Welcome to Sesame Street, Julia!
In March, Sesame Street announced plans to bring Julia—a muppet character with autism who’s appeared in books, apps, and other supplemental material—onto its flagship show. And she finally made her official debut on the iconic block this week. In her first appearance, which you can watch above, Big Bird meets Julia for the first time and learns about the many things that make her special and unique. Vox’s Dylan Matthews, who is autistic himself, has a great piece explaining the many subtle but important choices Sesame Street made in how to introduce Julia. And he points out one or two areas in which the show could potentially improve its autistic representation in the future too.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Julia’s creation:
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Trump's distaste for publicly-funded children's programming may or may not be connected to Sesame Street's character Ronald Grump, a grouch who finagles Oscar into relocating from his trash can to Grump Tower. Read the rest
Julia is the new muppet with autism who's joined Sesame Street and she's off to an amazing start with this delightful game of "Boing Boing tag." We love you too, Julia! (Thanks,Sam Borgeson!) Read the rest
Fan footage of Seinfeld's Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Sesame Street's All-Star 25th Birthday (1994) in which she appeared as "Kathie Lee Kathie." I hope she put $5 in the swear jar as Elmo demanded.
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"We've never had such a violent, obnoxious celebrity on Sesame Street ever!" said Elmo. Pesci looked at it for a moment, then spat on it. [via r/videos] Read the rest
Helpful definition for anyone confused by the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage in America.
I didn't truly appreciate what a miracle is YouTube til I realized how many half-remembered Sesame Street sketches, songs and puppet shows from my grainy, nostalgic childhood could be found there. Some of them seem quite odd in retrospect, and there are folks out there dedicated to tracking down the oddest.
Jon Armond and friends had some lingering memories of a 1970s song-animation where the cracks on a girl's wall come to life and become her friends -- Crack Camel, Crack Monkey and Crack Hen.
It all goes a bit creepy when they meet Master Crack, a large, monstrous face-like cluster in a corner of the room, plaster crumbling from the maws of his eyes. Who thought this would be a good idea to show children?
To find the "Master Crack" clip, Armond went on a veritable quest, recorded in this audio documentary. If Serial was just about trying to find weird old children's show clips from the 70s I'd be so hooked.
Anyone remember an old Sesame clip that was just the stop-motion transmutation of a sandbox into a desert scene, accompanied by gentle music? I think two toy rhinos were placed into it at the end. If you know that one and can find it, Tweet me (@leighalexander)!
[h/t Laughingsquid] Read the rest
The Bug Band performs "She Loves You" on The Muppet Show in 1979. According to the Muppet Wiki, they were a nameless group until Kermit told them they needed a moniker. They suggested "The Grateful Dead" and "The Who." (via Experimental Music on Children's TV) Read the rest
The Roots, Jimmy Fallon, and the Sesame Street gang sing a rousing rendition of "Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?" Read the rest
The Kevin Clash/Elmo scandal, and its many furry tentacles, all broken down in one handy flowchart by Hilary Sargent
Click here for the full chart: JPEG, PDF. Read the rest
Following last week's underage sex scandal, Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash has decided to step down from his 28-year position at Sesame Street. A statement was released by Sesame Workshop on Clash's behalf:
"...Kevin Clash has helped us achieve [our] mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street."
A sad day indeed. Clash was recently the subject of allegations of an underage sexual relationships with two men. One of them, who claimed he'd been 16 at the time, later recanted and settled, saying he was 18, but regretted taking the claim back. TMZ is also saying that a second man claims a phone relationship began when he was 15 and Clash was 32. Bummer. (via The Wrap)
Previously: Child sexual abuse allegations against voice of Elmo withdrawn Read the rest
A puppet march to support public broadcasting has its own theme song.
[Video Link] Chris Hardwick's NERDIST YouTube channel is full of awesome, but few things as awesome as this.
The Official Music Video for "Do It Anyway," the first track from Ben Folds Five's much anticipated album THE SOUND OF THE LIFE OF THE MIND...featuring the Fraggles from Jim Henson's "Fraggle Rock"! Also starring Rob Corddry, Anna Kendrick & Chris Hardwick.
Buy the album on iTunes. Directed by Phil Hodges. See the Behind-the-Scenes here. Read the rest
Thanks, Kate Davis! Read the rest
There's something inevitable about Tautr's "Occupy Sesame Street" set, but that doesn't mean I don't like it. After all, most of us learned how to think about concepts like "fairness" from these characters.
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
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This YouTube mashup of Tom Waits's creepy polka "God's Away on Business" with Cookie Monster clips is just great -- Cookie Monster dances exactly the same way I do when Tom Waits is playing. Plus they have the same voice!
Tom Waits/Cookie Monster mashup - God's Away On Business
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