Sesame Street Memories

Today is the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street! HBO, where it airs primarily now (and has for several years), put together a video in which an interviewer asks the Sesame Street Muppets about their favorite memories. It’s quite cute and clever: 

Couple of things I noticed about it: 

  • Elmo does not appear in this video at all. And granted, I’m a grumpy Gen X-er who doesn’t have much use for Elmo in the first place, but I find that I didn’t miss him in the slightest or even notice his absence at first. 
  • There are only three characters in this video still performed by their original puppeteers: Abby, Rudy, and Rosita. That’s just an observation, not a value judgment of any kind. 
  • Whatever my mixed feelings may be about Peter Linz playing Ernie, I have to say that whoever’s writing Bert and Ernie’s banter nowadays is spot-on. Absolutely brilliant and perfect.
  • High definition hasn’t done Big Bird any favors in one important respect. The monofilament that connects his arms used to be all but invisible, but now it’s plain as day. It’s a shame, because it makes Big Bird seem slightly less magical as a result. 
  • However, I love that they revisited the idea of Big Bird being an artist. 
  • At first it seemed too easy to have Abby’s favorite Sesame Street memory be the day she moved there, but the payoff was worth it. 
  • Oscar’s interactions with Slimey have always been one of my favorite things about Sesame Street.
  • I don’t watch Sesame Street regularly, so I haven’t seen much with Rudy, but from what I have seen of him, I like him very much.
  • I love that some of the Muppets are wearing microphones during their interviews. That’s one of my favorite Muppet gags ever.

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“Stronger Thongs”

At first I wondered why Steve didn’t post his “Stranger Things” parody online before the episode in which it premiered. Apparently, it was so that Weldon could have a conversation with some of the young actors from the show itself in conjunction with the parody. 

I don’t watch the show because I don’t have Netflix, so I don’t know anything about the kids, but they seem perfectly pleasant, and it’s really cool to see Weldon sharing the screen with the people that he’s interacting with. 

Like I said, I don’t watch the show, so what I know about it, I’ve learned through cultural osmosis. But I think “Stronger Thongs” is really good wordplay. That could have been the whole parody for me, and I would have been satisfied. But then the Demi-gorgonzola shows up, which is not only good wordplay but a really cool-ass puppet to boot. 

Anyway, apparently today is “#StrangerThingsDay,” so I thought I would post this since I’ve been meaning to do so anyway. 

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is that the text at the end doesn’t match what Weldon is actually saying, which is hilarious. That gives everyone an idea of what it’s like to edit speech recognition documents, so thanks for that, Weldon!

“Several Species of Small Furry Animals,” etc.

I left a question for Weldon on Discord about his favorite song, which included a veiled Sesame Street reference. I expected that he would respond with a veiled Sesame Street reference, and we would all chuckle knowingly.

As you probably already know, what actually happened was even more interesting. He recommended this song to me: 

It’s not my taste in music, but nevertheless, I’m so glad that this is a thing that exists, and I’m glad that I now know it exists.

As I was listening to it, I felt it was appropriate to the season. If I ever hosted a haunted house, I think I would just play this song on a continuous loop. 

So this is officially my new Halloween song. 

The “Pumpkin Spice” Episode of Cave-In Is Up

I was going to call it “my” episode of Cave-In, but when I think about it, I’m not sure I want to claim the whole thing. My bit starts at six minutes in.

So, some observations: 

  • Calling in and talking to Weldon was actually a lot more fun than watching/listening to myself talk to Weldon. 
  • After three days, I only remembered about 25% of what I said to him, if that. I guess I was just really in the moment. 
  • I’ve often heard puppeteers say that they feel less inhibited performing puppet characters, but I was surprised to find out that the opposite is also true. Obviously I’ve met Steve, but I don’t know him THAT well, and having admired him from a distance for so long, there are things that I would feel awkward talking to him about, yet I think I would feel more comfortable saying them to Weldon. 
  • Weldon speaks the truth about pumpkin spice. I’m glad someone finally decided to stand up and tell it like it is. 
  • You know, I knew I had a habit of nervous giggling, but boy, I sure do giggle a lot when I’m nervous.

