Music makes his premire.

    1974: Roscoe Orman joins the cast as Gordon.

    1975: Gladys The Cow makes her debut.

    1976: The episode number is now shown at the beggining of each show. Olivia and Buffy join the human cast.

    1977: Linda joins the cast full time.

    1978: Barkley makes his debut. Brian Meehl becomes a Muppeteer performing Barkley and anything Muppets like the letter X in the Mystery letter show.

    1979: Telly makes his debut as the Television Monster, The Fix it Shop gets rebuilt, and Bruno makes his debut.

    1980: Forgetful Jones makes his debut. Deena and Peal join the show as short lived female Monsters. Maria becomes Luis's partner at the Fix it Shop. Frank Oz and Jim Henson's charachters stop appearing in the main storylines and are only seen in off the street sketches.

    1981: Richard Hunt takes over Forgetful Jone's voice.

    1982: Big Bird gets a new look, Grungetta joins the show as Oscar's Girlfriend. Dr. Nobel Price joins the show.

    1983: Mr. Hooper dies, The show no longer shows the cast holding up the CTW sign at the end. Shelly turtle makes his debut.

    1984: Brian Meehl leaves the show and Marty Robbinson takes over Telly, while Pam Arcerio takes over Grungetta, and Kevin Clash takes over Dr. Nobel Price. Uncle Wally joins the human cast

    1985: Elmo joins the show as a full time cast member, Snuffy is finally seen by all the adults.

    1986: Leo the Party Monster makes his debut, Gina joins the human cast as a teenage girl who is a student of Gordons.

    1987: Maria and Luis fall in Love, Snuffy's little sister Alice joins the show, Gina starts working at Hooper's Store.

    1988: Maria and Luis get married, Olivia leaves the show, The colored Barrells in Big Bird's nest area are gone. They start having teen numbers as numbers of the day and not just 1-12 and 20.

    1989: Maria gives Birth to Gabi, Preston Rabbit makes his debut, Mr. Handford takes David's place at the store.

    1990: Jim Henson died. No new Ernie material is shown, another actor takes over Mr. Handford's role. Lillian joins the show.

    1991: Baby Bear and Rosita make their debuts, Savion joins the show.

    1992: The Classic theme is replaced with a new one. Uncle Wally leaves the show.

    1993: The show expands and goes around the corner. They switch to a new set with brighter colors. New Music replaces the classic Harmonica music. Lillian is gone, but a lot of new humans are there like angela and Jamal, Celina, Ruthie, and a new orange female Monster named Zoe. Steve Whitmire takes over as the "New Ernie"
  2. MuppetDude

    MuppetDude Active Member

    What about the following years? Could you please add onto the list? It's very interesting. :halo:
  3. BooberFraggless

    BooberFraggless New Member

    Sorry, but I stopped watching the show religiously in 1994. Now I only check up on the show every once in a while. Heck Iv'e only seen a handful of shows since the format change alone. But mabye somebody else who knows about the show from 1994-2005 can fill in those gaps.
  4. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member


    I would like to make some corrections.

    I thought that Bruno made his first appearance in 1978 and Deena and Pearl made their debuts in 1979 (of course, Karen Prells website mentioned that she performed on the show from 1980-1981, while an interview with her said that she joined the cast in 1979).

    Also, while Elmo joined the casty full-time in 1985, he first appeared in 1979.

    a few changes not mentioned:

    1970: Big Bird get's smarter, more feathers on his head, and doesn't sound like a hillbilly, Grover becomes blue, the show starts teaching kids to count up to 20 (first season only taught as high as 10), Herbert Birdsfoot, Farley, Prarie dawn, Herry Monster, and Sherlock hemlock all make their debuts.

    1972: Hal Miller takes over as Gordon, The Count makes his debut.

    And to add on past 1993 (I can't think of any changes for 1994 or 1996):

    1995: Savion leaves.

    1997: Slimey takes a trip to the moon.

    1998: Mr. Hanford leaves, Alan takes over Hooper's Store, the front of Hooper's Store changes, the Around The Corner area is no longer used, Celina, Carlo, and Ruthie leave the cast (although Ruthie is still credited), a new 15 minute segment, Elmo's World, is introduced, quite a few characters (Biff, Sully, Guy Smiley, Sherlock hemlock, Grungetta, and even Kermit) start to appear less frequently, even in old segments, Gina studies to be a vet, Ernie starts appearing on the street more regularly.

