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What are the lamest, Dullest, and Worst Non-Muppet segments?

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by Drtooth, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I swear I could have gotten through War and Peace while that was going. I think that, both this and the fire fighter film suffered from odd song writing. SOmehow, they made me laugh unintentionally.

    But come on. There has to be something lazy and poorly done we can pick out. Like that clock one I mentioned. Seems like it took 2 minutes of thought, and 3 minutes of execution (including song writing time).

    I almost forgot to list my other least least least favorites. Those animations of the Dancing Animals. Looking back on it, I liked some of their eariler rhythem pieces. They actually were good then. But it's the crap where they tried to slap in letters of the day, and Wiggle like an Octopus (with those terrible singers who sound like they have a wedge of cheese in their larinxes), they made just terrible and annoying segments. I miss the old rhythem pieces.

    And, well, I'm not too crazy about the Clown Honk series either.
  2. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen those "Clown Honking" animations in awhile.

    If you think SS cartoons/films are bad, you should see some of the things they've got on Plaza Sesamo. They're practically hard to sit through. They have VERY long kid-narrated films.
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I like Plaza's animation segments, myself. Well, most of them. I remember posting a link to the animation site somewhere years ago.
  4. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Most of the animations are good. There was one about the letter V for vaca (cow) and it had a photographer takes pictures of a cow and when she notices the camera, she beings hamming it up, like Gladys would.
  5. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member

    I have to admit, I had a hard time watching any segment that didn't have either the Muppets or stop-motion animation. Some of the animated segments and songs like the "Frog Struggle Song" were good, but otherwise, they just didn't really interest me.

    :super: :p :batty: <--- gimme more of these guys, I said.
  6. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    I watched the Hey Cow, I see you now clip this morning and my younger brother was freaked out at fist witch was funny because I know that he has seen it before but he thought that it was very relaxing.
  7. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    "Of course milk comes from America! The land of Lincoln and Washington! The land of liberty, freedom and patriotism! The land of our forefathers! One would not think to drink milk from anywhere else but good old fashioned American cows!":attitude:

    (Sorry, with it being 4th of July, I had to type that.)

    Anyway, back on topic.

    The "hey cow" film drags on for weeks and weeks. By the time the film is over, I'm surprised the milk from the cow isn't expired. But the only thing I saw funny about it was a comment from Sally. Gordon's giving her the "milk is good for you" bit, and Sally pipes up and says "I like to drink coffee!" Gordon struggles a little "Uh, coffee? Uh, well, uh..." and quickly gets back on track with milk.

    But here's what I thought were the dullest non-Muppet segments:

    Overall, I thought it was just lame for clips to be updated (usually animated) with extra unnecessary sound effects, computer animation effects and extra 90's music just for the sake of updating it. (When any character blinked, a xylophone note was struck, etc). Remember the shadow guy? His original bits were great! Like this one:

    Then they ruined it with an awful, computerized background, totally taking away the realism of "it's a shadow." instead it just looks like a half-finished bluescreen effect:

    Also, during the 90's, they had a LOT of emphasis on the numbers 13, 15 and 18. That's a good idea, of course. Kids gotta know 'em, and 13, 15 and 18 (apparently) are harder to remember for kids than the other basic numbers.

    BUT...they take forever and a half to count to in the animated segments from the 90's. They would always have a combination of the Sally Cruikshank, Rubber Stamp, Masked March, Number Creatures and the longest one of all, the "Growing Numbers" that came out of the sidewalk. Individually, they're fine, but when put together in one long segment of the show, they take ages to go through, especially when the numbers are counted so slowly. I wondered if by the second number clip, would kids lose interest and leave the TV?

    Also, (I'm surprised no one said this), but Buddy and Jim are right up there with "hey cow" in my book. They took forever to get anything done! A slightly faster-paced sketch with Muppets would've worked for this concept, but not here.

    The classical music with the flowers was more sad to me than annoying or lame. Every time I saw it, I remembered it was the clip they played right after the "I'll Miss You Mr. Hooper" scene.:cry:

    Convincing John
  8. ISNorden

    ISNorden Well-Known Member

    Even if Sesame Street had not dedicated two seasons to "Healthy Habits for Life", no kid today would've gotten away with a response like that; the producers would've either assumed that somebody was being a smart aleck, or called a social worker instead of choosing the kid for casting. Man, I miss the days when children acted more typically on Sesame Street... :concern:

    Ugh....Just because a studio has the technology to jazz up every little detail of a classic clip, that doesn't automatically mean they should use special effects and new sounds ad nauseam. How many three-year-olds still enjoy ordinary, homemade shadow puppets with Dad's flashlight? More of them than you'd think...

