The "Dance Myself to Sleep" sketch - is there a reason the sheep carry Bert's bed out, aside from "Bert panicking is funny?"
No. No, there is not.
In fact, this is the point of pretty much every Bert and Ernie skit, that Bert panicking (or furious, or stunned to the point of Fainting) is funny.
Just how DO you get to Sesame Street?
Make friends with people, value the good things in life, learn to love and be kind to others. That's how you get to Sesame Street.
Or, dope yourself up with several amphetamines, hallucinogens, and antidepressants and hope you don't accidentally step off the Yellow Submarine onto Avenue Q.
This troper thought that was brilliant, that just made her day.
You'll need to get directions there from Callahan's Place. It's where Mike sends the really bad cases.
To the above troper: I love you for tieing Sesame Street and Callahans. You have made my day.
If you take the Muppet Movie at face value when Kermit & Fozzie run across Big Bird, Sesame Street is somewhere in New York.
Sesame Street was taped at Teletape Studios in Manhattan until 1992 (when Teletape's parent company Reeves Entertainment went bankrupt), and thereafter moved to Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens. The older seasons, particularly in things like the alphabet and number sequence montages, are full of scenes of real-life New York.
You take the A, B, C, or D train, according to the occasionally-seen subway stop.
According to IMDb, "Take the "R" or "V" train to Steinway Street. Stay on back of train. Walk west on 34th Avenue, three blocks to 36th Street. Turn left on 36th Street. The entrance to Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens is mid-block (between 34th & 35th Avenues)."
Then you try and fake out the guards by pretending you're a lost child, just to meet Big Bird and Elmo.
Just how does the economics of Hooper's Store work? Who pays for all of those birdseed milkshakes for Big Bird? It looks like only the humans (and Kermit, and maybe Grover) have jobs.
I'd say Grover has jobs.
Of course he has jobs! Everywhere that Mr. Johnson (AKA Fat Blue) goes (whether a restaurant, taxicab, airplane, whatever), Grover's working there!! Like Ryan Seacrest, Grover (who, for some reason, I always pictured looking like Owen from ''Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story as a human) works at about 42 different places.
In this early sketch, Big Bird mentions having a tab. Not sure how that works, either, though.
Well, the actor that played Mr. Hooper was blacklisted during the McCarthy Era, maybe it's an elaborate Commune/Barter system?
And along these same lines, at least half of the Muppets clearly have the mental and emotional maturity of children, yet they apparently live by themselves. Does Social Services not exist in this universe?
A Muppet version, as evidenced in the movie where Big Bird is ripped from Sesame Street and sent to live with his own kind, a bird foster family. Serious Nightmare Fuel for this troper as a child.
It wasn't Social Services exactly. It was a group of birds (especially Miss Finch) that aribitrarily thought Big Bird needed to be with his own kind.
When I was a kid, I always thought Bert & Ernie were brothers, and the sketches that they showed up in happened to be when their folks were at work (hence, them never being around).
It could be that these Muppets are not "children," but they seem to be mentally young because they're just not used to the conventions of the human world, which is why they need certain things explained to them (i.e., concepts that the show's primary demographic would be learning). For example, as another troper notes below, Muppets don't seem to age, which might be why Big Bird struggled with the idea of Mr. Hooper's death—not just because he's mentally age six.
Me too. Makes me wonder. Did you tropers have an older/younger sibling who you were with when your parents were at work?
What is it with the beginning message on the "Old School" DVDs that say the old episodes "Are for adults and may not suit the needs of today's children."? WHAT. THE.FUCK? Are they afraid of today's kids developing a clever sense of humor or something?
Its because Moral Guardians have become more active and powerful since the loose 1970s. Also, the early episodes were targeted at older children, around eight. Today's episodes are targeted at young children, as young as three.
Also, note that it says "may not suit the needs of today's children," not "are not safe for children."