    1999: Mr. Noodles brother, Mr. Noodle, is introduced in Elmo's World, I think Elmo's World adds a sequence where Elmo get's E-mail (and loses the sequence where Elmo shows a video he made).

    2000: Matt Vogel starts performing Big Bird occassionally.

    2001: The doors to Big Bird's nest area get changed (because of a hurricane), Eric Jacopson starts performing Bert and Grover while David Rudman starts performing Cookie Monster (consequently resulting in them appearing on the street on a regular basis again), Herry Monster starts to appear less.

    2002: Jim Henson is no longewr credited, the fix-it shop becomes a mail-it shop, Lisa barnhard takes over as Gladys The Cow and Mama Bear, Zoe starts wearing a tutu as her regular outfit, the show is now structured in the following way: an introduction by Big Bird, monster time (Monster Clubhouse in every other episode, a monster sketch otherwise), Number of The Day, a street plot, Journey To Ernie, Hero Guy (in every other episode), Letter of The Day, Spanish Word of The Day, and Elmo's World.

    2003: Journey To Ernie changes: instead of Ernie hiding in a box and three clips being shown during the skit, Ernie now hides in a variety of locations, the Ernie skit is shown afterwards, the two-headed monster makes a cameo, and Big Bird and Ernie sing a song when Ernie is found, Monster Clubhouse is gone, the show is now structured like this: Street plot, number of the day, journey to ernie, a song that has to do with the street story, Letter of The day, Global Grover, Global Thingy, Spanish Word of The day, Elmo's World.

    2004: The show is structured in this way: street plot, letter of the day, Journey To Ernie, spanish word of the day, Global Grover, global Thingy (sometimes), Number of The day, Elmo's World, Trash Gordon.

    2005: the show is structured in this way: street plot, letter of the day, journey to ernie (not in every episode), spanish word of the day, Global Grover, Number of The day, Elmo's World, Trash Gordonb, some Number of The day segments (for numbers 1-10) are a remake of the baker film openings.
  5. gutchman

    gutchman New Member

    Telly does everything Bob does

    ssetta, which episode number and season number was the Sesame Street episode "Telly Does everything Bob does"? I know it was aired in season 24 (episode 3031) as a repeat, but which season aired it originally?
  6. ssetta

    ssetta Active Member

    Season 22, show 2796.
  7. superboober

    superboober Member

    Also in 1992, I believe, Mr. McIntosh leaves the show.
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The Demise didn't happen until 1998 when Elmo became feverishly popular as a kid's toy, leading to his own segment. And the other would be that line of Bull about kid's needing structure.
  9. SesameMike

    SesameMike Member

    A few changes from the first seven years:

    First season: Buddy and Jim

    Second season: replaced by Larry and Phyllis
    Also: a bend put in the street, with the arbor area

    Third season: replaced by Wally and Ralph (which was more similar to the first pair than the second pair.)

    Not sure on the seasons for these changes:
    -- Ernie changing shirts. Bert seemed to be modified subtly, became less "stern" in appearance
    -- E+B getting a bathroom in their place (formerly the bathtub was in the living room!)
    -- opening sequence videotaped rather than filmed. I think the switch to videotape was when Big Bird first appeared amongst the kids in the sequence
    -- mailbox painted all blue
    -- subtle variations in appearance and positioning of Oscar's can
    -- Herry trading in a blue nose for a purple one
    -- rise and fall of SAM the machine
    -- And of course the "Friday" closing credits background was modified almost (if not) every season

    It seems like in the earliest days we saw the inside of the 1-2-3 building a lot. Upstairs, on the adults' floors, that is.

    Another change in those years that I've never seen mentioned here: variations on "One of these things"

    Version 1: "One of these things just doesn't belong" also sometimes included "did you guess real hard, with all your might"

    Version 2: "Three of these things are kind of the same" "now it's time to play our game" The melody was considerably different, more jazzy.

    Version 3: Reverted back to the first melody, mostly, but changed the words and there was now no interlude between musical strains; they sang only once through and then the music stopped. My least favorite of the three, the song went:

    "One of these things is not like the others
    Which one is different, do you know
    Tell me which thing is not like the others
    And I'll tell you if it is so"
  10. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    The demise is an opinion question. I did see the changing of the theme song has a huge turning point (and warning sign, heh).
  11. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Exactly. Demise is a harsh word. the changes that really messed around with the show, IMO:

    • The passings of Jim Henson, Joe Raposo, Richard Hunt, as well as Jon Stone in a short ammount of time.
    • The addition of Elmo's World in 98
    • The addition of structural segments (which they seem to be taking down now) in season 33 or so.

