Unearthing previously "lost" Sesame Street episodes

LittleJerry92

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No yeah, I’m all for whichever seasons people wish to enjoy on their own terms. I just personally don’t find any spark when it comes to the street material from (most) of the 70s and early 80s, sans some nice little funny bits and stories thrown in here and there.

I watched the show during the Around the Corner era which I think is a bit over-hated in the community and absolutely love it. But I can see why older folks or even those born during or after may not like it.

Though I have also seen folks who have a rather unfair mindset saying “classic” only applies to certain seasons/years when everything from the 90s by this point is now past the drinking age.
 
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Gordon Matt

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I grew up with Roscoe Orman, and I suppose that he will always be my sentimental favorite. I even got to meet him as a kid! But Matt Robinson is consistently very funny and edgy, and is probably objectively my favorite Gordon. He is all about improvisation and would be a completely different character if he were forced to stick to the scripted page... like the time Oscar slammed into his trash can and Gordon simply retorted, "Isolationist!"

Everyone has their favorite era, and that's fine. I personally prefer the first 14 seasons, although I still have some time for seasons 15-20. We all come to it with our own memories, so it's silly to assert your personal nostalgia as some kind of objective truth. It's not like we're sizing up the collective works of Shakespeare here.

Sure, season 1 could be a little repetitive. They also had to produce or at least procure every single segment you see on the show that year! All the subsequent seasons had the luxury of being able to draw from (by the mid 70s) a vast catalog of material.

Looking at the totality of what season 1 produced, basically inventing the format, all the new characters (human and muppet) that were created, and all the memorable segments introduced that remained in circulation for decades, is my preferred approach to evaluating it overall.
I don't remember the "isolationist" remark, I'd like to see that one. I'd like to see as much from the early years (say about the first 5 or 6 years) as I can and I am so happy that so much of it has resurfaced over the years.

Just the other day I saw show #900 via You Tube -- I'd never seen it before and it was an absolute scream! About the first half of the show takes place in Ernie and Bert's bathroom where Bert just wants to be left alone and take a bath. So of course, Ernie wheels the piano in and starts playing some tunes, and then just about everyone in the neighborhood joins in. It was utterly hysterical.

Roscoe Orman was great as Gordon, but of course I'm biased as Matt Robinson was the Gordon I knew. It's really too bad he didn't want to continue, but I understand he wasn't really comfortable in front of the cameras and he more or less agreed to take the role under duress, thinking it would be for a year or two and he could move on. I completely get that.

But in 1972 I knew nothing -- all of a sudden here's this other guy calling himself Gordon, with no real explanation. I never really "got over" that. And although I saw Matt Robinson's name here and there in the credits of this or that show, I never really knew what had happened to him until 28 years later when I got on the internet and he was towards the end of his life. I would like to have met him. I had an opportunity to meet Roscoe Orman once when he appeared at a mall, but I was working at the time and the lines were huge, so I didn't actually meet him.

I think my favorite "Gordon moment" is the business with Oscar's "wet paint" sign on his trash can in a Season 2 show.
 
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hooperfan

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I wonder if anyone associates Hal Miller as being "their" Gordon.

I've now seen a lot of episodes with him, and he just didn't seem like he was fit for the role... It was an okay stop gap between Matt and Roscoe but he had no "spark".
 

DotBridgekeeper

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I wonder if anyone associates Hal Miller as being "their" Gordon.
My constant memory of, and active engagement with the show probably began somewhere around the cusp of Seasons 4 and 5. I know this because the faster, jazzier version of the opening scene music was the first one I remember hearing on every episode. When I first heard of a Gordon on the set, it was Roscoe. So if Hal was around when the show just played in my subconscious background, Hal did not make an impact on me. I was born a few weeks into Season 3, so I wouldn't remember anything that far back, but if I did, I would probably have enjoyed Matt in the same way I do today. I'm so glad I can see more of Matt and Hal, because it's a glimpse into what I was not around for.
 

LittleJerry92

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He honestly felt like nothing more than a one and done deal who just happened to get one extra season.
 

Gordon Matt

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He honestly felt like nothing more than a one and done deal who just happened to get one extra season.
It's just so weird, they replaced Gordon and then just two years later replaced him again. I guess that supports the idea that it was so difficult to find the right man for the role when the show was first starting.

Evidently Harold "Hal" Miller liked doing the show. He was interviewed at length in a book about Jim Henson. Yet he's not even mentioned in "Street Gang" at all. I'd really like to know what went down. I remember the first day I saw Roscoe Orman in the ominously numbered episode #666. I immediately recognized this was a different guy, and (at age 7) I was mad that they replaced the character again with someone other than the original actor.

I don't think anyone associated with the show has ever really spoken on the record about what the Miller deal was. I read somewhere he was described as "enigmatic" -- he'd be less so if someone would interview him. It seems like he's interested in telling his story, though like all of us, he's not getting any younger.

One bit with Hal Miller I definitely remember and would love to see again: Fake Gordon wants to get his picture taken, so Sam The Machine (a character I loved) offers to take a photo. But when the pictures come out, it's a whole bunch of little pictures -- one of an ear, one of his nose, etc.
 

minor muppetz

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Evidently Harold "Hal" Miller liked doing the show. He was interviewed at length in a book about Jim Henson. Yet he's not even mentioned in "Street Gang" at all. I'd really like to know what went down. I remember the first day I saw Roscoe Orman in the ominously numbered episode #666. I immediately recognized this was a different guy, and (at age 7) I was mad that they replaced the character again with someone other than the original actor.

I don't think anyone associated with the show has ever really spoken on the record about what the Miller deal was. I read somewhere he was described as "enigmatic" -- he'd be less so if someone would interview him. It seems like he's interested in telling his story, though like all of us, he's not getting any younger.
I saw a post somewhere on the Toughpigs forum, they saw memos from the CTW Archives saying that he'd caused some behaviorial trouble at the location of a public appearance, and that he'd asked for a raise that they denied him.

He was interviewed in a book about Jim Henson? Do you recall what book? To be fair, Roscoe Orman is barely mentioned in Street Gang, either (you mean the book, right?), though the official site had a bonus chapter dedicated to Orman.
 

Gordon Matt

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I saw a post somewhere on the Toughpigs forum, they saw memos from the CTW Archives saying that he'd caused some behaviorial trouble at the location of a public appearance, and that he'd asked for a raise that they denied him.

He was interviewed in a book about Jim Henson? Do you recall what book? To be fair, Roscoe Orman is barely mentioned in Street Gang, either (you mean the book, right?), though the official site had a bonus chapter dedicated to Orman.
Thanks for the info!

I think that online Roscoe Orman chapter is where I saw Miller described as "enigmatic."

Yes, I meant the book, but the documentary is great too.

The book where Miller is quoted is called "Jim Henson" by Leslie Gourse. I don't have it, but I found a "preview" on Google Books. Having difficulty linking to it.
 
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dvakman

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It seems like 2 years isn't quite long enough to be remembered as anyone's Gordon if you're bookended by two better actors. I imagine the older kids held onto their memories of Matt while the younger kids immediately latched on to Roscoe.

But what about Garrett? Are there still a handful of kids from the Philly era circa 1969 who think of *him* as their Gordon? 🤣
 
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dvakman

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Of course, I realize now that other Gordons were featured on some of the Sesame LPs I owned in the 70s. But I naturally assumed it was all Roscoe (even though I think Hal Miller appeared on the cover of one of them... it still didn't register).
 
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