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Whatever happened to Roosevelt Franklin?

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by mikealan, May 8, 2003.

  1. mikealan

    mikealan New Member

    Roosevelt Franklin was a little purple boy Anything Muppet in a red-and-yellow striped shirt who was around on Sesame Street in the 70's. When the format has changed, he is now disappeared. Why did they got rid of him?
  2. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Roosevelt's voice (Matt Robinson) left the show after the third season, making new Roosevelt Franklin segments much more difficult to record.
  3. ssetta

    ssetta Active Member

    They actually got rid of him way back in, I think it was the late 70s, but it might have been early 80s. Remember that classroom that he was in? If you don't, they used to misbehave all the time by throwing papers, and talking as loud as they could. It was considered to be too rowdy and a bad example of what school is like.
  4. Splurge

    Splurge Member

    I find it interesting that Matt did come back at some point to record with Roscoe Orman (the current Gordon) as Hard Head Henry.

    Which brings me to something I've often pondered: there was a Roosevelt Franklin School scene in the Stevie Wonder episode, during the time Hal Miller would have been Gordon. (It was the spell "poison" skit.)

    Well, the Hard Head Henry character was there and I wonder if Hal Miller or anyone else was playing him?

    I'm not demanding an answer to this question and I don't think I'd get a satisfactory one. It's just something to wonder about.
  5. mikealan

    mikealan New Member

    Well, I don't know if Matt Robinson played Roosevelt Franklin on his classroom sketch on the 1975 Season Premiere, but I know that Matt performed Hard Head Henry in it. BTW, I remember that Roosevelt can be shown on the episodes from 1974-1975...Today, I watched him on the clapping segment on Play With Me Sesame.
  6. I thought that one of the reasons why they took Roosevelt Franklin off of Sesame Street was because he was considered an African-American stereotype.

    At least that's what other sources have said.
  7. ssetta

    ssetta Active Member

    Hardhead Henry Harris was actually performed by Roscoe Orman.
  8. jay malls

    jay malls New Member

    Got any R. Franklin video?

    I'm new to the forum. I just posted something in the wanted section about Roosevelt Franklin video. I'm in deperate need of some for a school project. I don't have much sesame street video, but I have alot of albums. I've got lots of albums in general, and I'd be willing to trade dubs of whatever. Let me know if anyone can help.
  9. jay malls

    jay malls New Member

    oh yeah

    I'd be especially into seeing the Stevie Wonder episode. I'm a huge Stevie fan. -j
  10. PutDownDuckie

    PutDownDuckie New Member

    hmmmm, I own Sesame Street...Unpaved the book and it says:

    "The character was abandoned because he was thought by some to be a negative cultural steryotype and because the schoolroom in which he spent most of his time was considered too rowdy and to be a bad example. The kids in the class...were prone to smart-aleck remarks, throwing papers, and general disruptive behaviour. nevertheless, roosevelt remains an old Sesame favorite, and goes down in history as one of the coolest Muppet poets."

    And to end with a Roosevelt Franklin poem:

    "Same Sound Brown was a rhymin' man
    He would rhyme words faster than I bet you can
    See if you said "moose,"
    brown would say "juice."
    If you say "Moose juice,:
    Brown would say "Loose Goose."
    If you said "Juicy Loose Goose,"
    Brown would say "Moosey Gose Juice."

    ...ahhhh how beautiful
  11. Frodis

    Frodis Member

    Anyone remember the often aired classroom segment with Same Sound Brown and Farley?

    "I start in the front
    then I move to the rear
    and I say each sound out
    loud and clear..."

    There's another one I wish I had on tape.

  12. drmusic_99

    drmusic_99 New Member

    Put it all together and smooth it out
    And that's what reading's all about!
  13. Mark The Shark

    Mark The Shark New Member

    This is my first post to this forum. I am in my mid-30s and watched Sesame Street as a young child, so most of what I remember is from the first five years or so of the show, and I am not an expert beyond what I can remember from my childhood, what I have seen on "Unpaved," and what I have picked up on line. So with that disclaimer out of the way:

    Matt Robinson left the show after the third season. After that, *Jerry Nelson* replaced Matt Robinson as the voice of Roosevelt Franklin. And again, I don't have access to any official CTW archives or anything, but as far as I can piece it together, I believe that the Roosevelt Franklin sketches that featured Matt Robinson were ones that were set in the home (and Loretta Long, who plays Susan, was the voice of Roosevelt's mother). None of these segments were included in any of the "Unpaved" episodes, but a still shot of Roosevelt and his mother was seen at the end of one of the early episodes holding up the "CTW" sign. I believe that all of the "classroom" skits (there were three or four shown on "Unpaved") were all done after Robinson left the show and feature Jerry Nelson's voice as Roosevelt Franklin. I have read that Roscoe Orman, Sonya (I'm not going to even attempt to spell her last name off the top of my head without looking it up) and Northern Calloway all did voices in the "clasroom" segments, but I can't say one way or the other who would have done Hard Head Henry Harris's voice before Roscoe Orman joined the show. I can tell you that I am 99% sure it was not Matt Robinson, because as I said, I am 99% sure that those classroom scenes were taped after he'd left the show.