The disclaimer doesn’t say, “Do not under any circumstances let kids see this stuff because it’s bad for them.” It just says it “may not suit the needs of today’s pre-school children.” Now, if you had watched these DVDs, you’d know that the first episode includes a slow-moving, seven-minute segment on milking cows with droning, repetitious narration. Does that sound like the kind of thing today’s kids would sit still for?
There’s also a film sequence about unsupervised children playing in a construction site. We could debate whether or not watching that is damaging to kids, but can you blame Sesame Workshop for covering themselves by putting a disclaimer in front of something like that?
The Tropes article appears to mentions that they wanted to spare kids from the Mind Screw of seeing the old versions of the characters (ex: goofy Big Bird without the afro, orange Grouch). Though, that seems to be a partial reason as that quote doesn't warrant that big of a warning.
It's probably because the older episodes had Muppets hitting each other and calling names. But to be fair, a lot of children's entertainment of that time consisted of chasing, explosions and falling anvils. Sesame Street was still a step up (or several) from that.
The more I think about it, the label you mentioned does not seem to mention it was inappropriate for children, just not neccesarily suitable. It's like they were addressing the old fans who wanted to return to the older Sesame Street for nostalgic value. And it warns against showing this to kids because of the different tone the series had. There were definite mean-spirited moments and some unnecessarily scary monsters. Scaring kids probably isn't the point of learning numbers and letters and one of those scary monsters (Beautiful-Day monster) appropriately became a Muppet character later.
So is "Monster" a surname, a species or a race? And how do they reproduce? Do they age, what sort of family structure do they have? If there were more than one Cookie Monster, I'd be worried, considering how much he eats.
It's a Species Surname. And more than one Cookie Monster? Come on. Who else would name their kid 'Cookie,' anyway?
Maybe 'Cookie' is just a nickname; much like the kid in your third class who farted loud enough to be heard on the 2nd floor is known as Jimmy "Stinky" Vincent, he is Mike "Cookie" Monster (or whatever his first name actually is), because of his snack food of choice.
According to his article on the amazing Muppet Wiki, he claims to be the last cookie monster in the world, but later mentions there's more than one of him in a video. Really, since we've seen his family before, I think we can assume Cookie Monster is just his name. According to the article above, his name before Cookie was possibly Sid.
Why can't people seem to understand that Bert and Ernie aren't gay, but are instead roommates? They live on Sesame Street together because it's cheaper that way, just how Gonzo and Rizzo are roommates.
Aren't they brothers? And usually kids? Who says they (aside from Bert) are gay?
People would riff on Gonzo and Rizzo being roommates if either of them were noticeably hominoid. As semi-anthropomorphs, they are exempt from sexual speculation, as people stay mentally away from the sexual habits of extraterrestrial avians and terrestrial rodents.
More like the text-text that Gonzo swings more towards chickens. Since when has being asemi-anthropomorph stopped sexual speculation?
The fact that they argue like an old married couple doesn't help.
What about Statler and Waldorf? They've been together for years and yet no complaint about their sexual relations. I guess people don't like to mention sexual preferences about old men.
Do Statler and Waldorf live together? We know they hang out together, but the closest we've seen them to living together is both of them being in the same retirement home.
Waldorf is married; his wife Astoria takes Statler's place in one episode. However, she looks like Statler in drag.
Ah-HA! Statler is Waldorf's brother-in-law! Astoria wants them out of the house so she can have her Mah-Jong ladies over so she sends them off to the Muppet Theater every day...
Getting back to the original issue, what really bugs me is that people say they're gay when they clearly have two separate beds.
I am gay and in a relationship and sleep in a separate bed from my partner. We have conflicting sleeping habits. Considering that Bert always bitches at Ernie for eating in bed, it's not at all inconceivable to apply this to them.
The Count (Full name Count Von Count) is only interested in counting. He's not a real vampire, though I'd bet you could kill him with a stake through the heart.
Or the puppeteers heart.
His first name is Count (like Van Von Vaughn)? He's not, say, Humbert Von Count, Count of Streetsylvania?
Not to mention that he's purple.
Maybe the color is a result of not getting any blood in a long, long time?