    That really seems like one of their experiments they tried that didn't seem to work. Personally, I really don't miss them at all. I don't know the reason they were added or the reason they were taken away, but it seems that when more regular muppets were added to the show, and recurring Muppet segments were developing, there was less room for humans doing sitcom-y type jokes like that. I do admit, from what I've seen of Buddy and Jim, it's kinda funny. But it almost seems like it should be in another show.
  12. PinballStewie

    PinballStewie New Member

    SS's "demise" (in my opinion)

    The true "demise" of Sesame Street for me would be the '90s. 1990 is when it started since that's when Jim Henson and (I think) Joe Raposo died, though some of the number segments from that year were pretty cool like the one where numbers turn into animals (starting with # 1 holding an umbrella and ending with # 20 as a swan-type thing standing next to what appears to be an anthropomorphic pool).

    '91 on up, though, is when things REALLY went downhill. Elmo's introduction in '85 wasn't bothersome since Kevin Clash performed so many other great characters (esp. Hoots the Owl!) and since Elmo was the only Muppet that "acted his age" (a 3-year-old that acted like a 3-year-old; IMHO even Big Bird didn't really "act his age") at the time. The introduction of more Muppets of Elmo's ilk (Rosita, Baby Bear, Zoe, etc.) was what I found disappointing. At least in the early to mid-'90s they still had a love of rock music since they parodied Spin Doctors, Pearl Jam, and Counting Crows (and The Police!), and since segments like "Wet Paint" were still airing. By the late-'90s, though, it just kept going down; "Elmo's World" debuted and there was (regularly) only one letter and number per day. By the 2000's... well it just wasn't ever the same again; Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson had both quit performing :( and the original quirky, random, and (initially) "Laugh-In" inspired show SS once was seemed to be turned into a structured, predictable, and not-so-quirky show. With all the PC-ness in SS now, I'm surprised the Bellhop segments are still airing since the bellhop gets maimed or hurt in some way in nearly every segment (except maybe # 20). That's not to say I don't love the Bellhop 'toons (and every other classic SS segment), I think they're great! :)
  13. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I always find it a cop out to blame other characters for SS's not being as good as it should be. I mean, both Jim and Richard passed on, so we lost so many characters from those 2 performers. Add to the mix, Frank had one foot out the door (directing) in the late 80's (you can tell, since that's where a lot of Solo Ernie skits came from). So basically, we had to work with new characters to fill in all those gaps. They even had Dave Golez in a few skits. A shame they didn't keep him.

    While the 90's SS was a huge step in a bad direction, that's also when really terrible kid's shows were starting to edge out. Barney became popular about 1991 or 92, and then there was a flock of rediculously bad knockoffs of Barney as well. And Wimzy's House. Blech! Sorry. i had a sister born in 1990, so I had nothing but exposure to this crap.

    The 90's was an awkward period of change for SS. It's tough to continue a series when you have a death of such an important figure (a leader or something), but to have multiple deaths affect the show you just can't continue the way you did. I feel they floundered around a couple years and then they added the Furry Arms, and the Down the Street character. That was a make or break moment. And from what I remembered and have seen, they really had some things back on track, while a few things were still off.

    1998, the addition of Elmo's world was a huge move in the wrong direction. Now, they're trying to get out of it, and the little kids won't let them. Elmo's World, believe it or not, is turning 10 years this year. it's not in anyway a new segment.

    The real backfall was post 2001. Staying very very apolitical here, and only bringing it up as a point, some experts wanted to add in "structure" so kids would feel more comfortable. The last bold thing they did in the series since was that "coping with Disaster" Hooper's Store catching on fire that season opener.

    Now, since all these experts always take 2 meanings of one thing, Sesame Workshop has been afraid to do anything to "offend" or drive away viewers, thus ruining the essense of what they had. I still think they want to try hard to make the show what it once was, but now they painted themselves into a corner.

    And I'll say what I've been saying for the past 8 years. SS is unfortunately one of the better Preschool shows out there. Did you see the other stuff? Ouch.

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