Ryan Dosier – We continue our reminiscing of 45 years of Sesame Street with 11 more memories from 11 more fans, cast, and crew members! I’m so excited about this article series and so lucky to share the thoughts from these wonderful people.
12. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street – chosen by Joel Swanson (Muppet Mindset contributor)
Christmas Eve on Sesame Street is a special that is very, well, special to me! That’s a VHS that I am surprised I didn’t completely wear out as a kid. While the whole thing is truly the perfect Christmas special, one moment was always a favorite of mine: Bert and Ernie’s gift exchange. The true spirit of Christmas as portrayed by the best roommates in the world. Very little makes me happier.
13. “We Are All Earthlings” – chosen by Abigail Maughan (Muppet Mindset contributor)
This song was on some Sesame Street song compilation tape I had when I was a kid. It always made little me stop and think that, wow, the world really is a neat place. I always felt like I was seeing something really important whenever I watched it, even if I didn’t know quite what that was. The use of real-world footage, the lovely voices of all the Muppet critters singing together, and the sense of pure tranquility make it a very powerful little number to me.
14. “Don’t Eat the Pictures” – chosen by Mitchell Stein (Muppet Mindset contributor; operator of The Mickey Mindset)
I would have to say my favorite moment is probably the “Don’t Eat the Pictures” song from the Sesame Street movie Don’t Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While there’s nothing especially significant about this special, I owned this film on VHS when I was younger, and this was really my introduction to Sesame Street, so it means a lot to me. Plus, the song is incredibly wacky and perfect.
15. Oscar misses Slimey to space – chosen by Kyle Mahoney (Muppet Mindset contributor)
Oscar missing Slimey while in Space. Its a rare moment when we see an inconsistent soft side in Oscar the Grouch, but when Slimey followed his dream to go to the moon, Oscar is in a bad mood, but not the usual kind. He was sad and missed his friend, which shows that everyone can feel bad about something, no matter how grouchy they can be.
16. The Count meets David Robinson – chosen by Aaron Buitron (Muppet Mindset contributor)
This sketch makes me happy on several levels. I grew up watching David Robinson play so to see him interacting with The Count is wonderful. I love David’s increasing exasperation with The Count who seems to want nothing more than to go on counting David’s dribbles forever. Pure gold.
17. “Born to Add” – chosen by Shane Keating (Muppet Mindset contributor)
One thing I love about Sesame music is that the songs sound like things one would actually hear on any FM station, but they just happen to been about things for kids. This song is possibly the best example of that I can think of. Chris Cerf’s skills are all over this bit, which feature not only his great music and lyrics, but his awesome singing vocals.
18. “Imagination” – chosen by Joseph Scarbrough (Muppet Mindset contributor)
This is one of the moments that goes about as far back in my memory as I can remember. Not only does it have a really sweet and poignant memory set to a soothing and memorable song, but it’s one of the few times where Ernie doesn’t keep Bert awake for some silly reason, usually resulting in Bert losing his cool and a good night’s sleep.
19. Sesame Street Karaoke – chosen by Danny Horn (Muppet Wiki founder)
I was lucky enough to visit the Sesame Street set in 2003, on a day that they were filming an episode about a karaoke night at Hooper’s Store. Gina and Alan were the hosts of the show, on a stage set up outside the store. A running joke in the episode was that Gladys the Cow kept interrupting the show with silly cow puns, like her version of “That’s Amore”: “When the moooo-oon hits your eye…” After the third interruption, Gina waved Gladys away with her clipboard.
When that shot was completed, they did another take, because somebody on set — the director, the writer, the curriculum experts — thought that the particular motion that Gina used to brush the cow off looked disrespectful. They didn’t want to inadvertently give the impression that assertive women should be casually dismissed. It was a tiny moment in a busy day of shooting, but I’ve always remembered it, because they took the time to make sure that the opera-singing cow puppet was treated with dignity and respect. That’s how hardcore they are on Sesame Street.
20. Grover and the Three Little Pigs – chosen by Tyler Bunch (Sesame Street puppeteer)
My favorite memory is very personally motivated: we were shooting the inserts for a home-video that involved Grover and the three little pigs. Because we puppeteers watch a monitor while we work, every once in a while someone will ask to see the upcoming shot before we begin a full take… It’s called “asking for a reference.” In this vein, someone shouted “pig reference”… so I called back “Animal farm” and after beat shouted “Charlotte’s Web.” Once he figured out I was making “pig references”… well… it was the first time I made Frank Oz laugh.
21. “O-Klahoma” – chosen by Dave Hulteen (Muppet Mindset contributor; fan artist extraordinaire)
I remember enjoying a funny skit where Kermit directs Forgetful Jones on the set of “Oklahoma!” and the well-meaning Forgetful keeps forgetting to sing “O-klahoma” replacing each opening with different vowels: “A-klahoma, E-klahoma, I-klahoma… It’s pure Muppet magic where Jim and Richard play off each other beautifully. What makes this sketch so memorable for me was watching it again 20 years later with hundreds of fans at William Patterson University for Sesame’s 40th anniversary. This was the first Muppet event I ever went to and it was a great realization that there are so many other fans out there just like me, and that watching those types of things with those types of fans is the best way to enjoy the Muppets.
Art below illustrated by the wonderful Dave Hulteen!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org