Sesame Street Blog

Sesame Family Robinson – From making Muppets to Raising Moppets

« Back

Meet Super Grover 2.0!

Super Grover 2.0

Curriculum of the Day: STEM


He’s still inept. He’s still crash landing and dropping pianos on himself. Only now he has his own 6-minute format. It’s part of the new 41st season of Sesame Street, which starts next Monday, September 27th on your local PBS station!

Why 2.0 you ask? Well, because it’s funny in that adult, topical humor way we like to do on Sesame Street. His costume is new and improved. And the educational content is new for us, too. It’s called STEM. I know you start thinking, stem cell research? We writers did. It actually stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. These are areas that the United States is really lagging behind in educating our children. Joey Mazzarino, our head writer, read the statistics that we’re way below other developing countries in these areas and was appalled. He took it as an imperative for Sesame Street to lead the way in getting preschool kids interested in and proficient in math and science.

I have to say, this new format really was a challenge for all of us. Using STEM required a lot of science language and questions that always tend to sound false in our characters’ mouths. It also makes the action stop dead, or kills the humor. Explaining what a lever does just isn’t very funny. Still, we needed to write six of these new format shows fast to get them ready for Season 41. Joey did a wise thing and had us all get together as a group and come up with the ideas together as a team. (Usually we pitch show ideas individually, only getting together as a group when we discuss larger topics and make character and plot choices that affect everyone.) We sat in that room hammering out shows about balance, wheels, ramps, pulleys, etc. until everyone had a topic. When we finished with all the shows, we got together again and read them out loud to each other to be sure they were all consistent in language, structure, and comedy.    

The result, I have to say, is a home run. Not only are these new Super Grover 2.0 shows educational, they are funny in the classic Grover way, and the background animation is incredible. See for yourself next week when the new season starts airing!

Mail Box

Like your family we have twins, boy/girl, that turned three last month. I saw your blog entry for January and it looks like we have something in common, potty training twins. Like one of your girls, my son WILL NOT pee in the potty but his sister was doing well until she caught on to "Bubbie" not trying. I was just letting things run their course but our local pre-schools/mommy day out programs require the children to be potty trained and this mommy needs a day out. Bribery isn't working. Have you had any success?

Sommer

Read the Reply ›

How often is the telly puppet renewed or replaced?

Katherine Sydney, Australia

Read the Reply ›

I read in 40 Years of Life on the Street about an incident involving Snuffy's puppet where a sombrero caused the wood frame to collapse on you and Bryant Young. Did they rebuild the puppet after that or did they just make a new one?

Edward

Read the Reply ›

I just wanted to say thanks for the blog. My daughter Kylie (who just turned two yesterday) loves to ask if we are going to see "the babies." Thank you so much to you and Marty for bringing the joy of Sesame Street into our lives every day.

Kendal and Kylie Montreal, Canada

Read the Reply ›

I've noticed that there are fewer Muppets and people in an episode now than there were twenty years ago. Does everyone show up on the set for filming days or only certain ones? Who decides who gets to play the Anything Muppets? There are some voices I hear more than others.

Glenda

Read the Reply ›
Question 1/4