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Your Thoughts: Street Gang – The Complete History of Sesame Street

Discussion in 'Sesame Merchandise' started by Phillip, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    But it's only part of the story and it comes in handy later in the book too. But if you read it out of order would would be in kind of a wild goose chase.
  2. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    I'm kinda weird in that I often read books out of order, lol. I know you get more out of the story reading it from start to finish, but for some reason I have trouble doing it!
  3. StreetScenes

    StreetScenes Member

    i finally have time to read it this weekend, so i just picked it up on my way home today, & the woman at the checkout saw the book & smiled, rang it up, gave the book a hug & and sang pinball number count :)
  4. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Aw that's so sweet! When I bought it, the man at the register pointed at Oscar and said, "He was the man!" :grouchy:

    He also said he didn't really watch the show anymore; I suggested learning towards the Old School DVDs, hehe.
  5. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    Well that's fine because the book isn't really for current viewers of the show as they are just learning to read. ;)
  6. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Very true, hehe. Hopefully in a few years they'll be encouraged to read it, so they know there was life before Elmo, hehe.
  7. Uncle Deadley

    Uncle Deadley New Member

    I decided to go the audiobook route, which was, unfortunately, abridged, but nonetheless enjoyable and informative. Carroll Spinney, being so close to much of the material, adds an extra dimension in his reading. My wife has been reading the original version and has clued me in on some of the omissions. (Can anyone explain exactly why Joan Cooney referred to the estranged Jane Henson's appearance at the memorial service and taking on the title of Jim's widow as "unforgivable". I understand that the marriage was crumbling, but it still seemed an odd thing to say, but maybe it was was taken out of context.)

    On the whole I rate the book as a satisfying experience even if I found some flaws in Michael Davis's writing style. The "jump around" narrative was jarring at times and there were moments where some statements deserved further explanation. (If you're going to point out that Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal were initially poorly reviewed and received it is worth noting that they went on to become cult classics.) I also found it strange that there was no passage about Roscoe Orman; I later discovered that this "bonus chapter" can be found at the book's website which I am grateful for but still would call an odd choice.

    Still, a hearty thumbs up to the audiobook which also includes an segment of Michael Davis interviewing Carroll Spinney where you'll find some additional information on Spinney's older brother with cerebral palsey and how he and his second wife fell in love. In some ways the interview made up for some of the abridgements.
  8. erniebert1234ss

    erniebert1234ss Active Member

    Just got this book today. Will give it a read-thru and post my thoughts. So far so good.

    BJ
  9. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    One part of the book that I thought was really sad was when Matt Robinson's daughter first saw him on TV with a different wife/mommy and holding another little girls hand and how she though as a little child and he daddy had a different family on TV and that he liked them better and wanted to be with them instead. She took it really hardly... She didn't know that is was just acting and that it was just television. That part was sad to read.
  10. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    I actually read a very similar story from the daughter of The Professor from Gilligan's Island. He had a scene where a woman was flirting with him and the daughter thought she was trying to steal her Daddy away!

    This is a good example of how children think, which I think a lot of so called "experts" miss.
  11. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    Yeah, I mean it's good to help kins To distinguish the difference between fiction and reality. Something I think Fed Rogers did really well.
  12. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Yeah I mean as it relates to Sesame Street, that's a reason I didn't object to Snuffy "becoming real." To me, having him be the "imaginary friend" of Big Bird that the grown ups never believed in came across too much like your typical kiddie fantasy show. Having the grown ups realize this is a real live creature they've been doubting brought the show to a new level for me. :)
  13. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    Well I have to say that don't mind Big Bird having an imaginary friend and all.. It's a normal thing for a kids to have. But I have to say that I like everybody and all of the adults knowing Snuffy.
  14. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah I don't mean it's wrong for kids to have imaginary friends. I think that's fine. It's just that I found the whole idea of Snuff actually being real but constantly missing the adults all the time seemed too much like an average kid's show. The kind of "parents just don't understand" logic you always seen in pre teen movies that they claim is complimentary to kids but I personally find really condescening, lol. To me Sesame Street went a bit further than that. Realizing that adults need to be a part of kids' lives, not oblivious to it. :)
  15. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    I know what you mean. And yeah, I agree that it's important for adults to be a part of children's lives. These shows I see now days for children and teens are these shows where it's this bazaar world where kids seem to be running the everything somehow and there are no adults (or competent ones, hehe) in site. I'm just watching, wondering, and thinking "Well, where are the adults?" :confused:

    But yeah, I like that Sesame Street thinks and goes deeper.
  16. mikebennidict

    mikebennidict New Member

    He was never imaginary in the first place.


