The recent Sesame Street seminar on racism has caused quite a stir on the Internet, thanks in large part to a scene in which Elmo's father, Louie, explains why people are protesting police brutality.
Beyond its socio-political importance, many were aghast to learn that Elmo — who is a muppet — also has a biological family.
But Elmo doesn't just have a dad. According to his Muppet wikia entry:
Elmo lives in an apartment on Sesame Street with his mother Mae, his father Louie, and, in some storybooks, a sister named Daisy. He has a pet goldfish named Dorothy.
Other relatives in Elmo's family include his grandma and grandpa; his great-grandmother (featured in a 1989 episode) and his great-grandfather (named Selmo); his Uncle Jack, Aunt Jill, and cousin Jesse (featured in When Families Grieve); plus additional cousins Elmer (featured in Kids' Favorite Country Songs), Chester (featured in Here For You), and Mimsy. Additionally, the television special Sesame Street Stays Up Late shows Elmo's "international" cousins — Pepé from Mexico and Elmonosuke from Japan. As seen in The Furchester Hotel, he also has an aunt Funella Furchester, an uncle Furgus Fuzz, and a cousin Phoebe Furchester-Fuzz.
In short, Elmo has a big family. Which means a lot of Muppet sex.
But what if Elmo's dad … isn't actually his dad?
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♫ Can you tell me how to get, how to get to a more equitable society where unconscious biases don't play such an overwhelming role in structural inequalities and police brutality? ♪
For shorter clips and summaries:
Watch the entire CNN/Sesame Street racism town hall [Alex Chaet / CNN] Read the rest
Parents can send their family's questions in about protests, racism and diversity HERE.
The 60-minute special "Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism. A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Families" will air on Saturday, June 6, at 10 a.m. ET.
The show will talk to kids about racism, the recent nationwide protests, embracing diversity and being more empathetic and understanding.
Big Bird will join CNN commentator Van Jones and CNN anchor and national correspondent Erica Hill to moderate the event. They will be joined by "Sesame Street" characters -- including Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Rosita -- and other experts answering questions submitted by families...
How to watch: The town hall will air on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español. It will stream live on CNN.com's homepage and across mobile devices via CNN's apps, without requiring a cable log-in.
You can also watch on CNNgo, and subscribers to cable/satellite systems can watch it on-demand.
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In 1979, Sesame Street animator Cathryn Aison created "Geometry of Circles," an abstract animation with original music by minimalist pioneer Philip Glass. It consists of four segments that were first aired as a complete piece. From the Muppet Wiki:
The shorts consist of the movement of six circles (each with a different color of the rainbow) that are formed by and split up into various geometric patterns. Glass's music underscores the animation in a style that closely resembles the "Dance" numbers and the North Star vignettes written during the same time period as his Einstein on the Beach opera.
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If Sesame Street characters doing impressions of each other doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will.
The cast of 'Sesame Street' test out their best impressions of Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Bert, Ernie, Oscar the Grouch, Grover, Mr. Snuffleupagus, Rosita and The Count.
'Sesame Street' is celebrating its 50th anniversary of helping kids everywhere grow up smarter, stronger and kinder. The 50th season is currently running on HBO and will premiere on PBS in the summer of 2020.
Previously, and definitely worth a watch: "Start Wearing Purple" as sung by Sesame Street's Count
Thanks, Mark! Read the rest
As a way to promote a movies and other projects, Vanity Fair sometimes puts celebrities through a jokey lie detector test (see: Jennifer Lawrence). The polygraph itself is real but the questions are humorous. This time Big Bird is in the hot seat and he gets grilled on on all sort of things by the interviewer and a few of his Muppet pals. In short, we learn the 8-foot-tall Sesame Street icon cannot lie.
Which Bird is better at basketball? Big Bird or Larry Bird? Does he ever Google himself? Is Oscar the Grouch a good neighbor? Who is Big Bird's best friend? Does Big Bird have it in him to tell a lie?
Sesame Street is celebrating its 50th anniversary of helping kids everywhere grow up smarter, stronger and kinder. Sesame Street’s 50th season is currently running on HBO and will premiere on PBS in the summer of 2020.
screengrab via Vanity Fair Read the rest
This. is. amazing. Purple Count singing Gogol Bordello's "Start Wearing Purple" — the entire song! Someone spent a long time making this mashup video but we don't know who exactly. Their YouTube account is anonymous, simply named Purple Count. Mystery mashup master, I bow to you. Read the rest
This is an excellent Halloween costume.
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I currently live three hours away from a movie theater. A six-hour toot in our jeep just to watch Joker? Not going to happen. Happily, David Harbour and the cast of Saturday Night Live goofing on Joaquin Phoenix's turn in Joker feels like more than enough to give me the gist of the flick until it pops up on streaming services. Read the rest
Sesame Street continues its run of excellent, empathetic new muppets to help kids deal with a changing world: after introducing muppets experiencing homelessness, living with autism, and explaining marriage without recourse to gender norms, the show has introduced a muppet whose mother lost custody of her after becoming addicted to drugs.
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Oh my heart. The Muppets of Sesame Street had their own Tiny Desk concert!
NPR's Bob Boilen:
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The news has stopped! Count von Count and the NPR kids count us down: 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1!
