The Top Five Sesame Street Inserts I Knew Nothing About Before sesamestreet.org
Michael Wermuth, Jr. – Today I want to talk about one of the greatest websites ever, sesamestreet.org. This website has hundreds of clips from Sesame Street available for viewing for free. When online video sites like YouTube started becoming popular, it became common for fans to upload their copies of clips from the show. Then Sesame Workshop started its own video website, sesamestreet.org, and Sesame Workshop has the advantage over the fans because Sesame Workshop is almost guaranteed to upload high-quality copies of sketches, and while the selection of episodes recorded by fans is limited, Sesame Workshop likely has copies of every broadcast episode, having access to just about everything from the show. So in addition to uploading many of the clips we’ve seen hundreds of times, the website has uploaded a number of former rarities.
Sesame Workshop has also added many clips so rare that I hadn’t even been aware of them. Maybe I’m not the most knowledgeable Sesame Street fan, but I regularly look at Muppet Wiki pages on Sesame Street episodes and sketch guides for characters and recurring sketches. I frequently read the Muppet Central and ToughPigs message boards, reading about sketches people have or remember (or are trying to remember). So I’d like to present a list of my top five favorite Sesame Street inserts I knew nothing about before sesamestreet.org.
5. Q: Quiet
For this list, I am listing the clips by the titles listed on the website. Although Sesame Workshop has it listed as “Q: Quiet” this segment has nothing to do with the letter Q, the word “quiet,” or the concept of quiet. Instead, Grover teaches the word “walk” with some help by Little Jerry and the Monotones (none of whom are performed by the performers most associated with them in this sketch; Even Little Jerry is performed by Fran Brill instead of Jerry Nelson). There is also a segment called “Walk On Grover” which appears to be a follow-up sketch, but part one is definitely better.
This is probably the first sketch with the Two-Headed Monster, as the performers seem to be reversed. The plot involves Olivia reading a story to The Count, and that story is simply titled “The Two-Headed Monster,” telling the story of the title monster, whose heads can never agree on what to do, until it decides to cooperate with itself and take turns doing things. In this sketch it’s said that the Two-Headed Monster’s names are Horns and Hardart.
Forgetful Jones is at the train station trying to remember why he’s at the train station. Meanwhile, Clementine and Buster are on the train, just moments before it’s supposed to take off, and they keep trying to tell Forgetful to get on the train, but Forgetful doesn’t want help; he wants to remember on his own why he is there.
In the late 1970s, full-body versions of the Sesame Street Muppets appeared in the Ice Skate Follies, and material from these shows were also shot for the show. This one is probably my favorite of these. Oscar comes on-stage and blows a whistle, and one by one each character runs on-stage to find out where the whistling is coming from.
In this sketch, Prairie Dawn sees Grover and wants to invite him to dinner, but Grover doesn’t go anywhere without Herry, who has to be invited. But then Herry says he doesn’t go anywhere without Cookie Monster, who comes along, and as each character gets invited Prairie Dawn adds them to see how many are coming to dinner. Ever since I’ve seen this I’ve often included this sketch in my own Sesame Street DVD wish lists. It may not be a very notable sketch, but it is one of my favorites.
Well, that’s it. If you haven’t seen any of those sketches I recommend checking them out. Hopefully sesamestreet.org will be around for years to come, bringing us more sketches that we don’t know about. Of course it’s hard to request what I have no knowledge of, so we can only hope to be surprised.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier