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Joey Mazzarino leaving Sesame Street

Drtooth

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I've seen that video before, that was pretty sweet of them.

But in light of the recent news that's just been released regarding the serious scaling back of Muppet characters appearing on the street, I really have a feeling that this is what Joey meant when he said he fought hard for the "heart and soul" for the show; after all, why did those five test pilots fail? Because of a lack of Muppets: test audiences were really only interested in the Ernie and Bert inserts, and before hand, the producers were advised not to mix fantasy and reality, but after the test pilots flopped, the decided to mix fantasy and reality. Big Bird and Oscar were created specifically as Muppets to interact with the humans on the street, and soon more Muppets were to follow. Now they're scaling back on them. I'm almost certain that this is the reason why Joey decided to leave.
I don't think that's really the case. Sesame Street is more famous for the Muppet characters than anything else. We didn't see Christmas shopping rocked by "Tickle Me 40 Dots" or "Sing and Snore film about picking Peas." "Scaling back" doesn't mean "doing away with." Just more of a focus on specific characters that are essential to the show. And so far looking at the new theme song, it just seems to be the main characters they've had for the past few seasons. I'm sure other characters like Telly and Baby Bear will be pushed to the side. And that sucks because Telly finally started getting some market recognition as of late.

And I'm of two minds here. They were really starting to bring back some older characters and making them part of the show again (still don't see why Tyler didn't get to continue his handling of Herry, he was doing a good job in that one clip outside of the show), but on the other hand, they've been using too many non-original Sesame Street characters (yeah, the fairy tale ones) to illustrate points that easily could have used their own classic characters. I'd much rather see an episode with Zoe and Elmo solving their own problems than sitting by watching some spastic one shot and being on he sidelines. So if that brings a shift in focus back to original Muppet characters, that's a good thing.

I don't think they'd get rid of Murray completely this season, just limiting the block format and hosting duties. I wouldn't be surprised if that's a factor of many in Joey leaving. Not so much that he performs Murray, but rather that those projects seemed to be his major contribution as a show runner. And while I had some issues with the block format and hosted segments, I rather liked taking a character out of the studio, putting him in the real world, and giving an added level of realness to the character. Look at how hands on Murray gets in the "Murray had a little Lamb" segments. They don't use real cookies on the Cookie Monster puppet due to the mess and ware. Yet they let Murray paint, play with clay, kneed dough... they weren't afraid of getting his hands dirty, and that's what made those special. I admit the number and letter songs aren't half as impressive as Murray being outside presenting the segments (especially visually... plain white backdrop vs. actual film on location).
 

mbmfrog

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I just found out about this and I'm afraid for the show's new future on HBO.

I mean Joey had to be the last of both the main cast and crew in both writing and production to leave the show.

This truly puts Sesame Street into unknown territory now with very few people left to protect the show.
 

Drtooth

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I'm more worried about season 47 than 46. I'm sure there was some internal fighting during the production of season 46, though.
 

Pig's Laundry

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One thing I really love about Joey is that he made the show funny again. Before Joey took over I think the show was really losing it's relevance and was trying too hard to cater to it's toddler audience. Almost all of the humor at that point was made up of puns and obscure pop cultural references. And really the show became quite boring in my opinion. But when Joey took over, the show started to feel more lively,the pacing was faster,the characters felt more fleshed out and the show was funnier. The show is currently at the best it's been since I don't know when and the show(thanks to him and the internet) has reached a level of popularity that it hadn't seen in a long time. Although I think,Joey's Sesame Street did take about two years to really find it's footing,with Seasons 42,43 and 44 being the best ones of the era.
 

D'Snowth

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Joey, to me, seemed like he tried to handle the show with the same kind of care and attention that Jon Stone gave it. Granted, SST, no matter how hard they may try, will never be the same as it was when Jon was in charge - it's changed and evolved so much since then, however, I get a sense that Joey tried to invoke a sense of Jon's vision back into the show.
 

Pig's Laundry

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Joey, to me, seemed like he tried to handle the show with the same kind of care and attention that Jon Stone gave it. Granted, SST, no matter how hard they may try, will never be the same as it was when Jon was in charge - it's changed and evolved so much since then, however, I get a sense that Joey tried to invoke a sense of Jon's vision back into the show.
Oh yeah,the show does have a much more classic feel to it. Just look at this segment with Guy Smiley (which Joey wrote)
And one thing I really like about that the show now is that it has a lot of heart,it's the perfect balance of sweetness, humor and curriculum. These are some of my absolute favorite Street Stories.I know you've said you don't watch the show much anymore but please watch these if you haven't already seen them.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkgzAxk0CyA
I get a sort of classic SS anniversary special sort of feel from watching the Count Tribute episode
 

ftnpro

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I doubt his departure has anything to do with Murray. He of all people knows that characters come and go. If the Head Writer of the show says he's fighting for the "heart and soul of the show," then it has something to do with educating kids, whether it's the format or curriculum or distribution (HBO) or whatever. Sounds ominous, but there are a lot of other good people at the show, so hopefully they can address whatever it was. Fingers crossed.
 

Drtooth

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My feelings exactly. I'd say a format shift may be one of many things that broke the camel's back, not so much losing Murray, but losing that segment which Joey pretty much labored over. I'd see him being a little honked off if it was his main project on Sesame Street. Not the soul reason he'd leave at all, but when he states "fighting over the heart and soul" it sounds like he lost a lot of battles when the new guy took over as SW's head exec.
 

D'Snowth

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I thought it was recently determined that the scaling back of Muppets in general was what he meant when he said he fought for the "heart and soul" of the show.
 

Drtooth

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I don't think it's so much that. It sounds like something more substantial, like something with the tone or direction of the show we won't really get until we see these. It sounds pretty concerning to me, like what's coming up could potentially be an epic dumb down to keep relevant. I don't like how the new head of SW was a former Hit exec. But I really don't want to go down the Telly Monster road of worrying what the results of this are going to be until we know for sure.
 
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