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Sonia Manzano will not be on Sesame Street after Season 45

SesameFever

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Will she be on the season that was just taped for this fall?
 

Rugratskid

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That's pretty upsetting... it's sad that the old human cast is diminishing (slowly, but it's happening), but I guess that's just how it goes. :frown: I'm not a gigantic fan of the newer human cast members, but as long as others AND the target audience is happy. I suppose that's all that matters. I'll still be watching the show on occasions, but it's sad to see her go. However, I wish her the best of luck if she does any future things (not sure if she's retiring from all work).
 

Drtooth

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Let's not forget this is her choice and she's not being forced out of the series by any means. And let's also keep in mind how unprecedented that a show that has run from 1969 to this day actually is, especially when they had their share of mainstays and revolving door members. I'm sure most of the older cast members have outside lives and managed their money well enough to never have to work again. Bob appears, like what, once a year, sometimes just for a cameo? And both him and Loretta have been there since show 1. Loretta even came back as Susan for a few cameos lately. Contrast that with how SNL cast members last maybe a few years, maybe up to 10 or so.

Moving on from a show is only natural. Especially one you've been a part of 40 or so years. Then you remember how many cast members that have come and gone in much less time. Some only stayed a couple seasons.

So yeah. Don't take this as anything but someone willfully choosing to retire. Having to get younger cast members is completely natural for a show that's been on this long. Big Bird and the rest of the Muppets don't age, but human cast members do. And yes, they replaced Gordon several times in the first few years, there were 2 actors who played Mr. Hanford, and multiple child actors took on Gabby and Miles, but Sesame Street's strength has been not meddling around and replacing older actors for younger ones. A lesser show would have seen Sonia out in 10 years of her debut only for another Maria to be cast without a second thought.
 

D'Snowth

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With the exception of when she was a tot, Gabi was played by Desiree Casado pretty much the entire time. Miles on the other hand, yeah, he went through about the same number of actors as Gordon did.
 

D'Snowth

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I remember way back during Season 35, TV GUIDE had a little blurb about Sonia as Maria, naming her "Sesame's Sweetheart" (like America's Sweetheart, I'm assuming); I loved the little snippet about Maria's unique relationship with Oscar, and how there's been a joke floating around the Workshop for years that Oscar is, "the only Muppet to see Maria naked." Sonia added, "funny, but not true."
 

SpinneyBigBird1

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What's sad is that it won't be mentioned. Maria won't likely be mentioned other than in passing by Luis, ("I've gotta get home to Maria," etc.) if even that. The human characters' roles on the show have diminished so much since the start that they can filter through in and out without a second thought.

Did Gabi have any sort of send-off when she left the show? She was on the show for over 20 years.

The human cast members don't even have plots of their own anymore. They exist solely to teach the Muppets about whatever the day's curriculum is and that's it. Basically, any one human character's role in a street story nowadays can be played by any one of the ten human actors with little to no difference to the overall plot. Preschoolers watching form bonds with Maria and Gordon the same way they form bonds with the celebrities like Bill Hader and Adam Scott. They know they're there, but they're not there often enough to care about.

That's the other thing: I love all the human cast members, but having ten of them as well as a huge amount of Muppets for only 26 episodes (sometimes less) when so few of them play an actual role anymore? Ten is a lot of main characters for any show, much less a show where their entire story happens in 11 minutes and they also have over a dozen Muppet characters as well as countless fairytale creatures and celebrity guests to fit in, too. In the beginning of the show, four human characters held down 130 episodes. I think everyone on here expects every current human to get just as much screen time as that despite more than double the human cast members and one-fifth the number of episodes. It's just not logistically possible, and that really is too bad.

Even if every human character were to get an equal amount of main roles in street stories as each other, that would still only add up to 2-3 episodes per cast member per season. It wouldn't help the kids get to know them better at all.

The fact that former heavy-hitters like Gordon and Gina are now being relegated to being extras on the street with no focus or lines is just sad to me. They all have so much to offer. I'm surprised more of them haven't signed off from the show already, to be completely honest.
 

Drtooth

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What's sad is that it won't be mentioned. Maria won't likely be mentioned other than in passing by Luis, ("I've gotta get home to Maria," etc.) if even that. The human characters' roles on the show have diminished so much since the start that they can filter through in and out without a second thought.

Did Gabi have any sort of send-off when she left the show? She was on the show for over 20 years.

The human cast members don't even have plots of their own anymore. They exist solely to teach the Muppets about whatever the day's curriculum is and that's it. Basically, any one human character's role in a street story nowadays can be played by any one of the ten human actors with little to no difference to the overall plot. Preschoolers watching form bonds with Maria and Gordon the same way they form bonds with the celebrities like Bill Hader and Adam Scott. They know they're there, but they're not there often enough to care about.
I'll agree to that, though I'd also add that a lot of the show seems to hinge on who's available that day. I wouldn't say that pushing the older cast members aside is some sort of fault on the part of the writers or the series. Some of them just seem to appear less and less because they've got outside lives. Seems Sonia's the only one to really announce a retirement, and the others seem like they're semi-retired and manage to come back for one episode or so a year. Sometimes just as a cameo.

But even with the newer cast members, I agree. There's less focus on them and some plots treat them as secondary characters. Some essentially just have them in there to walk over and give speeches to Muppet characters. And I agree with the celebrity thing. That's essentially for the adults, as kids rarely care who they are unless they're like in a kid's movie as the voice of someone. There's been a big push for celebrity and parody segments and that forces out the human and regular Muppet characters both out. Some of that seems like it's essentially for the press to say "HEY! We're still here in the incomprehensibly large pile of preschool programming" (and yes, there's a freaking crapload of it now. There's like 10 kid's cartoons together across several networks out there and like 10 preschool shows per cable channel).

But if there's one thing I think you left out, it isn't just that the human cast members diminishing from the main street stories, they've completely vanished from outside segments as well. And frankly, I have more problems with that. Clearly, SW is focusing on more just Muppet segments because they're easier to translate and remain culturally ambiguous (as in the American Muppet characters get the illusion of being their country's own instead of being just dubbed versions of the characters). But we no longer have anything like "Sing in the Shower" where the human and Muppet cast members share a disconnected to the story song or the Charlie Chaplin skits. The human cast only inserts were starting to be phased out as of the 90's, but today they're completely gone. The closest thing left are the Two Headed Monster segments with Chris as a voice over. And even then, voice over as in "just dub over him so we can use it in international shows."
 

SpinneyBigBird1

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I'll agree to that, though I'd also add that a lot of the show seems to hinge on who's available that day. I wouldn't say that pushing the older cast members aside is some sort of fault on the part of the writers or the series. Some of them just seem to appear less and less because they've got outside lives.
I'm sure that's true to a point, but Bob has gone on record in both newspaper interviews and in I Am Big Bird to state that he now views Sesame Street more like a hobby than he does a job because he is not called in for more than an episode or two per season. So, it seems at least he is available to work more than they are calling him in for. Plus, the likes of Gina and Gordon are obviously available to work because they are there on the set, except they are extras in the background.
 
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