Maybe he's like a Discworld vampire, and he overcame his addiction to blood by shifting the obsession onto something else, in this case counting.
Or he could just be wearing a costume. He's obviously wealthy, judging from his huge castle. Perhaps he actually descends from Eastern European aristocracy and he's just an eccentric billionaire who likes playing dress-up.
Didn't Dave Chappelle say the Count was a pimp on the comedy special, "Killing Them Softly"?
He's actually the same sort of vampire puppet as Little Vladdie the Dracula puppet from The Middleman, only rather more benign. He somehow ended up at the CTW workshops back in the 70's and the Muppeteers ended up having to work him into the show because they couldn't get him off Jerry Nelson's arm. Eventually the Middleman stopped by to have a word, resulting in the Count's change from being rather dark to much more friendly. The Muppeteers got used to using him as a character on the show, but to this day struggles sometimes still break out when the Count's hapless puppeteer needs to switch out.
The Count is obviously a vampire. An obsessive love of counting is actually a common part of pre-Stoker era vampire lore. I assume he just drinks the blood of animals.
Actually in Rumanian folklore a vampire's victim can distract the vampire by throwing seeds to the ground. The vampire will immediately and invariably start counting the seeds, and the victim can get away.
Maybe the Count thrives on counting the way other vampires do on blood. He did used to be able to compel people to do his bidding, which was always just to bring him more stuff to count; this was unsettling enough to be dropped later.
The Muppets and their ages. Are some of the older ones really adults? Is Elmo really only three? On that note, is Big Bird still only eight? None of them seem to act their age..
Bert and Ernie. Are they brothers, or just room-mates?
This troper heard that they were cousins, but can't remember where.
They're brothers in the books, but I'm not sure which if any are canon. They seem canon, but then Canonisatrickysubject.
Depending on which God you take Word of God from it varies. Certain people claim they're simply roommates. One version claims that they're the Younger and Older Brother as seen from the perspective of the other. Originally they were supposed to be Father (Bert) and Son (Ernie), but original producers thought that a Child talking to thier parent in the manner Ernie did to Bert was a bit much.
I think they keep it vauge so theres more room for different jokes. It really depends which is funnier.
Interestingly enough, when the Norwegian version of the show premiered, the kids in the test audience seemed to just assume that Bert was Ernie's father.
The issue of Santa Claus in the Christmas Eve on Sesame Street special. One of the major points is that Big Bird doesn't need to know if Santa is real or not. But Cookie Monster knows his phone number! Cookie called Santa! Santa apparently is in the phone book or something, so why is the "reality" of St. Nick in question in the Sesame Street universe?
IIRC, the subject of that special wasn't if Santa Claus was real or not, but how he fit through the tiny chimney of 123 Sesame Street. So Big Bird sat up on the roof, determined to find out how Santa did it. Of course, he dozes off, and wakes up just in time to hear Santa leaving.
The bigger logic flaw for this troper (and which turned out of kind of be how Gordon resolves the question at the end) was—Big Bird is worried because Oscar says Santa can't get down chimneys and therefore can't leave any presents, right? This isn't Big Bird's first time at the Christmas rodeo, though. The correct response to Oscar's 'theory' is "Oh, yeah? Then how did he get the presents in the house LAST year, smart guy?" Which in the end is basically what Gordon tells him ("Does it look like no one's getting any presents?") Oscar's got Big Bird going on the HOW part of the question, but as it's already been demonstrated that Santa DOES get in, why agonize over the how with the assumption that if you don't find out, Santa will no longer be able to do it? (Unless Oscar does in fact know Santa's real, as Cookie seems to, and is even CRUELER than we thought, because in the Sesame Street universe it's the opposite of what he implies to Big Bird—if you do know how Santa does it, then he doesn't bring presents. And this was an even eviler plot than it seems on face value. Oscar wasn't just trying to mess with Big Bird's head, he was trying to trick him into actually not getting any presents!)
Demons are both real and malevolent in the Sesame Street world. No, really, see the special "don't eat the pictures". And that Just Bugs Me.