    Well, the range of typical sponsor numbers had jumped in the late 1980s (from 2-12 to 0-21); so films on the "new" material got a lot more exposure...no pun intended. Besides, the "teen" numbers probably do confuse some preschoolers; even in some of the old Muppet/kid clips about counting to 20, I remember the kids needing help once they got past 13 or so.

    You do have a point there; when they started airing related segments in "chunks", slow segments must have seemed even slower to anybody with a toddler's attention span. Nowadays I wouldn't be surprised if kids either changed the channel or began hollering for Elmo after the second #18 cartoon...:p

    Once more, I agree with you--the Buddy/Jim sketches (and similar bumbling-duo bits) were paced too slowly for CTW's target audience to follow. As slapstick for the parents at home, they worked; as lessons for kids, they bombed.
  9. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member

    I agree with that. I like Buddy and Jim, but I think they really don't work for the show all that well. If the same bits were done with a Muppet pair, and paced a little differently, it would have worked better.

    They still crack me up, though.

    "Now the hammer's backward!"
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I never understood fully why they did that. A lot of skits were ruined with horrible sounding cheap SFX. And for some reason, seems they did away with all the prints of the unsweetened versions. Like how the Old School vol 1 had the Alphabet Soup with the cheesy keyboard music.

    And on that subject? I hated the stop motiony looking computer segments from the 90's.

    For example... "This is the Letter X" The various other alphabet ones, and especially the crappy remakes of the "Find the _________" skits, where the computer gives a lame "Uh Oh... try...again!" instead of the loud buzzing sound.
  11. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    I hope the original prints are still intact! Good grief. If SW is just pitching the unedited ones in the trash saying "eh, who needs these", my reaction is the same as your Roy Rooster avatar.

    I think why they ruined those clips with extra SFX is just to get kids' attention more...maybe. Just a guess. Or maybe it's just they update just to update thinking it will be "better" somehow...but it just takes away from what the original clip is trying to show in the first place.

    The clip (already mentioned) about letters in the alphabet found in NYC was originally fine. Nothing wrong with it at all! When I was little, I loved how the letters were just found "in their natural habitat" for lack of a better term. There was other stuff to notice and read in the background every time I saw the clip. (Someone's license plate number, a bookstore sign, etc). And it was all real. Just real letters out in the real world...something kids will see! I was encouraged to find the alphabet letters later when going with my family to the store, etc.

    And then the updated version...why? It's an all computer-generated, almost-real-but-not-quite-Pixaresque evironment that just screams FAKE ENVIRONMENT! The letters zoom in flatly and slowly, as if the clip was made by the Dora the Explorer staff.

    The same can be said for the Traction Jackson segments. The original "Me and My Chair" segment got the point across with a real boy in a real wheelchair in a real environment. The updated version just...doesn't have that human feel, you know? Yeah, it's done on computer...but newer doesn't always mean better.

    Convincing John
  12. ISNorden

    ISNorden Well-Known Member

    Oh, the signs in the new clip are real (as some Seattle natives have confirmed when it was up before). But that CGI grab-and-zoom effect? Fake as a $3 bill printed on bright-orange construction paper; if the intended lesson was "finding the alphabet in real-life text", then Sesame Workshop sabotaged their own plans.

    If the Workshop has to include an animated character in a wheelchair to show that disabled people are active and have the same feelings as everybody else--it's probably because they thought the audience would react badly to a real boy in a wheelchair. (That, plus they might not want to deal with medical problems on the set...:concern:) The way Sesame Street is evolving nowadays, real people always seem to play second fiddle to Muppets and animated characters; what happened to the original idea of having humans and Muppets/animations appearing together?
  13. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    That one with the laughing man scared me!

    I agree with you. I like them, but they take too long.

    Yeah, that one is real sad to me, too.
  14. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    I used to love that clip. I can't even watch the new one after seeing it.

    The incomparable version of Me And My Chair!" I have to say that the new one has nothing on the original.
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I really like Traction Jackson. Not because he's in a wheel chair, but I just like the over all feel of the segments and the character. They made him such an evolved and interresting character, you forget he's in one. I always feel that when they add a handicapped person to the cast of anything, it seems like a court ordered bussing. I remember the live human cast member they had in the 90's. They had the obligatory introduction, "I'm just like you" episode, and then the character was pasted into every episode. She really didn't have anything interresting to do or say. She was just there to show how normal it is. I think that a human cast member would be a nice touch, but only if done right.

    Personally, though, I think the real star of the segments is the dog. he reminds me of Brain, somehow.

    As for the Buddy and Jim segments.... well, the early comedy couples, as I always say, seem like they were filler points for muppet characters. I have to admit, I did like Buddy and Jim to some extent, but Larry and Phylis (at least the one I saw) was pretty weak a segment, and annoying to watch (the one where they make Frog Awful noises and co-opporating to make Frog Awful music). I can only imagine what the third pair was like, since it just recycled Buddy and Jim segments.

