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Major Changes in store for Sesame Street Season 46

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D'Snowth

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The humans may be unimportant now, but when the show started back in 1969, yeah, they kind of were. For one thing, that was the whole point of the inner city street setting, to project a sense of realism and believablity to the kids of their original targeted audiences, and that included bringing in people you might actually find living on such inner city streets. Also, at that time, the show was revolutionary, because the show started out with only four human castmembers: Gordon, Susan, Bob, and Mr. Hooper - as Jon Stone pointed out, half the cast was black, and they were co-existing with characters that were white, which was still pretty odd and rare at that time; shows like SANFORD AND SON and THE JEFFERSONS were still a few years away.

Yes, the Muppets are the real "stars" of the show, and the human castmembers are aware of that, but at the same time, the human characters are also there to help teach and enlighten the Muppets, and through them, the kids at home.

SST has always balanced fantasy and reality. During the test pilots, there was too much reality, because kids became bored with the show until Ernie and Bert were on, which is why they ended up blending reality and fantasy by having humans and Muppets co-exist on the street (hence the main reason we have Big Bird and Oscar). So, I'd say the humans still serve an important part in the Sesame universe
 

SpinneyBigBird1

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Yes, the Muppets are the real "stars" of the show, and the human castmembers are aware of that, but at the same time, the human characters are also there to help teach and enlighten the Muppets, and through them, the kids at home.

SST has always balanced fantasy and reality. During the test pilots, there was too much reality, because kids became bored with the show until Ernie and Bert were on, which is why they ended up blending reality and fantasy by having humans and Muppets co-exist on the street (hence the main reason we have Big Bird and Oscar). So, I'd say the humans still serve an important part in the Sesame universe
Yeah, I understand what the purpose of the human characters was forty five years ago and how big of a deal they were then, but today where Sesame's biggest competitors are colorful, computer-animated characters, the humans have been the focus less and less. They have a cast of ten human characters and only four of them are seen regularly from show to show. The show needs to keep up with the competition with their own colorful characters.

I mean, episodes of the past included Maria being nervous to ask for a raise and Gordon running the New York City Marathon. Do you think those episodes would happen today? Of course not.

And literally, the two humans that are arguably seen the least on the show nowadays (Susan and Bob) are the ones whose apartments have been handed over to the Muppets to live in now.

The humans are still going to show up on the street, obviously. And they will for as long as the show goes on, but there purpose, aside from being the token voice of reason and support when a Muppet has a problem, has greatly been diminished.

So, all I am saying, is that the main apartment you see on the street that has been barely acknowledged in the past 10+ seasons aside from an episode or two (really only one comes to my mind) is going to finally get some traffic again. If that means Susan and Gordon had to relocate to some nondescript apartment somewhere else, so be it. Because that's what most of the humans have as their living arrangements.
 

D'Snowth

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They have a cast of ten human characters and only four of them are seen regularly from show to show.
Well, and don't forget too, as has been pointed out, part of the reason for that too is they can't afford to have all of the human cast on the show all at once, which is why whenever they do, it's usually for season premieres/finales, or for special occasions (i.e. "I'll Miss You, Mr. Hooper").
 

minor muppetz

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Well, and don't forget too, as has been pointed out, part of the reason for that too is they can't afford to have all of the human cast on the show all at once, which is why whenever they do, it's usually for season premieres/finales, or for special occasions (i.e. "I'll Miss You, Mr. Hooper").
This is the first time I've seen that pointed out.
 

Drtooth

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I'm hoping that these new changes will allow more characters to appear in more street stories. It seems like they would want to show off all of these new changes. So, that might mean Big Bird and Oscar might get to show up more since they now have totally new digs.
Yeah, I understand what the purpose of the human characters was forty five years ago and how big of a deal they were then, but today where Sesame's biggest competitors are colorful, computer-animated characters, the humans have been the focus less and less. They have a cast of ten human characters and only four of them are seen regularly from show to show. The show needs to keep up with the competition with their own colorful characters.
There's always the budget issues of having X-amount of puppeteers and actors on call in a shooting session. That's why quite a few recent episodes looked like they were on a deserted street with like 2 or 3 characters there. That is a good point about the cartoonish competition being a reason for moving off of human characters, but I'd say it's more budget. It seems that Alan and Chris are the most readily available actors, not to mention they're young. Seems like the original/older cast members make cameos from time to time, but overall don't make it in as much as the others. Plus, I'm sure some of them have private lives they're more involved with than the show, and were looking to retire in time. I'm sure there's the subtext of the kids responding better to the father/older brother figures than grandparent figures. And well, 46 year old show and everything...

But the question is, why are Mando and Leela in so few episodes? They made this big deal of getting these new, young cast members and the show's dominated by Alan and Chris. I get they're the most available, clearly. It doesn't seem that trying to get more fantastic elements in the show have anything to do with the lack of personality on the street. I'm hardpressed to think of an episode that didn't feature one of the adults at some point in the episode. Later inserts, however, really lack the touch of the adult human cast, but that's more of a format thing.

And yes, I hope the changes mean more characters running around in background cameos. We need more background people and Muppets in the show. But again, budget.
 

SpinneyBigBird1

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But the question is, why are Mando and Leela in so few episodes? They made this big deal of getting these new, young cast members and the show's dominated by Alan and Chris. I get they're the most available, clearly.
I mean, maybe I don't watch the show as closely as I should because I thought Mando and (especially) Leela have shown up a lot. Those two plus Alan and Chris are practically the only humans that show up on the regular, at least to me.
 

Drtooth

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Mando and Leela tend to appear less than frequently, at least compared to Alan and Chris who are the most common. Mando and Leela did pop in a few times this season. Like 6 or so times in 26 episodes (I need to recount...maybe 7 or so), but the overwhelming majority of episodes featured Chris to some extent.

Only time we didn't see any familiar humans was the Papa Bear goes to Preschool episode that had the celebrity guest star.
 

D'Snowth

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Hooper's has always been like the watering hole, so-to-speak, of the street, it's a central gathering spot for all the residents of the street, so it kind of makes sense that we would see Alan and Chris a lot, considering they work there.
 

Daffyfan4ever

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Well, given the fact that he has a thousand jobs, it shouldn't be too hard for him to afford a place of his own. Lol.

Recall, that on "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street," Susan and Olivia, said that they were going over to Grover's to look for Big Bird, so knowing what direction they were heading might help answer that.
 

minor muppetz

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And think too, prior to Season 30, the ends of the street weren't blocked, nor was the street turned into something of a cul-de-sac, so the street was shown to be pretty long - each end had a painted flat of a view looking further down a long street, so it could have been too that other residents lived further up or down the street, just not on the particular bend we're used to seeing. Mr. Johnson, for instance, we know his address is 14 Sesame Street.
Sometimes there are segments that take place on a different city street set ("I Love My Elbows", "Sully Supplies Music"). I wonder if those are further down the street, if not across from the main action. At the end of "Good Morning Morning", we see Herry and some of the others on a street that doesn't look like any part of Sesame Street we know of, but maybe it's across from 123 (especially since Telly suggests they play with Oscar and then cross the street... Could they have been that close to Oscar's can?).
 
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