Monday, October 20, 2008

A Rant about Sesame Street

Sesame Street is one of my all time favorite kids shows. I watched it growing up all those years ago and still love it. I love singing the songs that I remember, like "I love trash" or "Rubber ducky". I was iffy when Elmo was introduced because of the amount of time they devoted to his segment and how little singing there seemed to be during the rest of the show. Then there was the "Journey to Ernie" segment that made me crazy when Drew was little. I understand that the show needs to evolve and draw in new children in this age of Dora, Diego and shows on Playhouse Disney. My kids watch those shows too. But I love being able to tell them that I used to watch Sesame Street, and talk about my favorite characters, Bert and Ernie.

Bert and Ernie are perennial favorites. As a kid I had Bert and Ernie hand puppets, and a Sesame Street playhouse with certain characters. I don't care one bit about whether they might be gay or not. I just love them. Bert's obsession with pigeons is just so funny, and Ernie's love of Rubber Ducky is heartwarming. So it now pains me to see that Bert and Ernie are CLAYMATION characters and not puppets. I had read in my TV Guide back in late summer that Bert and Ernie were going to be claymation characters, but until this morning I hadn't seen a segment featuring the new twist. I am not loving it. Oh the voices are the same, but I think it totally detracts from the show. If all the other characters are going to stay as puppets, why make Bert and Ernie into something else? So Sesame Street Workshop, I am saddened with you today. Please bring back Bert and Ernie the way they used to be.

And that concludes my Monday morning rant. You can go back to your regularly scheduled day.

14 comments:

Kellie said...

I use to watch Sesame Street, too. Morgan never got into it. I've tried--I still try. I put it on several mornings a week and after a few minutes, she tells me she doesn't like it. She's a Playhouse Disney kid.

I didn't know Bert and Ernie are now claymation characters. I will have to check it out tomorrow, but I can already say I won't like it, either.

Saly said...

Claymation??? Really? I think that's terrible!!! My kids don't watch it too often; they are Dora and Diego kids.

Ryan Roe said...

Hi, Kristin! I'm a writer for the Muppet fan website ToughPigs.com... I watch Sesame Street much more than most reasonable adults do. The new claymation Ernie and Bert segments are a fun new thing this year, but they have no plans to abandon the puppet versions of the characters. In fact, they just appeared as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in a brand-new Sesame Street video called "Abby in Wonderland."

http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Image:Abbywonder-tweedles.jpg

So don't worry... The Sesame Street people aren't going to ditch the "real" Ernie and Bert after almost 40 years on the show.

Samantha said...

Wow, I totally didn't know about this claymation thing either. But just hearing about it freaks me out. It's not right, they're muppets, not claymations (if I'm stating that correctly). I'm hoping the above ryan roe is for real and is telling us the truth. I could never get Jordan into Sesame Street, but I also watched it constantly as a child.

Mommy Brain said...

Claymation? Really? I just saw what your other commenter said but I'm glad I missed that episode. We tend to watch Sesame Street videos instead of the TV because then it "comes on" when it's convenient for me. Like when I need to take a shower.

Constance (the First) said...

I don't like it, either. I'm getting more and more fond of my Sesame Street Old School DVD sets.

creative kerfuffle said...

i always liked mr. snuffleuppagus (i'm sure i slaughtered that spelling) and was sad back in the day when big bird wasn't the only one who "saw" him. i also loved grover : )
claymation? sad.
when mine were toddlers they didn't get into sesame street either--they were blue's clues kids.

heather... said...

Oh my gosh, I was going to say the same thing as the commenter above me. I liked it when Mr. S was only seen by Big Bird. And claymation? NOOOOOOO!

Ryan Roe said...

I already commented here to explain that the puppet Bert and Ernie are not going away. And it's true - if you watch the show on a regular basis, you'll see that they're still around.

But now I'm curious: Why do people hate Claymation so much? It seems to me that if Sesame Workshop were going to experiment with any variations of Ernie and Bert, clay animated versions would be low on the list of offensiveness.

You know what would be terrible? Ernie & Bert as goths, or Ernie and Bert as zombies, or Ernie & Bert as car thieves. But Ernie & Bert having colorful, animated adventures with cute puppies and funny aliens and hidden treasure? Somehow I don't see how that could cause anyone pain or sorrow.

Kristin.... said...

My objection to the claymation is that I am old school. I grew up in the '70s; the original characters are a part of my history. I don't think that claymation itself is terrible, but like Sam said~these are MUPPETS. And if the Muppets themselves ever change format I'd cry. You just can beat the original.

Job.... said...

But... the format's not changing. They're just doing something a little different to mix it up. There are NO PLANS to retire the Muppets on Sesame Street. At all.

creative kerfuffle said...

oy vey. i think, for those of us who grew up watching sesame street and the muppets, it is the fact that they were/are muppets (not clay) that drew us to them. yes, things have to change to keep them fresh for the up-and-coming generation, but there's also something to be said for not messing with a tried and true icon. sesame street has evolved over the years; elmo and zoe for example. we just prefer muppets to clay, that's all.

Bug-N-Bee said...

Bert and Ernie are claymation? That's just not right!

Astarte said...

I would HATE IT if they were to stay claymation. No, no, NO. I mean, I wouldn't object to there being a claymation segment on the show, but I *DO* object to taking pre-existing characters and changing them like that.

Also, claymation isn't my favorite thing, anyway. It's really weird-looking, all jerky and cold-seeming. I find the way it moves and looks to be distracting from the actual content.