Not only demons, but a (somewhat cleaned-up) version of the ancient Egyptian afterlife to boot. But apparently, Osiris is James Mason, so it's okay.
Referencing the time when the episodes are being made is a good thing. But why is Abby, a toddler, the only on camera person on Sesame Street who owns a cell phone?
All the Muppets have been around since the early '70s, and many were old enough then to have been around for decades even at that point. They're old enough to not exactly be able to keep up with all this newfangled technology the kids are into these days.
There was an episode where Oscar got a cell phone and was using it to annoy people.
In the late 90s, cell phones did start appearing on the show... back when people still called them cellULAR phones, and when they were still basically like pocket-sized cordless phones. Similarly, it was around 2000 or so when computers started to pop up on the show as well... how come we still don't see a whole lot of them either?
Toddlers dating. Especially dating Elmo. Abby get away from that red freak before he corrupts your magic.
Both of the items I made above regarding Abby came from a time when Headscratchers was still called It Just Bugs Me. To actually answer, after watching some episodes as an adult, it seems that Abby and Elmo are paired a little too often. An episode that opens with them sunbathing side by side did it for me.
Original poster of the Headscratcher here: I learned of a musical (I think) when I was listening to the radio where Elmo gets his hands on Abby's wand.
Why does Cookie Monster have to eat less cookies, but Elmo doesn't have to go to speech therapy? Children don't need to be thinking that they should be speaking about themselves in the third-person!
Remember to send Baby Beaw Baby Bear to those therapy sessions too!
As mentioned below, anyone who's actually been watching the show knows that no, Cookie Monster's diet hasn't been changed in the slightest.
"Well me known for eating cookie, When me don't, they shout, "Look, he trying to throw loyal fans a curve! What he doing eating fish, Or vegetable dish? Man, he sure got lot of nerve!" Actually, if we want to send Elmo to speech therapy for being a Third-Person Monster, maybe Cookie should drop in from time to time for inappropriate use of object pronouns, and omission of linking verbs.
Elmo is supposed to be around 3.5 years old, and kids that age do sometimes refer to themselves in third person. If you go on the theory that Muppets are adults/older, but just not used to the human world and its conventions, maybe the third-person thing is a leftover quirk of Elmo's that doesn't transfer into our world that well. As for Baby Bear, maybe the producers thought (think) that having him attend speech therapy would teach that there is something "wrong" with speech impediments/disabilities (and you don't normally see that kind of sensitivity toward disabilities, so if that's true, thank heavens). And the reason Cookie Monster took flak about his cookie habit is because the Moral Guardians need to get a life. Never, not once, have I heard of a child watching Cookie Monster and growing up to be an obese, type 2 diabetic cookie addict.
According to this picture about the mental disorders of Sesame Street Muppets, Elmo suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I wish the list had included some of the newer muppets too.
Now I love Sing (Sing A Song), but one lyric still annoys me. "Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear." This is implying that everyone can't sing prettily enough. It should be "Don't worry if it's not good enough for anyone else to hear." This would convey the proper message: that regardless of your singing ability it's important to sing out loud and strong to share your feelings.
Hold on a sec: The line is saying don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear. As in "Don't think 'Oh, I can't sing, because it probably will be bad!' because it's NOT."
I disagree. "Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear." This is a decree that your singing voice is not good enough for anyone to hear. Your voice is not merely worse than the average person, it's the absolute worst voice that can possible sing a song. This is a bad message.
If it meant that, it would say "Don't worry because it's not good enough for anyone else to hear." As it is, the message is not to worry about your singing ability not being good enough without any kind of judgment on whether or not that's actually true.
I always took it to mean "If you enjoy doing something, even if you're not very good at it, don't let other people try and stop you. Do it for yourself instead."
What kind of bird is Big Bird? The size seems to indicate a ratite, but ratite posture is horizontally oriented, and Big Bird is perfectly vertical like a penguin...
For that matter, if he is still a juvenile, as he clearly is, how big is he going to get when he's full grown?
Well, he is a big bird, after all!
