Sesame Street Season 47 Episode 4709 - Norbert's Birthday

Phillip

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 11, 2002
Messages
8,238
Reaction score
3,401
Episode 4709 - Norbert's Birthday
HBO Premiere: Saturday March 4, 2017
PBS Premiere: Monday October 9, 2017

Rosita, Zoe and Grover give Norbert the Robot a surprise birthday party to show how much they care about him.

This episode features an all-new street story, Super Grover 2.0 ("Cross That Bridge") and a new Elmo's World ("Birthdays").




If you saw "Norbert's Birthday" please like this post and share your thoughts below.
 
Last edited:

Oscarfan

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2008
Messages
7,604
Reaction score
3,949
I'll say this: it was really weird to open both the cold open and street story with essentially random characters (both played by Marty coincidentally). I don't know if Norbert is going to be a recurring guy, or it's just another one-off use o the fancy, expensive robot puppet - didn't really have much in the way of a shtick that he can be brought back for (I liked him "blushing" and addressing the milkshake devices by name, though). Also, robots don't have birthdays, but can have feelings, apparently.

Cute story though. Nice to see the Two-Headed Monster in the bookends and Mr. Johnson's appearance in the story.

And they finally used one of the new NOTD songs, alongside one of the previous LOTD ones.

I'm very interested in next week's show, though. Ernie finally doing something and some performances of "Rubber Duckie." I wonder what short-form thing they'll use; I can't think of any off the top of my head involving baths.
 

D'Snowth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2003
Messages
40,651
Reaction score
12,811
Alan and Chris are away so a random character that we've never seen before is watching the store for them? At least when Natalie Portman filled in for Alan, we saw him put the want-ad in the paper and her applying for the job. Not that I don't like Norbert - Marty can make a piece of wood an interesting character - but the setup was poorly done. The story itself was alright though, I can admire Zoe and Rosita wanting to throw Norbert a special day since he doesn't have a birthday, and Grover was actually helpful. Does the Laundromat have sliding double doors now? Another reason why 16:9 sucks: we couldn't really see Norbert lighting up because of the framing of the shot - you can really see the reflection of a bluish and purplish glow from under the frame.

The mix of last season's Letter song and this season's Number song was . . . peculiar. Like the inclusion of Super Grover 2.0, and I see we get another new EW that's a remake of an older one . . . still not sure why they're completely remaking new ones but also still recycling older ones, unless those older ones are ones they haven't gotten around to remaking yet.
 

antsamthompson9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
3,373
Reaction score
1,673
The bookends with the Two-Headed Monster and the talking cake were fun. Norbert was interesting. I did like the parts where he "blushes" and when he had names for the ice cream makers. Grover constantly changing the color of the crayon was funny. I like that Ken Scarbrough realizes that as long as the street story involves one of the 7 core characters, kids will know they're watching Sesame Street whereas last season Elmo was in all the street stories to the point that he was shoe-horned in on some of them. My favorite part of the new EW was Elmo's reaction to Mr. Noodle rapping.
 

Pig'sSaysAdios

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
6,506
Reaction score
4,646
Alan and Chris are away so a random character that we've never seen before is watching the store for them? At least when Natalie Portman filled in for Alan, we saw him put the want-ad in the paper and her applying for the job. Not that I don't like Norbert - Marty can make a piece of wood an interesting character - but the setup was poorly done.
Although, to be fair, this isn't the first time we've seen other characters working at Hooper's Store without much explanation. Gabi and Miles have both run it on occasion, and I remember an episode from a few years ago where a random human was seen working at the store in the background. So it's good to know that they have more than two employees working there.
 

Oscarfan

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2008
Messages
7,604
Reaction score
3,949
Well, they usually have Honkers milling around behind the counter when Alan or Chris aren't inside.
 

D'Snowth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2003
Messages
40,651
Reaction score
12,811
Although, to be fair, this isn't the first time we've seen other characters working at Hooper's Store without much explanation. Gabi and Miles have both run it on occasion
Yeah, but what I'm saying is that Norbert was a completely random character that we've never seen before, whereas other characters like Gabi and Miles we knew assisted Alan on occasion, including running the store while he's away, so they didn't really require any explanation.
 

Pig'sSaysAdios

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
6,506
Reaction score
4,646
What's with this weird talking cake guy played by Marty? He appeared in the Dress Up episode and this one. I wonder if he's kind of like Penelope Penguin, who's a minor character that Leslie Carrara likes to throw into scenes whenever she can.

Anyways, I actually liked Norbert. I have no idea where the heck he came from, but I still liked him. I surprisingly, actually felt sad for him at the beginning when he realized robots don't have birthdays. And I felt genuinely happy for him when they surprised him at the end. This is really a testimate to how talented the puppeteers are because, this is one of the few seasons where i've actually really liked the one shot characters like Norbert, and Prince Charming and the princess from "Abby Clears Things Up". I wouldn't mind them returning at some point.

As for Grover, I really liked him in this episode. I think this is one of the few times the writers have gotten him right. Grover just wants to help out, that's his character. But, I think the cute and plucky side of him was lost in recent years. He still wanted to help, but he almost seemed a bit arrogant in a way. So, I liked the more toned down Grover in this episode.

Still trying to get used to Jen's Zoe. The general attitude and movements are great, but I just can't seem to get used to her voice.
 

Oscarfan

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2008
Messages
7,604
Reaction score
3,949
See, I have a slight hang-up with these one-shot characters being used this season because when we learned they were tightening the character focus, I thought it would focus the stories more on that core group and last season pretty much did. If you have a main six, then all the rest of the cast are technically the drop-bys and one-shots that could drive plots and allow the main six to assume supporting roles.

Let me try to explain that a little better: why do a story about some random robot, when you could do one with Snuffy or Prairie or Bert? They're less regular now, so it would make sense to turn over a story or two to them. But no, let's focus on a birthday cake.
 

Pig'sSaysAdios

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
6,506
Reaction score
4,646
See, I have a slight hang-up with these one-shot characters being used this season because when we learned they were tightening the character focus, I thought it would focus the stories more on that core group and last season pretty much did. If you have a main six, then all the rest of the cast are technically the drop-bys and one-shots that could drive plots and allow the main six to assume supporting roles.

Let me try to explain that a little better: why do a story about some random robot, when you could do one with Snuffy or Prairie or Bert? They're less regular now, so it would make sense to turn over a story or two to them. But no, let's focus on a birthday cake.
Yeah, I agree. I'll admit, i've had mixed feelings about that too. The one offs, interesting as they are, are still taking time away from the main characters. I know I sorely miss seeing street stories with Telly and Baby Bear, and I barely know why they keep Snuffy on the show at this point since he's rarely there, and when he is there he usually doesn't do much. But, yeah, both Ernie and Bert deserve to be there more. And, while i'm glad Prairie's been added back to the cast, she's still being severely underused. It would help if they could at least write a few more Muppet inserts with them, but those kinds of sketches seem to have disappeared after season 45. As with many changes in recent years, it just seems like the show has painted themselves into a corner. They want more freedom than the current format will allow.
 
Top