wasting my time over you
so i've spent an inappropriate amount of time now watching Sesame Street's superlative Old School three-DVD set and i have drawn me some conclusions. i thought i knew a little something about Sesame Street. well, let me tell you -- i didn't know jack about Sesame Street (other than the fact that it's the most awesome thing ever invented, including even penicillin, the iPod and internet porn). allow me to present you with my thoughts on the subject:
- did you know there has been not one -- not two -- but three gordons. three! who knew? the first gordon was played by a guy named matt robinson. also, he was kind of a prick. seriously weird guy that gordon. he's a teacher i guess and in the very first episode of sesame street ever, he brings a little girl home with him, a new student, and shows her around sesame street. it feels a little like he's abducted her into his weird muppet cult. anyway, they got rid of him in 1971 and hired a much more handsome, strapping gordon. susan definitely seemed much more into him, anyway. the gordon i most fondly remember is still the gordon on the air. he's played by roscoe orman -- who's been rocking that bald pate of his on public television since 1973. my question: were kids not supposed to notice that gordon was all of a sudden a totally different dude? everyone around him acted as if nothing changed -- like in bewitched when they swapped Darrin. this must have been truly distressing to young sesame street fans.
- did you know that oscar was originally orange? ain't natural, i tell you.
- snuffleupagus seems to have been on some seriously elaborate drugs. "His stare is so intense I can feel him looking into my soul." ... also the adults on sesame street are all a bunch of jerks.
- which probably explains the disclaimer at the beginning of the first DVD which says, essentially, these discs are intended for entertainment purposes only -- they're not necessarily meant for today's children. how awesome is that? the TV that was good enough for us is no longer good enough for our kids. thank god they won't turn out as damaged as we did. (provided the earth doesn't burst into a big flaming fireball of fiery flames and greenhouse deathgas before they get old enough to procreate.)
- it's a tired old joke to say that bert and ernie were gay. yes, there are indeed some excellent homoerotic moments on these dvds, but i feel the need to address a much more important point. every one loves ernie. everyone is always down on bert for being a tight-ass. ernie is the cool kid. bert is the geek. ernie is mac; bert is the PC. well, you know what? you'd be uptight and irritable too if you shared a room with ernie. ernie was a total asshole! he eats bert's cookies, taunting him in the process, and then laughs about it! he's a complete sociopath who runs the vaccum cleaner and blasts the stereo in the dead of night when bert (and presumably all the neighbors) are trying to sleep. what a dick! finally, for a geek, bert was pretty swingin'. nice moves.
- man, back in the day maria was very subtly insanely hot.
- as you get older you realize that all those incredible songs don't just write themselves. someone has to write "bein' green" and "C is for cookie" and "doin' the pigeon" (see: bert's nice moves) and "everybody sleeps" and "J jump" and "bein' a pig." the person who wrote all of those songs was joe raposo. wow.
- has anyone else noticed how whenever multiple muppets get together to sing a song, at the end of the scene they all scatter, but never seem to know where they're going? they do double takes and retrace their steps and look generally bewildered as they search for the exit. is it really that disorienting to be a muppet after having burst into spontaneous song?
- we want roosevelt! seriously, what's with the whitewashing of roosevelt franklin out of the show's history?! he was by far the most exciting, fun and funky muppet of all time and he appears exactly two times as a fleeting minor character on the DVDs. but in the early '70s he was so important to the show there was a Roosevelt Franklin Elementary School for chrissakes! i mean, do you know any other kid who has a school named after him (a school where he is a student who apparently also teaches)? AND who has his own theme song!? but alas today, roosevelt franklin is nowhere to be found. he disappeared completely from the show after like two seasons and he's given no love on this compilation. what gives? after a little research, i found a sesame street newsletter from 2000 which says "Roosevelt and his classmates were known for their wise-cracking comments and rowdy behavior, which is one reason they were so funny and the same reason they were taken off the show. Sure, the lessons they were learning were good examples, but their behavior wasn't!" so a muppet got written off the show for his behavior? wtf? that would be like J.D. Salinger being pissed off at holden caulfield for getting thrown out of prep school. but that's beside the point. the real point is ... a world with less of this in it is a sadder, less groovy place indeed: