Why aren't Oscar and Telly ever on anymore?

antsamthompson9

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Of course not. At the end of the day puppeteering just wasn’t for him and I’m glad he found something he enjoys more.
He has confessed that he wasn't into puppets, and the only reason he agreed to do puppets when Jim offered was cause he liked doing voices.
 

D'Snowth

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It was kind of similar for Fran as well: she initially tried joining the Muppets to do voices, but Jim insisted if you're going to do voices, you needed to actually physically perform the puppets as well, which she had never done before.

But then there's the case of Marilyn Sokol: she couldn't quite get the hang of the performing aspect of the puppetry (which really isn't as easy as it seems), but Jim enjoyed her vocal work so much he kept her in that capacity, hence why we have a number of little productions where she dubbed a character's voice like Ma Otter, or even songs on SS like "I Want a Monster to Be My Friend."
 

LittleJerry92

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This is why I lean more to just voice acting when it comes to acting as a character while manipulating your voice - I do not have the patience to focus on puppet manipulation while acting.
 

Oscarfan

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But even so, corporate research has suggested that kids can better handle smaller casts of characters, since most of the competing kids shows in that target demographic usually have a cast of an average of maybe three or more main characters, hence why SS has since adopted this Core Six/Seven concept - not to mention why we only have three regular human cast members now of just Alan, Chris, and Nina.
I think the half-hour change also affects that. When you have an hour show that has 30+ two-minute pieces (and 100+ episodes), there's ample oppertunity for multiple characters to get their due. Now there's basically no niche outside the street story for characters other than Elmo, Abby, or Cookie.
 

minor muppetz

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It was kind of similar for Fran as well: she initially tried joining the Muppets to do voices, but Jim insisted if you're going to do voices, you needed to actually physically perform the puppets as well, which she had never done before.

But then there's the case of Marilyn Sokol: she couldn't quite get the hang of the performing aspect of the puppetry (which really isn't as easy as it seems), but Jim enjoyed her vocal work so much he kept her in that capacity, hence why we have a number of little productions where she dubbed a character's voice like Ma Otter, or even songs on SS like "I Want a Monster to Be My Friend."
And during the early years, it was common for the human cast to do Muppet voices from time to time. But they were a regular part of the show, I guess Jim didn't want to hire performers to just provide voices of the puppets (but Sokol was a special case). The Frog Prince and Muppet Musicians of Bremen also used voice actors who were not Muppet performers, but I heard that those specials required a certain number of Canadian talent.
 

D'Snowth

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Yeah, in the case of the specials, I do believe there was some contractual obligation regarding Canadian talent being brought in to dub some of the voices.
 

minor muppetz

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Yeah, in the case of the specials, I do believe there was some contractual obligation regarding Canadian talent being brought in to dub some of the voices.
And now I wonder if part of that (for Muppet Musicians of Bremen) was a style choice, to primarily use non-Muppet performers as the voices, maybe so they wouldn't all sound too familiar to Sesame Street's audiences. I don't know how many Canadian talent they needed, and Bremen did not have any live actors. I think an article in the Jim's Red Book blog also stated that the performers couldn't be heard in the full-bodied costumes, but that doesn't really account for the non-full bodied characters (not to mention the humans were puppets in close-ups), and there have been plenty of full-bodied Muppets whom the performers didn't have trouble being heard inside of.
 

D'Snowth

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I don't know either, but it was the same way with a lot of Sid & Marty Kroffts' shows: there would always be puppeteers inside the suits performing the characters physically, but they would also bring in voice actors to add in the dialogue and such afterwards.
 

mbmfrog

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I grew up on the 90’s Telly and I was always a fan of his interactions with Oscar. Truly great dynamic between the two there. Honestl, while Telly is a variety of emotional moments with his character...sadly he is at best B/C-level material when it comes to how he is viewed on the show. In other words: Telly is memorable and emotional because of his moments on the show, but not that marketable.

Although I would have like to see a worry Telly doll that shakes because he is nervous.
 

D'Snowth

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One other thing I will say about Marty's Telly and Snuffy is that they're prime examples of what some Muppet Performers have talked about when recast characters tend to start out as being pretty much just straight-up imitations of their predecessors, and that's essentially what him Telly and Snuffy were. It seems like it wasn't until the late 80s that he really started making Telly and Snuffy his own, but if you listen to his performances as both characters in the mid-80s when he took over, they definitely sound like imitations of Brian and Jerry. It's not quite as noticeable with Snuffy other than the cadence, since Jerry's Snuffy had that slow, sad way of talking, which Marty's Snuffy also had in the beginning, but it's definitely noticeable with his Telly in the beginning . . . in fact, watching FTB you can hear how inconsistent his Telly was throughout the movie.
 
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