    If he was than BB wouldn't of been struggling all those years to introduce him to the grown ups.
  17. mikebennidict

    mikebennidict New Member

    I'm a little suprised.

    Wonder if he explained to her what being on SS was going to be like?
  18. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    I'm sure him and his wife did (I think she was the one telling the story) But you little children don't always understand that and some things have to have things like that explained to them as I'm sure you know.
  19. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I enjoyed reading it. It took me four days (I had to work and take breaks from reading, after all). It is good, but at the same time has occassional disapointments. There's a lot of interesting info that I didn't know, but still more than enough ommissions.

    My main complaint: Although it's the "complete history" of Sesame Street, the majority of the book (I'll say 75 percent) focuses on the show's pre-history, and then has a lot of good info on the first ten years (but I'm not complaining about the amount of focus on that), but then it seems to have rushed through the other seasons, picking and choosing a handful of important events. I was surprised that the last chapter ends with the introduction of Elmo's World, with only a bit of the last ten years mentioned in the epilogue.

    Now, it is pleasant that Elmo isn't even mentioned until the second to last chapter, but I wish that more info on the characters was discussed in the book. It is interesting to hear alot about the various people who worked on the show, but they shouldn't take priority over the Muppets (right?).

    It seems like it pays proper tribute to most of the deseased people who have worked on the show, as they seem to get the most attention (along with the still-living Joan Ganz Cooney, Caroll Spinney, and Frank Oz). But it's a shame that Kermit Love was hardly mentioned.

    Having said that, here's my list of the top ten ommissions:
    • No discussion at all of Follow That Bird or Elmo in Grouchland? How disapointing (especially for FTB).
    • Many important cast members were hardly (if even) mentioned, including Hal Miller, Roscoe Orman (I know that the official site has a web exclusive bonus chapter), Alan Muraoka, Alania Reed Hall, and the actors playing Chris and Leela (no, I still don't know their names).
    • There was hardly any discussion of the various non-muppet films and animated bits. Most of the ones discussed are the ones by Jim Henson. However, it was interesting to know that Henson worked on the body parts film from the pitch reel (I should have known he worked on that, since Brian Henson was in it).
    • On the same note, recurring segments are hardly mentioned. Sesame Street News and Elmo's World both get a paragraph each, and Monsterpeice Theater and Super Grover both get brief mentions, but otherwise these are pretty much ignored.
    • The book doesn't talk about recasts much. It mentiosn the deaths of Henson and Hunt, but doens't talk about the recasting (or lack thereoff) of their characters. It talks a lot about Matt Robinson, but doesn't talk about his departure, or why he left. Hal Miller isn't mentioend at all, and Roscoe Orman is only briefly mentioend (though it does acknowledge that he currently plays Gordon). There's no mention given to Matt Vogel or Eric Jacobson, and while Steve Whitmire is mentioned and interviewed, his recasts aren't discussed. The recasting of Snuffleupagus is the only recast really discussed.
    • It would have been great if the hawiai and hurricane episodes were mentioned.
    • The fact that Snuffy was originally thought to be imaginary and later "became real" was hardly mentioned.
    • While Henson, Oz, Brill, Hunt, and Spinney get a lot of biographical information, it seems like Jerry Nelson didn't get the same kind of attention. He sort of does when the book discusses Hye Cinderella, but gets over his biography quickly.
    • Guy Smiley wasn't mentioend a t all, and Herry Monster was hardly mentioned. I'm not surprised that Bruno and Leslie Mostly werne't mentioned, but it would have been great if they were.
    • As the last ten years were quickly passed over, the book hardly mentions the format change of 2002.
  20. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    It is interesting that in the book it talks about how Jim Henson initially didn't want to license the Sesame Street characters due to them being public television characters, but changed his mind when he was told that mechandise revenue would help fund bigger projects. And also in the book, it was said that one of Jim Henson's demands for his invovlement with the show was to keep the character rights and get half of the revenue generated from merchandise. So it's odd that he'd ask for that if he initially didn't wan tto license the characters. Though the book says that he probably did want to license the characters, but needed an excuse.


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