Mr. Hooper's Last episode

hooperfan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
340
Reaction score
439
His death certainly got coverage in December of '82, but I don't think too many of the young viewers were aware of that fact at the time.
 

dvakman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
111
Reaction score
48
I was certainly unaware going into 1983, even though I would have been one of the older regular viewers by that time. I kept wondering why he hadn't turned up in a while, but the possibility that the actor playing Hooper was ill or had died wouldn't have occurred to me. I mean, Sesame Street without Mr. Hooper was unimaginable. By the time the death episode aired, I had been going to school every day and was no longer a regular viewer. So I suppose I was from the last generation of kids who still thought of Hooper in the present tense throughout their viewing years, even though he was noticeably showing up less and less toward the end.
 
Last edited:

YellowYahooey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Messages
775
Reaction score
150
I never saw the death of Mr. Hooper episode in the original November 1983 airings, nor the May 1984 rebroadcasts, due to being at school. I never knew about Hooper's death until I discovered it on a trivia question in Trivial Pursuit in the mid-1980s (1985 or 1986, likely).

I even know the exact wording of the trivia question: "Whose death, in November 1983, made Big Bird very sad?"
 

YellowYahooey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Messages
775
Reaction score
150
And I have to admit, the absence of an iconic character like Mr. Hooper for an extended period (without awareness of his death), in addition to other factors, led to my loss of interest in "Sesame Street" in 1985.
 

Gordon Matt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
101
Reaction score
70
I certainly remember seeing Will Lee's (and later Northern Calloway's) obituaries in the newspaper at the time they occurred. By 1982 I was in high school and I had not "regularly" watched Sesame Street in several years, although I would tune in for a moment here and there sometimes and check it out. I do remember tuning in after his passing and still seeing Mr. Hooper in the store, but I couldn't tell you an exact date.

Oddly, one of the days I did tune in for a moment (this was a few years later) was when Big Bird was telling a kid who'd never met Mr. Hooper about him. He'd tell a story and ask the kid "do you remember him now?" and the kid explained that no, he can't "remember" him per se because he never knew him, but at least now he knows a little about him. This ended up being part of the Sesame Street Unpaved series.

After Will Lee passed away, I remember reading about how they were going to acknowledge his death on the show and I thought it was odd since it was almost a year after his actual passing. But at the time, I didn't understand how the production cycles worked and it didn't occur to me that there was a big backlog of taped episodes already in the can, and then they would go into reruns.

I meant to tune in that day but ultimately I forgot, so I never saw #1839 until Noggin ran it years later.
 
Last edited:

dvakman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
111
Reaction score
48
The nice thing is, if you ever get the chance to view episode 1790 at the library of congress or wherever, the last Hooper scene is actually hilarious. It's vintage Mr. Hooper and doesn't really leave you feeling sad at all.
 

Gordon Matt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
101
Reaction score
70
The nice thing is, if you ever get the chance to view episode 1790 at the library of congress or wherever, the last Hooper scene is actually hilarious. It's vintage Mr. Hooper and doesn't really leave you feeling sad at all.
So there were nine straight weeks of shows without Mr. Hooper? Did he at least appear in any inserts? That just seems like a long time to (for lack of a better word) "dance around it," but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

EDIT: Wow -- I just went to the Muppet Wikia page for #1790. That screen grab for the first scene at the top of the show -- that IS the scene I tuned into when I went to "look in" on the show after his death. What are the odds?
 

dvakman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
111
Reaction score
48
So there were nine straight weeks of shows without Mr. Hooper? Did he at least appear in any inserts? That just seems like a long time to (for lack of a better word) "dance around it," but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.
He was probably still appearing in inserts throughout season 14. But from a production standpoint, the writers would require several months at the very least to decide how to handle the delicate situation and then execute the plan. As we all know, episode 1839 was thoroughly researched and meticulously crafted.
 

hooperfan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
340
Reaction score
439
He was probably still appearing in inserts throughout season 14. But from a production standpoint, the writers would require several months at the very least to decide how to handle the delicate situation and then execute the plan. As we all know, episode 1839 was thoroughly researched and meticulously crafted.
After 1790, he would not be seen again,not counting the summer repeats.
 

Muppet Master

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
2,767
Reaction score
1,575
You know, with the way Sesame Street is built, they could have easily made it so that characters like Hooper and David still appeared for years after their death. They could have just added in old inserts every now and then to make it seem like they were still around. Props to them for actually addressing Hooper's passing though. I know there's no way they could have addressed David's but it's nice that at least they named Elmo's stuffed animal after him.
 
Top