A parrot, obviously. He can talk, that settles it.
Maybe he's the last elephant bird or moa. No, screw that. He's a juvenile roc, who will grow up to destroy the street. Damn, that would make a good fanfic.
If he were a moa, he'd have no arms.
Big Bird is what hatched out of Humpty Dumpty!
Big Bird is a phoenix. Hm... Who knew I'd want to write a fanfic about Sesame Street!
One zoologist has suggested that Big Bird is a flightless crane that retains juvenile characteristics into adulthood.
His friend is a woolly mammoth. Maybe Big Bird is also prehistoric, this time a terror bird.
Carrol Spinney (by proxy of Big Bird) says that he's a lark. Get it?
The message is that we are all people, despite our differences. It's clearly an anti-prejudice song.
What's the name of that song?
That is the name of the song. Don't read into it too much. It's a chicken-and-egg thing. It's kind of a BLAM song, come to think of it.
Why does the fat blue Muppet continue to go to Charlie's Restaurant if he's expressed such dismay at being waited on by Grover?
He's always in a hurry. Maybe it's the only restaurant near enough to his office for him to get there and back on his lunch break.
One episode had him going to Hooper's Store for a change; Grover heard about this and actually called him at Hooper's, crying and begging him to come back to Charlie's. Apparently Grover is extremely dedicated to serving his favorite customer, and Mr. Johnson realized it just wasn't worth it to go elsewhere.
Alternately, Grover only works there occasionally, and Mr. Johnson (as his name has now been revealed to be) keeps coming to the place because whenever Grover isn't the waiter it's actually a very nice place to eat. So every time Mr. Johnson enters the restaurant, it's with the hope that today isn't one of the seemingly-random days when Grover is working... and often, it isn't, and Mr. Johnson has a very nice meal during which nothing funny whatsoever happens — but that wouldn't be very entertaining to show on TV, so we only get to see the times when he discovers to his annoyance that Grover is at work today.
The whole Veggie Monster thing. Anyone who actually saw "Cookies Are A Sometimes Food" knows that the song is sung to Cookie, who at the end declares that "sometime is now" and starts eating a lot of cookies. He's always been an Anti-Role Model of sorts, and the fact that everyone is now convinced that this has changed is irritating, especially because if you don't watch the show enough to spot the fact that this is only a rumor, than why do you care so much?
Why oh why did they have to make Zoe wear the tutu permanently? I'm fine with her loving ballet— what little girl didn't at that age?— but this is a bit much.
Word of God is because they wanted to show how sometimes kids get attached to a certain article of clothing that they like, and wear it constantly... like when I was a kid, for example, for a year, I wore like the exact same blue polo shirt and navy shorts almost every single day, because I went through this phase that I wanted to wear the same outfit all the time like a cartoon character. But as far as Zoe goes, it's almost kind of like how Bear from Franklin started wearing that hideous vest all the time.
Why does Dorothy seem to shapeshift episode to episode of Elmo's World? She shrinks, grows, gains spots, loses spots...is she a time lord?
The Doylist reason is that, well, goldfish don't live very long...
Logically, how is it possible for a ceiling fan to hang over Big Bird's nest (in the old days), when his nest is outside? (Yeah, I'm sure in the studio, the fan probably hung from the lighting grid like the tireswing in the Arbor area used to, but still...)
Maybe it hangs off a fixture from one of the nearby buildings?
In the episode where the adults finally see Mr. Snuffleupagus, it's clear that although they haven't seen him Maria, Gordon, and Linda have all become convinced that he is real. And after a false alarm where it turned out Big Bird was just practicing with his secret word, the third time he yells the secret word the adults all refuse to go in (though I think Big Bird promised not to practice yelling the secret word), even the ones who had believed him at this point. What's the deal with that?
Like you said, it was the third time, and by now everyone's probably a bit annoyed at all the false alarms. They know Big Bird wouldn't play tricks, but he has been known to jump the gun too many times. Even if his friends believe him about Snuffy, they don't enjoy running over every five seconds "just in case he's there."