Muppetology 101: Identifying International Sesame


Mitchell Stein – Since it’s start in 1969, Sesame Street has reached billions of viewers and has broadcasted in over 120 countries. In order to reach each and every child in every part of the world, Sesame Workshop has started over 20 different international Sesame Street spinoff series. In this article, we’ll showcase just a few of the many international shows, and their differences from the original U.S. version.

Plaza Sesamo – Mexico, Peurto Rico
Plaza Sesamo is the Latin- American production of Sesame Street. It features a mixed cast of Panamanian, Argentinian, and Latin- Americans. The series began on April 3, 1995 and has been running ever since. The show’s cast includes Abelardo Montoya, (Plaza Sesamo’s version of Big Bird), Bodoque (a version of Oscar the Grouch), Lola, Pancho, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, Ernie and Bert.

Sesamestrasse – Germany
Sesamestasse first aired in Germany on January 8, 1973. It is currently in it’s 39th season. The cast includes, Ernie and Bert, Elmo, Grover, Cookie Monster, and a new cast consisting of Samson, Tiffy, Finchin, Buh, Feli Fliu, Rumpel the Grouch and his worm Gustav (version of Slimey).

Ruchov Sumsum – Israel

Along with Israel’s other Sesame-inspired show, Shalom Sesame, Ruchov Sumsum was founded in 1983, starting with characters like Kippod Ben Kippod and Moishe Offnik, the Israeli character counterparts to Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. The show also features American based characters, Grover, Elmo, and Ernie and Bert.

Sesame Park – Canada
Sesame Park was the Canadian counterpart of Sesame Street and aired from 1996 until 2002 on CBC, but Sesame Park has a much larger history dating back to several five minute segments featured on Sesame Street Canada. The shows cast are exclusively brand-new characters including Chaos, Basil, Louis, Katie, and Dodi.

That’s all for now! We’ll feature some more unique international soon! Class dismissed.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier,

3 thoughts on “Muppetology 101: Identifying International Sesame

  1. Normally I'd be super supportive of anything highlighting international Sesame Street, but this article is getting so many facts WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, it's hard to believe it wasn't written for people like myself to nitpick the hell out of! Where to begin?!

    – These shows are NOT spinoff series, they are international co-productions!

    – Plaza Sésamo premiered in 1972, NOT in 1995. That year only marks the revamped series' premiere!

    – It featurED (past tense) a mixed cast of what you describe. Also, the Muppet cast includED (past tense) those characters, which have changed a lot over the years!

    – Bodoque was a grouch, but NOT a version of Oscar the Grouch, but his own character.

    – Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, Ernie and Bert usually only appear in DUBBED segments taken from Sesame Street. Though they regularly appear in select German segments, puppeteered in that country.

    – Germany's version is NEITHER called “Sesamestrasse” NOR “Sesametasse,” but Sesamstrasse!

    – It is NOT currently in its (no apostrophe!) 39th season, but in its 40th anniversary season!

    – Its “new” cast is NOT so new anymore, and has mostly been retired after about 35 years, namely Tiffy, Buh, Feli Filu (NOT “Feli Fliu”), Rumpel the Grouch and his caterpillar (NOT worm!) Gustav have all been gone for years by now!

    – Samson still makes occasional appearances. Finchen (NOT “Finchin”) is a main character, together with Wolle (the sheep) and Pferd (the horse), a green wolf and a whole slew of side characters – most recently (and famously) Prairie Dawn!

    – Israel's “Ruchov Sumsum” is actually called “Rechov Sumsum,” and started in 1982, NOT 1983!

    – “Moishe Offnik” is actually named Moishe Oofnik. Other recent characters include Noah, Brosh, Mahboub, Abigail, and Sivan!

    – The show's American characters, again, usually appear in DUBBED Sesame Street segments, except for Grover (performed by Eric Jacobson), and Elmo!

    – Canada's Sesame version has been around since 1973, and actually produced their own characters' Muppet segments starting around 1987, NOT 1996. That's simply when the series changed its name from Canadian Sesame Street to Sesame Park!

    – And lastly, “Peurto Rico” is actually spelled Puerto Rico, but I assume that after all the fact checking that went into this installment of “Muppetology 101,” using spell check as well would have truly been too much work! Jeez…

    Michell, I know this was a bit harsh, and I really do appreciate the effort and time spent on this, but if you want to deliver facts, you should at least make an honest attempt at research! That being said, I'm SO looking forward to the next installment. 😉

  2. That's great! You can write the next one if you'd like.

    I took off from my incredibly busy schedule lately to research some info on International Sesame Street to showcase here on the blog, I'm sorry if I don't know everything there is about International Shows.

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