    None of them had the staying power of SS's true comedy team :p :(
  16. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    Yeah, now that you mention it he does remind me of brain.
  17. Convincing John

    Convincing John Well-Known Member

    The signs are real? Weird. It just looks so Photoshopped.

    Again, it's this "Newer is always better--especially with computer animation" attitude nowadays. Also, there's so much animated stuff for kids out there now, Sesame Street has to compete with the Dora the Explorer/Blues Clues-fare that's out there.

    Putting "hey cow" aside, I enjoyed the "real world" clips as much as the Muppet/street segments. Why? Well, for the simple reason Sesame Street exists (according to Rowlf and Kermit): "Hey kids, there's lots of neat stuff out there in this big, wide world and we'll show it to you, bit by bit. Oh, and by the way, it's brought to you today by the letter E and L and the number 4."

    These clips (like the original Me and My Chair, etc.) taught me a lot about the real world. There I was, a little kid in the Midwest surrounded by cornfields and livestock. Even the town I grew up in wasn't diverse (ethnically anyway). It was one of those towns where the old, Caucasian farmers went to retire. Statler, Waldorf & Astoria times 5,000. As for handicapped kids, our schools just had "special classes" for them. There was no integration fpr them back then, so we never saw them. Even in my elementary school, there wasn't much on other cultures/people aside from "Social Studies". Even that was 95% American history with heavy emphasis on "George Washington chopped down the cherry tree"-type stuff.:smirk: I always wondered about what went on in other countries we barely mentioned in school. "South America exports coffee and bananas...Australia is the smallest continent." But what about the people and animals that live there? What's the rest of the world like away from this endless sea of cornfields I'm in? Huh?

    Sesame Street gave me my first answers to those questions AND showed me all this other stuff I might have missed. The real world stuff on Sesame Street was where I learned about real world diversity, in human, animal and geographical forms. I loved the idea of someone taking a camera and filming someone or something new in such a positive light, then transmitting it to me at home. It was even more awesome to me when one of the familiar Sesame Street humans was there. Along with the Hawaii/New Mexico/Puerto Rico episodes, this clip was one of my favorites out of the "real world" bits:


    Back on the subject, DrTooth has a point with the "court order bussing" when introducing a human handicapped member to the cast. I remember who you meant...the little girl named Tarah, right? If they try to introduce another handicapped person to the cast, why don't they look at the episode Linda was introduced and work from there? Obviously they succeeded with her. Linda was on the street for ages and they didn't make a BIG deal about her being deaf. She just was and hung out with everyone else.

    I also never got the Larry and Phyllis bits. Must've been more for the adults (as a comedy team thing) than for the kids. When I taped the episodes on Noggin, I just fast forwarded through 'em to get to the better clips.

    Also, here's something interesting. SW (then CTW) noticed how ineffective the Buddy and Jim, et al. bits were with kids. Bumbling actors messing up a simple task most kids knew how to do anyway just didn't work on the show. So they pitched 'em.
    Now, if the "Buddy and Jim concept" was tossed and deemed ineffective, then why in the heck are these guys around? Food for thought.

    Convincing John
  18. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    I remember that song so vividly; especially the musical composition! Olivia was great!
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I give them credit for trying, but take credit away for not giving the kid a personality. The one soap box I'm always on is that when they try to add diversity to a program, they always fall into the same timid trap. If they add any personality, the fact a character has flaws would somehow be misconstrued as a stereotype, or showing something in a negative light.

    Linda was a character. They gave her something to do, and they made her Bob's romantic interrest (to some extent). With Linda, she was a person who just so happened to not be able to hear like everyone else. And she was believable as a character. Tahra was (and I'm sorry to say this, and I hope people don't think less of me) nothing more than a kid in a wheelchair for the sake of showing how normal it was. Once again, shades of Pinky, the Brain, and Larry. She basically popped up and said, "Yeah! Big Bird is right." or "Yeah! Exactly what you said." How is that supposed to seem normal, if the character is akward?

    On the subject of why they didn't work, it's mainly due to the original intentions of the Muppets on the show. have them be seen as sepperate from the rest of the human cast. Had the characters actually interact with Gordon, Susan, Bob, and not just get mentioned by them (see episode one), it wouldn't seem like this disconnected little show inside of a show.

    It's almost no wonder why the comedy teams weren't effective. They seem like while watching Sesame, the channel somehow changed to another educational kids' show. it was that disconnected.

    But on the subject of the Noodles (to which, the late Michael Jeter was the best one), they sort of interact with Elmo. You could go on to say maybe the Noodles are actually imaginary characters that Elmo came up with. Of course, Elmo's World seems disconnected from SS, but the kids can identify with Elmo, not a bunch of Laurel and Hardy imitators.
  20. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    Linda was also the librarian. Just thought I'd point that out.

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