Posts made in November, 2016

Sesame St S7 Clips

Grover makes it snow at Kermit's.

Grover makes it snow at Kermit’s.

Today, I continue my look at Sesame Street‘s seventh season with the assorted clips that appeared as bonus features on the Sesame Street: Old School Volume 2 DVD set, a few of which I don’t have much to say about, so I’ll just breeze through those first. Two are two of the classic pinball machine counting animations, which you are guaranted to remember if you watched this era of the show (you can check one out here). Another features Buffy Sainte-Marie–a Canadian First Nations woman who appeared numerous times on the show in this era–singing “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” and in yet another, Bob plays a musical game of “Follow the Leader” with a group of children, some of whom have Down syndrome. This is a lovely segment, because Bob never points out these kids’ disorder but treats them exactly as the others, and they respond to the game just as the others do.

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Sesame Street Ep #796

Susan and Gordon don't see Snuffy.

Susan and Gordon don’t see Snuffy.

The seventh season of Sesame Street debuted on PBS on December 1st, 1975–fairly late, given it usually started up in September or October–with episode #796, which I watched for today’s post (and is available on the Sesame Street: Old School Volume 2 DVD set). And while I can’t really judge the entire season based on the premiere alone, it would seem that not much has changed in Sesame Street‘s evolution from last year to this one. There is still very little connective tissue holding the episode together, and, in some ways, I found it the least interesting one to watch thus far, but I might just be growing a bit impatient with watching full episodes of this by this point. There’s some great individual stuff here, but, as an hour of television, it doesn’t hold up well.

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SNL: “The Land of Gorch” #1-6

"The Land of Gorch"

“The Land of Gorch”

Although the major networks had still chosen to pass on The Muppet Show, Jim Henson and the Muppets did get a big TV break in 1975, when Lorne Michaels hired them to appear as regulars on his then-brand-new late-night sketch comedy show, then called Saturday Night, later to be known as Saturday Night Live. In fact, the Muppets appeared on the very first episode and weekly thereafter for the first months of the show (the first season of SNL is up on Hulu and Amazon, or you could watch it on DVD).


Rather than highlighting any of the known characters up to that point, however, these sketches–collectively known as The Land of Gorch–were an entirely new creation, with a cast of fantastical alien creatures living in

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The Muppet Show Pitch Reel

Leo pitches "The Muppet Show"!

Leo pitches “The Muppet Show”!

And now, after viewing the two failed ABC pilots, we come to Jim Henson’s next attempt to finally bring The Muppet Show to primetime, one which ultimately proved successful but not directly or immediately.


But I’m getting ahead of myself. To tell a long story as succinctly as possible, Jim hired David Lazer–an IBM exec who worked with him on the short films he and the Muppets made for that company and who was extremely enthusiastic about Jim and his talents–as a new producer. Lazer was a much slicker, savvier Hollywood type than the Henson people were generally used to but he knew how to sell things in the entertainment industry. Meanwhile, Jim made an appearance on CBS’ Cher show (unfortunately, I wasn’t able to locate any clips to watch), which also had a major impact. Cher and her producer, George Schlatter–the

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