Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Night Tomfoolery (10)

One of the many benefits of having kids is that it provide you with a legitimate excuse to view, or review, kids' shows (with the kids, of course!). Whilst there are a number of good kids' shows being made now (and a whole lot more that can only be described as absolute crap) I have also had the pleasure of introducing some old shows to this, newer, audience. Sometimes when I show these to my sons they laugh at me not with me, as some of the cartoons I used to watch as a kid have not aged well.

Sesame Street has run continuously for 42 years, so is one of the few shows (Play School is probably the other one that readily springs to mind) that hasn't seemed to date between views, and still seems fresh (and funny)to both me and my kids.

This final Tomfoolery on Sesame Street looks at some of my favourite segments from the Sesame Street I grew up with, as well as some funny parts of more recent episodes, found whilst researching these last few blog entries.

Now my top six favourite characters in Sesame Street are (in no particular order):

Kermit, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, Guy Smiley, The Count (explaining why I am now an accountant) and Cookie Monster (explaining my love for food!). These characters will feature in the videos that follow.

The first two videos both feature Kermit the Frog as a reporter on Sesame Street News with "another fast breaking news story". These news reports are all based on well known nursery rhymes and fairy tales with the story going off on an unexpected tangent. Most of them have buried in them some educational content such as explaining words or concepts. The humour in these reports works on a multitude of levels, for both kids and adults.

Here is my all time favourite - Rapunzel.

And Old Macdonald had a farm (and the yep-yep-yep aliens)

Other Newsflashes include the 3 Little Pigs, Humpty Dumpty, Pinocchio and Jack and the Bean Stalk.

Grover and Fred Johnson provided some of the funniest moments on Sesame Street. The Grover and Fred sketches involved Grover as a waiter (usually at Charlie's Restaurant) and serving Fred, with something usually going wrong. Once again there is an educational component in there somewhere. Here are three of my favourites.

The first one teaches the alphabet, and involves the serving of (surprise, surprise!)alphabet soup. I love Grover's orders to the cook. Listen carefully.

The second one (my all time favourite) involves the ordering of a hamburger.

This last one sees a change in scene from a restaurant to Fred's home and Grover as a pizza delivery man. This one should be shown as a customer service video for businesses.

Oscar the Grouch brings a dose of reality to Sesame Street. All shows need a trouble maker and Oscar is it (any guesses as to who Kinglake's Oscar is?). No further introduction required for these next two clips:

Now Guy Smiley isn't one of your main Sesame Street characters. He is "Everybody's favourite game show host". I just seem to remember him quite clearly from my early viewing of Sesame Street. Here's why:

His official name is Count von Count but we all know him as The Count. A generation or so before the Twilight series, and True Blood, The Count was my introduction to vampires. And my introduction to counting.

How cool is it to cause thunder and lightning inside an elevator?

This next 'Tube has both The Count and Cookie Monster learning to ... cooperate. I love the screens exits at the end.

The final one is a parody of The Beatles, with Cookie Monster singing Hey Food.

And yes, this leads us to next week's topic which is Beatles' songs parodies.

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