And there they are at the Tiny Desk: Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Rosita, Abby Cadabby and Cookie Monster, all singing about a sunny day and how everything is A-OK. The Sesame Street crew — including Elmo, Grover and other surprise guests — visited NPR's headquarters in Washington, D.C., to celebrate Sesame Street's 50 years of teaching the world its A-B-Cs, its 1-2-3s, how to be kind and how to be proud, all while spreading love and joy.
Sesame Street has won more major awards than any other group to play the Tiny Desk, including 11 Grammys and 192 Emmys. There was a lot of love as the cast of Sesame Street got to meet NPR hosts and newscasters, who in turn got to geek out meeting their favorite Muppets and the creators behind the felt and fur. These folks include Matt Vogel, Sesame Street's puppet captain and performer, and music director Bill Sherman.
I even got to sing with Grover. And I'll also say, on a personal note, that this may well have been the hardest-working, most dedicated group of performers I've ever worked with. I'm so proud of these Muppets and so happy to celebrate all that they've meant to the world for these 50 years.
Sesame Street is turning 50 years in November. As part of the yearlong celebration, they've posted this fun compilation of well-known musicians parodying their own songs over the years. (I'm actually ok with not being able toget REM's "Happy Furry Monsters" out of my head because it's adorable.)
A YouTube commenter listed all the musical artists with their Sesame Street-ed song:
* 1973 - Stevie Wonder | Superstition (0:00)
* 1978 - Paul Simon | Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard (5:09)
* 1979 - Ray Charles | I Got a Song (1:40)
* 1984 - James Taylor | That Grouchy Face (3:41)
* 1988 - Smokey Robinson | U Really Got a Hold on Me (4:02)
* 1988 - Billy Joel | Just the Way You Are (0:38)
* 1988 - Marlee Matlin | Just the Way You Are (0:38)
* 1996 - Melissa Etheridge | Like the Way U Does (4:15)
* 1996 - Spin Doctors | Two Princes (1:15)
* 1998 - Tony Bennett | Slimey to the Moon (2:48)
* 1999 - REM | Furry Happy Monsters (1:24)
* 2000 - Hootie & the Blowfish | Hold My Hand (2:01)
* 2000 - The Goo Goo Dolls | Pride (1:05)
* 2002 - Dixie Chicks - No Letter Better Than B (2:20)
* 2003 - Sheryl Crow | I Soaks Up the Sun (1:48)
* 2004 - Norah Jones | Don't Know Y (0:18)
* 2005 - Andrea Bocelli | Time to Say Goodnight (2:27)
* 2007 - James Blunt | My Triangle (5:00)
* 2008 - Feist | 1234 (3:00)
* 2009 - Jason Mraz | Outdoors (4:47)
* 2011 - Elvis Costello | (A Monster Went and) Ate My Red Two (3:27)
* 2012 - Train | Five By (3:11)
* 2015 - One Direction | What Makes "U" Useful (4:31)
* 2015 - Macklemore | Grouch Thrift Shop (3:53)
Just try and tell me that didn't make you smile, even a little. Read the rest
In 1987, Max Headroom appeared on Sesame Street where he recited the alphabet. Catch the wave.
And if you're not hip to Max's cyberpunk stylings, the 1985 UK TV movie is where it all started:
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Here we go again. This Sesame Street sound bite is being called the new Yanny/Laurel. Read the rest
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, isn't afraid to keep it real for kids. Last year they introduced Julia, the first muppet with autism. Now they've launched an initiative called Sesame Street in Communities that, amongst other things, will bring the first muppet to experience homelessness. Her name is Lily and she was originally introduced in 2011 as a character whose family was struggling with hunger.
Unfortunately, Lily’s path is common for many children experiencing homelessness.
“We know children experiencing homelessness are often caught up in a devastating cycle of trauma—the lack of affordable housing, poverty, domestic violence, or other trauma that caused them to lose their home, the trauma of actually losing their home, and the daily trauma of the uncertainty and insecurity of being homeless,” said Sherrie Westin, President of Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop. “We want to help disrupt that cycle by comforting children, empowering them, and giving them hope for the future. We want them to know that they are not alone and home is more than a house or an apartment—home is wherever the love lives.”
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"When Lily was first launched, she came out as part of the food insecurity initiative. So she's not brand new, but this seemed like a really perfect extension of her story, so that we could use her to help children identify with," Westin said. "With any of our initiatives, our hope is that we're not only reaching the children who can identify with that Muppet but that we're also helping others to have greater empathy and understanding of the issue."
OMG, these hand-crocheted Yip Yips stockings by Carissa Browning sure do make me smile. The big mouths of Sesame Street's Muppet martians are perfect for stuffing in holiday gifts (and later for storing toys, Browning suggests).
One catch: If you want these, you'll have to crochet or knit them yourself. Fortunately, Browning has provided patterns for them which can be downloaded for free from her Ravelry page.
The spaceship has landed, and any fan of late 20th century children’s public television will recognize these lovable aliens.
Crochet them or knit them, use them as holiday stockings, toy storage, kids’ laundry, whatever really!
You should also be prepared to play with ping pong balls and pipe cleaners, and do a little light sewing.
Yip yip uh-huh uh-huh
(Cool Mom Picks, Daily Crochet)
photo via Carissa Browning, used with permission Read the rest