Now, all this hard work is paying off.
Cynopsis Media is reporting that Grover is getting his own series aimed at the preschool set. Titled 'Super Grover 2.0,' the six-minute-long show will focus on age-appropriate subjects in science and technology, including mathematics. Grover will encourage viewers to follow in his scientific experiments and teach them the abilities to observe and ask questions about the world around them.
In fact, a recent box set of the show's earliest episodes came with a disclaimer that the episodes contained within it were "not for kids." That's also because it contained the rare lost episode from the early 1970s when Grover and Prairie Dawn accidentally wandered into the Plato's Retreat swingers club where they learned the difference between "top" and "bottom".
The point is adults can find just as much to laugh at as their kids do and here are the biggest chortle-makers.
(Update - 8/3: Added the pic I took with Abby, Cookie Monster, and Sonia. This will be the only time you see me be in a photo with a celebrity here. In this case, I can let my journalistic standards slide a bit.)
Here's a fun thing to help close the first week of the press tour. Before yesterday's panel on the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street, Sonia Manzano, who's played Maria for the entire run, was outside the ballroom greeting people, as were three of the actors/puppeteers: David Rudman (Cookie Monster), Leslie Carrara (Abby Cadabby) and Eric Jacobson (Grover). Of course, all three brought along their characters to talk to the crowd, take pictures with the critics, and generally make everyone smile.
What I've always loved about the Muppets and the actors who give them life is that, not only are they speaking on a level that both adults and children can appreciate, but they're always so good and improvising. Think about this; it's not easy to say something funny on the spot when a reporter shoves a tape recorder in you face. And that's without a big ball of fur on your right hand. So I decided to goof around with Grover and Cookie Monster and threw them some curveballs. I also spoke to Manzano after the panel was over. All the audio is after the jump.
Barry appeared here with Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, who is in charge of the show's curriculum. They talked about the show's landmark season and what kids and their parents should expect to see. Among them: A new segmentized format, a new host, Murray Muppet, who will take kids through the various segments of the show, and a new segment featuring Abby Cadabby that's the program's first foray into CGI. The curriculum will emphasize science and nature along with the usual cornerstones this year.
Now onto the Mad Men parody. When asked how they would be able to pull it off, given the drinking, smoking, and womanizing that's a big part of the AMC show, Barry said, "You may have seen our parody called 'Desperate Houseplants.' It was about a houseplant not getting its needs met by the gardener. So it always works on two levels."
If you are the kind of heartless bastard who won't cry at the discovery of this news, you should. Get a fork, poke yourself in the eyes, and let nature take its course.
The Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization that created the world's greatest kids show in the history of whatever, is laying off a huge chunk of its staff.
While it has persevered for almost four decades, Sesame Street's heart and soul is very much a product of the 1970s. There was nothing like it when it first hit the public television airwaves in 1969; while other children's programs took place in mystical and magical lands, Sesame Street took place in a regular inner city neighborhood. Okay, it was an inner city neighborhood where monsters and people lived together, but it's that partial realism which set it apart from other programs, and, perhaps subconsiously, gave kids a sense of community and belonging.
Remember that sketch from The State when they caught and ate Muppets for dinner? Apparently there are no recipes for actually Muppet dishes in the upcoming book C is for Cooking: Recipes from the Street, but it will have different meals, treats and desserts you and your kids can make together. The recipes will consist of food that children enjoy, and also offer nutritional tips. Characters like Elmo, Cookie Monster and Grover will pop up throughout the book, and, coolest of all I think, the book has special steps labeled that kids can do themselves. If you have kids, or if you like to prepare meals and pretend you have children, I say get your hands on this book. Then carry it to the checkout and give the book store money for it. Then leave. Then get in your car and drive home. The book comes out next April.
[via Muppet News Flash]
This may come as a shock to some parents and kids, but the new Sesame Street: Old School DVDs that were released this week come with the following disclaimer at the beginning, read by a cartoon character:
"Welcome to Sesame Street Nostalgia. I am Bob, your host, and I want you to know that these early Sesame Street episodes are intended for grown-ups and may not meet the needs of today's pre-school child."
High on the list of things none of you probably care about is the fact that Grover is my favorite Muppet of all time. He and I even share a birthday (it's true). What I love about Grover, besides his lovable furriness, is how willing he is to do himself bodily harm in the name of education. After the jump I've placed five clips of Grover doing what he does best: teaching kids no matter how much physical punishment it causes him. Now let's all learn together, shall we?
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