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Sesame Street and The Letter People crossover (VERY RARE!)

SkyeFan

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I'm so glad to see that many people here are very familiar with "The Letter People". There's no doubt about it that "Sesame Street" had as much influence on "The Letter People" as much as Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoons of the 1920s and early 1930s had on Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising (who used to work as animators for Disney) when creating the original "Looney Tunes" cartoons. I guess when the show began production at KETC-TV back in 1973, the show's writer/producer/director (Tom McDonough) viewed several episodes of "Sesame Street" to gain a sense of inspiration for creating episodes of a reading-based curriculum program that would appear to be a locally produced incarnate of "Sesame Street. As I had stated, you can see the clear influence of "Sesame Street" on "The Letter People", mostly in the early episodes. This was likely a way to start the show off with a structural backbone of inspiration out of an already existing program on public television with a similar goal to enforce reading preparation for children. Of course, there's also "The Electric Company", though this show in particular extends its curricular intentions by climbing several steps ahead to more complex subjects in reading than "Sesame Street" would.
One possible way "The Electric Company" had influence "The Letter People" by way of production was through it's scenic designs. Take a look in the first four episodes at the sets, which were created by King Hall (who was also the show's head puppeteer and primary puppet builder, as well). You may notice the similarities in the sets of both shows. They have that design somewhat reminiscent of the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" consisting of "cloud-like" shapes, flat and stylized designs, and vibrant colors. Let's not forget later on in the series, TLP used some really neat computer animated graphics for displaying words and also special effects, just like on TEC. I prefer when "The Letter People" employed more realistic and detailed sets as the series progressed, although I suppose when the show began, the small budgets only allowed minimum sets. So the best way to make the program look "attractive" to the viewer is to use brightly colored and "eye-popping" scenery, and of course colorful puppets.
 
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PumpkinJ

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I swear if the Letter People made a crossover in one Sesame Street episode during the 70s, I'm gonna J – JUMP!!!! :big_grin:
 

LittleJerry92

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With the guides we have on the wiki that doesn’t appear to be the case.
 

PumpkinJ

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With the guides we have on the wiki that doesn’t appear to be the case.
I can see that. But if footage turns up for some 70s episodes, there may be a Letter People puppet turning up in a 70s Sesame Street episode to our surprise... We may never know. :wink:
 

SkyeFan

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I can see that. But if footage turns up for some 70s episodes, there may be a Letter People puppet turning up in a 70s Sesame Street episode to our surprise... We may never know.
I highly doubt it that a puppet from a locally produced show in St. Louis, Missouri had appeared on a nationally broadcast show like "Sesame Street". Wouldn't it be be neat, though, to imagine? Heck, I always thought it WOULD HAVE been something if the puppets from "The Puzzle Place" ever appeared on "Sesame Street" during the time that show debuted. It makes sense, since those puppets were performed by some of the many Muppet performers who have already been employed on "Sesame Street" during that time. Although "The Puzzle Place" was taped across the coast at KCET-TV, the PBS affiliate in Los Angeles, it was also produced by Lancit Media in New York (which also produced "Reading Rainbow"), and "Sesame Street" is taped in New York, so there COULD HAVE been some sort of crossover. When you think about it, there were several crossover appearances made on "Sesame Street" from other PBS children's shows. We've had Mr. Rogers on the show, as well as Shari Lewis with Lamb Chop, and cast members from "The Electric Company". The latter crossover was conveniently a possibility, since TEC was taped in the same exact studio as SS was at the time. As far as I know, I'm surprised no one from "3-2-1 Contact" or "Square One TV" ever made cameo appearances on the show.

PumpkinJ, don't forget, even though it's very likely none of the puppets of "The Letter People" had ever appeared on "Sesame Street", there IS hope we can someday see those crossovers made at the KETC studio (which I can guarantee was for one of the station's pledge drives).
I mean, come on, Jim Henson AND Kermit the Frog with the Letter People! HOW COOL IS THAT?!
 