    The one segment I'm not certain about is the "clapping" segment where Roosevelt appears with a bunch of other Muppets. That one might go back to the first three seasons, but I don't really know. I don't think he speaks in that segment anyway.
  14. Boober_Gorg

    Boober_Gorg Active Member

    Yeah, that one's cool! :) I saw it in #1141 at the Museum of TV & Radio. Side note: Northern Calloway did the voice of Same Sound Brown.

    SSB: Stick with me and I'll take you far,
    'cause Same Sound Brown will make you a star!
    Farley: Outta sight!
    SSB: I could read all night.

    Those were the years. :D Too bad I wasn't born yet.

    And welcome to the forum, Mark the Shark! You know me as Von Fission from alt.tv.sesame-street. Sorry if this is off topic, but can you please get back to me on that VHS/DVD trade we were discussing months ago? Just email me on that link below. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!
  15. Pino

    Pino Member

    Did you know that he ws called ..... Rosefeld Jopie in Dutch?
  16. Dantecat

    Dantecat Active Member

    What Clips doy you get on Episode #1411?
  17. jay malls

    jay malls New Member

    right now i'm supposed to be getting a 4-5 second clip of roosevelt in front of the blackboard. not sure what episode it's from. i'm also supposed to be getting roosevelt teaching about africa, the stevie wonder episode & the hand clapping sketch (i think). also, an alphabet sketch where he makes a cameo (r is for roosevelt).

    so, i'm getting the impression that there are a finite number of rf appearances. does anybody know approximately how many there are?
  18. Splurge

    Splurge Member

    Roosevelt doesn't speak, but I'm almost sure that Frank Oz is operating him in the "clapping" sketch. It's hard to describe, at least for me, but Frank had a certain way of operating Anything Muppets.
  19. Mark The Shark

    Mark The Shark New Member

    That sounds right...I do remember reading that when Matt Robinson originally performed Roosevelt's voice, someone else (one of the Muppeteers) actually physically operated the puppet. So that makes sense. After Jery Nelson took Roosevelt over, though, I would imagine Nelson would have operated the puppet and performed the voice. Right? As for Roosevelt not speaking in the "clapping" segment (which is in one of the "Star Wars" episodes, #1364 from 1980, by the way), that also makes sense to me...why drag Matt Robinson in just to do some incidental humming or what not...so all of that supports the possibility of that segment dating from the Robinson era. However, as I mentioned earlier, I believe that all the other Roosevelt Franklin segments shown on "Unpaved" are post-Robinson and feature Jerry Nelson's voice. I remember at least two classroom skits ("Poison" and "Africa") and the appearance at the top of show #406 (1972-1973 season premiere) with the rest of the cast reciting the alphabet ("R is for Roosevelt"). Show #406 also was the first appearance of Harold "Hal" Miller as the "second Gordon." Notice how when he first appears, he emerges from the shadows as he comes out of Mr. Hooper's store, so you don't clearly see his face right at first. I don't think that's an accident.

    A question I have had all these years: In Chicago where I grew up, "Sesame Street" was shown several times a day and often was shown several times over the weekends as well. When they would "change Gordons" like that at the start of a new season (in 1972 and again in 1974) it makes me think that at some point during the broadcast day, our local Channel 11 has to have been airing shows from the previous season that would feature a different Gordon, for at least a week or two at the start of the season. Does anyone else have any memory of this?
  20. guysmiley4ever

    guysmiley4ever New Member

    hey...'mark the shark' sounds familiar.
    someone i recall from 'yesterdayland'...very informative too!
    i was there trying to find info about the Bozo show and other faves of mine.
    I grew up in IL and was looking for info about some old chicago shows.
    that 'yesterdayland' is a wacky site and could never get back on there...always a 'page not found' came up...
    anyhoo, i love the Roosevelt Franklin stuff. He's awesome!
    were there really different Gordons? wow, there's me for paying attention, i always thought he was the same one. golly.

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