Sesame Street Blog

Sesame Family Robinson – From making Muppets to Raising Moppets

Entries with tag tagmarch2011 .

Girls, Girls, Girls!

Abby, Zoe and Rosita

Curriculum of the Day: Gender Equality!

Here they are! It’s Zoe, Rosita, and Abby, our three main Sesame Street female Muppets. Since all the original Muppets—Big Bird, Oscar, Bert, Ernie, Grover, and Cookie Monster—are all boys, it has been a prime directive to develop some strong female Muppets who can hold their own against these fellows. Developing a character is not easy. It takes time with the writers working alongside the performers to forge a unique individual with specific ways of speaking and behaving. Each of these girls is performed by a different puppeteer. Zoe is played by Fran Brill, who also plays Prairie Dawn, another girl Muppet who is a little older than the others. Rosita is played by Carmen Osbahr, and Abby Cadabby by Leslie Carrara-Rudolph. Fran, Carmen, and Leslie are all veteran performers, which is why these three girl Muppets are so strong and can be the driving force behind a show. It’s also great fun to put the three together. I wrote a song for them recently about the seasons. You go, girls!

Back to the Studio!

Word of the Day: Anxiety

 Sesame Family Robinson on the Set!
Sesame Family Robinson on the set!


Season 42 started on February 8, 2011. We have been out of production for almost a year so it was a welcome return for all of us on the Sesame team. It also brought on my usual case of nerves. My first episode — “BubbleFest”—  shot on February 11th. As a writer, you’re not required to be on the set, but it is highly encouraged. Shooting five shows a week is wickedly fast, so it’s good to have another set of eyes to be sure nothing gets missed in the rush of the day. I can’t speak for all the writers, but when I’m watching one of my shows shooting, I always feel that every delay, every missed take, every moment that doesn’t seem to be flowing, is my fault. And sometimes it is! But most often, it’s just show biz. Getting moments right takes time.  Not every performance is strong on the first take. You need a few run-throughs to get the timing right, not to mention the technical elements working well enough for a “buy.” “BubbleFest” was also fraught with potential disasters since it centered on blowing bubbles! Talk about your possible blown moments!  (Get it, blown…) Needless to say, I survived until it was time for me to get the kids back home.  I missed the final shot where everyone is blowing bubbles, including those big monster ones (with the help of a bubble expert!). I was told it was stupendous. Look for it on the air this fall or winter!


Lyra and Ripley were a little nervous meeting the real Elmo.  
Lyra and Ripley were a little nervous meeting the real Elmo.

Where Animals Live: The Worm Club

 "Where Animals Live" is the theme this week. Now, where my dogs and 
cats live is of no interest to anyone, and all the really interesting animals around where I live are still avoiding the harsh weather (and my camera). It occurred to me to show you some Sesame "animals" and where they "live.” So, here is my film of five grown people crammed under a counter to puppeteer five tiny worms.

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Where Animals Live: The Worm Club

 "Where Animals Live" is the theme this week. Now, where my dogs and 
cats live is of no interest to anyone, and all the really interesting animals around where I live are still avoiding the harsh weather (and my camera). It occurred to me to show you some Sesame "animals" and where they "live.” So, here is my film of five grown people crammed under a counter to puppeteer five tiny worms . . .
...MPR.

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Inside Oscar's Trash Can

My friend Caroll Spinney has been performing Oscar the Grouch 
and Big Bird on Sesame Street since day one. I adore him and we 
have so much fun working together, especially as best old pals, Big Bird and 
Snuffy. Whenever I see Caroll, I tend to overlap Snuffy's strong 
feelings for Bird, and just see him as my best buddy too.
 
Here is a quick guided tour behind Oscar's trash can from the two who 
know it best.


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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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