PumpkinJ

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I highly doubt it that a puppet from a locally produced show in St. Louis, Missouri had appeared on a nationally broadcast show like "Sesame Street". Wouldn't it be be neat, though, to imagine? Heck, I always thought it WOULD HAVE been something if the puppets from "The Puzzle Place" ever appeared on "Sesame Street" during the time that show debuted. It makes sense, since those puppets were performed by some of the many Muppet performers who have already been employed on "Sesame Street" during that time. Although "The Puzzle Place" was taped across the coast at KCET-TV, the PBS affiliate in Los Angeles, it was also produced by Lancit Media in New York (which also produced "Reading Rainbow"), and "Sesame Street" is taped in New York, so there COULD HAVE been some sort of crossover. When you think about it, there were several crossover appearances made on "Sesame Street" from other PBS children's shows. We've had Mr. Rogers on the show, as well as Shari Lewis with Lamb Chop, and cast members from "The Electric Company". The latter crossover was conveniently a possibility, since TEC was taped in the same exact studio as SS was at the time. As far as I know, I'm surprised no one from "3-2-1 Contact" or "Square One TV" ever made cameo appearances on the show.

PumpkinJ, don't forget, even though it's very likely none of the puppets of "The Letter People" had ever appeared on "Sesame Street", there IS hope we can someday see those crossovers made at the KETC studio (which I can guarantee was for one of the station's pledge drives).
I mean, come on, Jim Henson AND Kermit the Frog with the Letter People! HOW COOL IS THAT?!
VERY COOL!!!! :big_grin:
 

SkyeFan

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OKAY...

Only the REAL true fan of "Sesame Street" can answer this. There are some cartoons on "The Letter People" that use stock music that had been used on some films shown on "Sesame Street".

Those cartoons from "The Letter People" are -

(From Mr. B's episode) -
-A story of a boy named Billy who befriends a talking blue balloon on his birthday.

(From the "Squoosh" episode) -
- A chef demonstrates an ending squoosh in the words "pans" and "fans".
- A little girl shows a starting squoosh in the words "spin" and "spun" while ice skating.

The question is - what are those "Sesame Street" films?
 
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The Count

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Actually... Cynthia Darlow, one of the members of Square One Television's main cast appeared as Marge in the release titled Sesame Street Home Videos Visits the Firehouse. She was the woman who's house suffered a fire where the local firefighters had to come and rescue Mr. Monster.

Also, don't forget the parody titled Caroway Street from Square One Television where two of their cast were dressed as Bert and Ernie discussing the pros and cons of adopting a puppy.
:wisdom:
 

PumpkinJ

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The detective I saw in the Mr. X episode and the Review episodes reminds me of Lefty the Salesman.
 

SkyeFan

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The detective I saw in the Mr. X episode and the Review episodes reminds me of Lefty the Salesman.
Yes, that's Nardo the Detective. I like that character. He's CLEARLY a parody of classic Hollywood actor Humphrey Bogart. He's likely based off Bogie's character, detective Sam Spade, in "The Maltese Falcon". There were tons of parodies of celebrities from classic movies and TV shows on "The Letter People". For instance, Mr. X has a voice and personality similar to James Stewart. I suppose the character feeling distraught over things being "all wrong" is a reference to Stewart's George Bailey in the Christmas classic, "It's a Wonderful Life". I can understand, PumpkinJ, what you mean about Nardo resembling Lefty the Salesman from "Sesame Street". I also thought his physical appearance (the wide brimmed fedora and the trench coat) could have likely been based off Skip Hinnant's Fargo North Decoder character from "The Electric Company", as well. The names "Fargo" and "Nardo" sound quite similar. Hey, there was an unseen announcer of "The Catching Game" named "Tom Fargo" whose name sounds similar to game show announcer "Don Pardo". Now that was obviously intentional. The naming of the detective as "Nardo" sounding like "Fargo", could have been a coincidence. Who knows? Since you've just compared Nardo to Lefty the Salesman, I guess you can say that's somewhat accurate. In his first appearance (Mr. N's episode), he's seen in dark alley setting that looks quite similar to the scenery in the "Golden AN" segment on "Sesame Street" with Lefty. The scenery in that LP episode consists of two brick buildings, with a crescent moon in visible sight between them, and a lamppost off to the side. This setting looks reminiscent to that in the "Golden AN" segment. Also, in Nardo's first appearance, there's a character that he and Mr. N encounter called "the Nasty", whom they both try taming into becoming nice. The Nasty looks and sounds very much like Oscar the Grouch. Funny, since around that same time as that LP episode (likely 1973), Johnny Cash was on SS with Oscar performing a song called "Nasty Dan". I can sense the inspiration in that, can you?
 
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