Sesame Street Blog

Sesame Family Robinson – From making Muppets to Raising Moppets

Entries with tag tagfebruary2011 .

Self-Self!

Ripley putting on her boot.

Curriculum of the day: Empowerment
 
Lyra and Ripley don’t use the word “me.” They say “self.” I’m not quite sure how they decided this was the better word to describe themselves, but they sure do use it. Whenever they want to do something on their own, they shout “self-self.” If we don’t back off and let them do the zipper or use the spoon, we hear about it. “Self-self” is a very recurring theme when it comes to getting dressed. They are convinced they can do it all, with various degrees of success.

Lyra and Ripley dressing.
 
Lyra and Ripley after a few minutes of “self-self” dressing.
 
We do our best to let them try putting on their pants and shirts. It’s a bit stressful when the clock is ticking. Sometimes, I just have to take over with, “Mommy will help.” If not, we can lose a whole morning upstairs at the clothes shelves. However, on a lazy Saturday morning we can just sit back and let them try and try again. “Self-self” time is nothing if not entertaining.
 

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The Cow Jumped Over the Moon

We have been out of production on Sesame Street since December 4, 2009. Now, I love being home with my sweet wife and babies, but Sesame has been my home as well for—jeez—thirty years now. I love going there, being on that set, and spending time with all those people who are my good friends. For over a year now, I have hardly seen any of them. I ran across this "Cow Jumped Over the Moon" clip as I was combing my archives for another project; and as I laughed watching it, I became very homesick for my friends and my Sesame Family. We return to full production mode for Season 42 on February 8, shooting until May 20. I can hardly wait. 
  

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The Elmo Phenomenon

We got a letter recently from Phouka who comments on the Elmo phenomenon since my daughters learned Elmo’s name long before any other character:
 
Dear Annie, 

For what it's worth, Elmo has an unfair advantage: He's red. The first color we see as our vision develops is red, so of course your girls are drawn to Elmo. As their vision develops, they should discover and adore Telly, too.

Your Friend, 

Phouka
 
Kermit Love, one of the original Muppet designers also used to say, “Elmo is popular because Elmo is red.” It also helps that Kevin Clash is a brilliant performer.
 
I can say that we are making an effort to get our classic characters back into the show where we can. Super Grover 2.0 is a big hit, and we’re already writing more of his segments. Big Bird, Oscar, Cookie, and Grover are also often in Street stories. The producers try to put old Bert and Ernie library bits into the show when it’s possible.
 
Thanks for writing!

See Robots!

Curriculum of the day:  Technology
 
Besides being funny, our new format, Super Grover 2.0, is about STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math. In a previous post, I talked about the creation of this new section in our Sesame hour. All the writers gamely wrote their bits, just a bit skeptical about how much our 3-year-old viewers were going to grasp these complex topics. Sesame Street has tested several of the shows, and the kids really are following the stories. It’s quite encouraging, although we all know the modern child seems to have developed new DNA for technology. Just give a kid an iPhone and see how fast they can start downloading apps! It’s the same with my kids and robots. Recently, we brought out some of the less-precious robots in Marty’s robot collection. The girls became utterly enthralled and now ask constantly to “see robots.” 

Ripley with a favorite robot.
Ripley with a favorite robot.
 
Within days, they had mastered all the on/off switches, knew which remote is connected to which robot, and how to make them move. I’ve even heard them murmur “robot” in their sleep.

Ripley with the Atomic Man
Lyra and the Atomic Man
 
Everyone from our president on down is stressing the importance of math and science, and how to recover our country’s competitive edge in these areas. I like to believe that our 2-year-old girls shouting “remote” and “batteries” and “on/off” are getting an enthusiastic start down the technology road. Only Marty’s robots might get a few bruises along the way.

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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

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How often is the telly puppet renewed or replaced?

Katherine Sydney, Australia

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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

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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

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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

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