Posts made in November, 2015

Sesame St S2: Bert & Ernie

After watching some of Ernie’s second season team-ups with other characters yesterday, today we’re back to the sketches with his longtime companion, his good old buddy, Bert, and I figured it would be nice to start with the rare scene in which, not only does Bert emerge happy and Ernie dejected but in which there’s actually no competition between them whatsoever. Bert’s happiness springs from Ernie being kind to him and Ernie’s lack of enthusiasm springs from simply being bored, and it all revolves around Bert’s famous bottlecap collection:



Read More

Sesame St S2: Ernie

Our focus today is our good, old pal, Ernie, who although he’s best known as being half of one of Sesame Street‘s longest-lasting power couples, often had a number of sketches on his own, as well. Interestingly, although with Bert, Ernie would often be the–for lack of a better word–tormentor, inflicting his unique Ernie-osity upon him and often driving our favorite fussbudget to scream, flail, faint, run away, or some combination of the above, Ernie didn’t necessarily share the same dynamic with other characters, some of whom wouldn’t put up with his fun-loving shenanigans at all (reiterating that, underneath the surface, Bert really does love him), and others of whom actually ended up placing Ernie in the traditional Bert role themselves, giving him a taste of his own medicine, so to speak.


Our first clip today is a great example of the former, a classic scene in which Ernie attempts to buy a very specific ice cream cone from the ice cream man–played by Jerry Nelson, who came on board this season–namely a chocolate strawberry peach vanilla banana pistachio peppermint lemon orange butterscotch ice cream cone:


Read More

Sesame St S2: Songs, Etc.

Today, I begin my survey of clips from Sesame Street Season 2. As usual, I watched the first batch on the Sesame Street: Old School Volume 1 DVD set’s “Classic Cuts” section.


First off, we have another sequence I remember fondly from childhood, “King of 8,” about a Jim-Henson-voiced monarch who loves the number 8 so much that he demands that everything in his kingdom be numbered thusly, from the flags on and windows in his castle to his guards to his daughters to the jewels on each one’s crown. Take note, however, that this doesn’t extend to sharing the royal title with 7 other kings or having 7 other wives. And speaking of marriage, his solitary wife causes some upset at the end of the bit by giving birth to a ninth daughter, of which he is informed by his one and only jester, shortly before the poor bloke is flattened by the 8 sign. Perhaps this balances out the numbers a bit?


Read More

Sesame Street Ep #131

Gordon interrupts Ernie and Bert's argument.

Gordon interrupts Ernie and Bert’s argument.

As I alluded to in previous posts, when the already monumentally successful Sesame Street returned for its second season premiere on November 9, 1970 (available for purchase as part of the Sesame Street: Old School Volume 1 DVD set), it featured some changes that came about as a result of discovering what worked and what didn’t during their first experimental year. One of the most instantly striking features about this episode is just how big and full the street now seems. Compared to the small handful of people who greeted viewers in the first aired episode, the first pan shot of this episode is stuffed with characters: adults, children, and perhaps most importantly, Muppets.


The show’s already come a long way from its initial hesitancy to feature

Read More

1969-1970 Variety Show Appearances

The original "Mahna Mahna".

The original “Mahna Mahna”.

Before proceeding on with Sesame Street‘s second season, today I took a look at a number of variety show appearances that Jim Henson and his Muppets team continued to do, both during Sesame Street‘s opening season and afterwards, during the summer hiatus.


The first is an extremely significant moment in Muppet history, being the debut of one of their most iconic songs and sketches, “Mahna Mahna”! Well, technically it was the second time the Muppets had used it. The first was in a 1969 Sesame Street sketch, which you can watch here, and which feels practically primitive today because, rather than the pink, furry, snoutish, round-mouthed Snowths, who have become indelibly linked to the song, the back-up singers are simply two nondescript Anything

Read More