Sesame St S1: Songs, Etc.

Furthermore, I love that Kermit then changes tactics because Cookie’s tears have now allowed him to teach the children what sad looks like, which in turn makes Kermit happy and so he forgives the very repentent and grateful Cookie. Kermit then shows him a sad face drawing he made and thanks him because now he doesn’t need to use it to illustrate sadness! “You don’t need sad face?” Cookie asks. Kermit answers no, and Cookie instantly takes that as his cue to eat the sad face, as well, which sets Kermit off all over again, a wonderful ending note that brings the whole sketch full circle, and allows both characters to run the full gamut of emotion over its course.


Next up, we have Kermit illustrating “same” and “different,” with two identical foam rectangles:



This one starts with a funny little flub in which Kermit starts off by saying that same is when things are “not just exactly alike,” which you’d think would be a bit confusing for kids, so I’m assuming the performers just didn’t notice the mistake. As it goes on, however, Kermit shows how and why the two rectangles are the same, so the error isn’t as prominent. But anyway, as you may guess, Cookie comes along and takes a bite out of one of the rectangles, upsetting Kermit because they’re now different. However, Cookie, perhaps still feeling bad from the previous example (probably not; I’m not even sure what order these aired in!), wants to make things right with the “froggy,” so he takes an identical bite out of the rectangle on the left so they look the same again. In a great little twist, though, Cookie tells Kermit that they’re not actually the same after all. The one on the right tastes “delicious” and the one on the left is “yucky”!


The third Kermit clip is one in which he looks at various clues to determine what is happening in each scenario. It seems like these sorts of cause-and-effect progression games were a big deal in children’s education in the late 60s/early 70s, as they recur quite a lot, even in the relatively few bits of the first season I’ve been able to watch. Now, I have to admit, I actually found this one a bit slow-going, compared to most of the others. I was mostly interested in the fact that Kermit’s eyes are a little more askew than usual.



So, yeah, not the most interesting or unusual Sesame Street or Kermit sketch, other than Beautiful Day taking Cookie’s role. I guess the fact that the monster’s meal is the picnic basket and umbrella–compared to the more straightforward clues for the kid planting a vegetable garden and the man making the birdhouse–is a nice little twist, but it takes too long to get to that point, is pretty tame compared to when Cookie devours things, and doesn’t really surprise with any clever addition to the formula, as both of the preceding ones did.


The next one isn’t the most memorable either, but it’s cute. Kermit demonstrates “little” and “big” by showing us a very tiny monster (who might be the tiny version of Beautiful Day from the Beautiful Day sketch from where he gets his name) and a larger one. But then suddenly a giant snaggle-toothed monster, who looks like a wider, fuzzier Splurge, jumps out and scares Kermit away, introducing the idea of relative sizes:



And our last clip for today, a sweet example of Kermit interacting with a young child, here illustrating the rather complex concept of “here” and “there”. There has been a lot of discussion about how magical the Sesame Street Muppets were with children. Almost never is the illusion of the Muppets being living, breathing creations more complete than when real, live kids are interacting with them, because they buy into the Muppets’ reality so fully. Countless interviews with Sesame Street people all say the same thing: that when a child was talking to a Muppet, even though the puppeteer was right there, he or she would keep their eyes locked on the Muppet, basically forgetting that there was anyone controlling him or her at all. To them, Kermit, Grover, Ernie, Bert, etc., were real. And this is a great early example of that:



And on Monday, I’ll be watching more Sesame Street clips, all of them this time around revolving around Bert and/or Ernie!


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