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    Renegades of Animation: Pat Sullivan

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After almost 50 years...Caroll Spinney is leaving Sesame Street

Discussion in 'Non-Animated Movies And TV' started by MrCleveland, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. MrCleveland

    MrCleveland Animator Forum Member New Member

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    Caroll Spinney, now 84, is finishing the 50th Season of Sesame Street and will now retire after being Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for all those years.

    Happy retirement, Spinney.
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  2. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    I got the chance to meet him last year at the Rhode Island Comicon.
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  3. Glowworm

    Glowworm Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    I met him a few years ago myself at a New York Comicon. Bought an autographed picture for my Sesame Street loving developmentally disabled brother.
    He's very nice and classy.
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  4. magnacart

    magnacart Apprentice Forum Member New Member

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    Any word yet on who will replace him? It has to be pretty thin list.... Same with Frank Oz.. Is he still doing his Sesame Street Characters?
  5. RascalsFan84

    RascalsFan84 Intern Forum Member New Member

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    Just when i was about to start a new thread relating to Sesame Street, this news came out of nowhere, but not surprising nonetheless.

    The 50th season of the series is quickly approaching, and in my opinion, i think it's soon time to retire the show. It's been going downhill for years now, and it makes me wonder if Spinney decided to retire at the end of Season 50, out of fear that the show may get cancelled, realizing the ratings downfall?

    I think the show was probably at its best during the late-70s to around 1984, and many of today's adults who were kids back then loved the show as opposed to today's younger viewers.

    In my opinion, the 1983-84 season was perhaps the best of them all, but the death of Mr. Hooper was not the reason, since i never saw that episode on WTVS in Detroit back in November 1983 or May 1984 because of being in school those days.

    And unfortunately, while the episode is on YouTube, I am not allowed to view any episodes or video clips from the show because of inappropriate laughter and mimicking problems in 1984, which resulted in my ban in mid-October that year. However, I wonder if my inappropriate giggling may have been due to too much sugar and not the show's content?

    I have to admit, if it weren't for my ban, i probably would have lost interest in the show by around 2005, by that point all of the classic segments from the 70s and early-80s which made the show classy were likely discontinued.

    My generation grew up with the Big Bird era, and people born in the late-80s onward grew up with the Elmo era. I think the show's ratings started to decline by 2000, which explains the annual episode orders being reduced. Either way, it's very sad that an actor from my childhood will soon be leaving after a run that spanned half a century.
  6. RascalsFan84

    RascalsFan84 Intern Forum Member New Member

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    I read on a CBC News article just now that the roles will be taken over by younger cast members. It states that Matt Vogel will take over the Big Bird role. As for Oscar the Grouch, it is unknown at this point.

    I do know a lot of actors/voice actors have come and gone. We lost Jerry Nelson, who voiced a barrage of characters (notably The Count) until he passed away six years ago, and the actress who played Maria retired by 2015. I don't know what veteran voice actors remain with the show who did not voice Bert and Grover.
  7. MrCleveland

    MrCleveland Animator Forum Member New Member

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    I think Frank Oz left Sesame Street as well...

    I now see Sesame Street as Elmo's World featuring the cast of Sesame Street...Elmo is almost loved by many unfortunately...
  8. RascalsFan84

    RascalsFan84 Intern Forum Member New Member

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    I do not know if veteran human actors Bob McGrath and Roscoe Orman (who played the Gordon many all know and love) are still with the show, but they're probably due to retire soon. The actress who played Maria retired in 2015 after a 44-year run. The actor who played Luis should also be due to retire soon as well.

    According to Wikipedia (which now require sources), Frank Oz is actually semi-retired, performing his trademark characters - Bert, Grover, and Cookie Monster - only a few times per year. So, technically, he is still with the show, though i have to admit, Cookie Monster sounded quite different when he appeared on The Tyra Banks Show in the 2009-2010.

    Either way, with a vast majority of cast members and voice actors heading into retirement, if not already, I think, with the show having newer, and younger cast members taking over, plus all of the classic segments which made the show more classy having disappeared into obscurity, it makes the show unwatchable these days, ban or no ban.

    Pathetic.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  9. magnacart

    magnacart Apprentice Forum Member New Member

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    It would appear that Bob McGrath is the only surviving member of the original cast. I come from the era of the "Matt Robinson" Gordon, with "Loretta Long" as Susan. Of course, Will Lee (Mr. Hooper) was alive at the time, as well. I guess McGrath is becoming the "Mr. Rogers" of Sesame Street. Good on Him.


    It's funny.... you mentioned Frank Oz being "semi-retired." I wonder if he still does "Miss Piggy" at other Muppet venues.... Apparently, Kermit was the only crossover between Sesame Street and "The Muppet Show/Movie. etc. etc.). As for "Bert & Ernie," I think Jim Henson was Ernie, so whomever replaced Jim for his characters.
  10. MrCleveland

    MrCleveland Animator Forum Member New Member

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    Rowlf the Dog was originally supposed to be on Sesame Street...but he was only in one sketch and the pre-pilot of the show...

    [​IMG]

    Rowlf was wondering what to call the show and then Kermit says "Call it Sesame Street"...in a nod to "open sesame"...open a world to a younger audience!

    That's what Jim Henson dreamed about...having children know about things before kindergarten...I was one of them. And Henson never let his Muppets outshine the others....
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  11. magnacart

    magnacart Apprentice Forum Member New Member

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    Rowlf had a different venue. Many may not recall this but there was a "summer replacement" TV Show on CBS (filling in for the Smothers Bros. Comedy Hour during the summer) call "Our Place."
    It ran for ten eps. It featured 0ne main guest star each week (the last three were Joel Grey, Cyril Richard as the original "Capt. Hook" on the Mary Martin "Peter Pan" TV broadcast, and Arthur Godfrey). But there were three recurring acts always on the show.. One was the "Doodletown Pipers" a musical folk singing group, and then the comedy duo "Jack Burns & Avery Schriber," and, Rowlf the dog.

  12. RascalsFan84

    RascalsFan84 Intern Forum Member New Member

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    Looking back at recollection, I remember the character Guy Smiley, who hosted a plethora of game show parodies. He sounded a lot like Kermit the Frog, but sounded loud and aggressive. One such parody i enjoyed the most is the parody of Password called "Say the Word", which debuted during the height of the popularity of the then-current revival, Password Plus.

    "Name that Sound" was, however, too darn creepy to me.

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