I haven’t watched the whole thing again yet because I have other things to do, but it does appear to have been edited a little, which is good. Thank you, Weldon (and Steve)!

For the record, I want to say that I do like weddings. There is, however, a tiny portion of me that feels bitter and resentful about other people’s happiness, so I magnified that for comedic purposes.

Yeah, that was me!

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…and it had been so quiet…(SIGH)

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So, you may have heard as it was happening, but I finally got to talk to Weldon on Cave-In. And I even got to be the first caller. Woo, go me!

I was nervous beforehand, and then the delay in the live-stream threw me off a lot, so I kind of forgot everything I was going to say at first. Guacamole brain strikes again!

It was fun, but now it’s kind of a blur, so I’m looking forward to getting to watch it again. But I just thought that if you wanted to talk to me about it, I’d give you the opportunity.

October’s “Cave-In” Happening This Week

And it sounds like Weldon may be in costume for it. Fun!

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All trick and no treat…

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I’m really kind of desperate to talk to Weldon. The first time I couldn’t because I didn’t have a microphone for my computer. Then I bought a microphone but couldn’t figure out how to make it work in time. I thought it was a software issue, but it turned out to be a hardware issue. Once I figured it out, it was easy to correct, but unfortunately, that wasn’t until after the show was over. 

Hopefully this will be my month! I just have to remember the time difference: 10/25 at 9:25 for me. 

Delayed Gratification

Puppet Tears is a very cool podcast that interviews puppeteers from all walks of life, asking very in-depth and intelligent questions. Today they’ve released a nearly two-hour conversation with Steve:

From what they’ve released previously, it looks like they’re going to approach the “controversial” topics from a mature, objective, and responsible point of view, which I’m very pleased to see. It’s recently come to my attention that, unfortunately, there are still a lot of unfounded rumors and misinformation about Steve festering in the dark corners of the internet, so my hope is that this will be an opportunity to bring the truth to light and clear the air. 

Here’s the thing, though: I CAN’T WATCH IT NOW!!! 😦 I’ve got a ton of work that I need to get through before the end of the day today, and if I start watching it now, I know I’m not going to be able to stop.

So watch and enjoy, but please don’t spoil it for me, and maybe we can talk about it later. 

I’ve seen it now, and I’m interested to hear what you think. In general terms, I find it to be a breath of fresh air.

Cave-In 9/27

Is it redundant of me to keep posting whenever there’s going to be a new Cave-In? I feel like maybe all of you can just follow Steve on Instagram yourselves, and then you will find out at the same time I do. 

On the other hand, I feel obliged to do my part to get the word out, since the mainstream fan sites have not taken an interest. 

Anyway, I figure if I’m going to post about it, I’d better hurry up and do it. Sorry for the delay; I’ve been preoccupied with other things. Maybe you’ll get to hear about them if you tune in tomorrow. 

Sixty for 60: Culmination

60 for 60 collage

(Please enjoy this photo collage. I worked on it for the better part of an hour before trying to upload it, but my initial attempt was unsuccessful because the file size was too big. Apologies to those whose photos I’ve co-opted.)

Happy 60th birthday, Steve Whitmire! And welcome, everyone, to the final installment of 60 for 60. Every month for a year I’ve been celebrating Steve and this milestone by posting five examples of his work per month (mostly in the form of videos, but not exclusively) and making commentary about it. At this point, I’d like to take a look back of the year and choose the best from each month for a “Best of the Best” feature.

(As always, “best” in this case is subjective.)

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Semi-miked StocktonCon Q&A Panel

The interesting thing about searching for comic con panel discussions is that you don’t always find exactly what you asked for, but sometimes you find things that you would never have thought to look for specifically. 

I checked YouTube today to see if there were any panels from DragonCon available yet. It may be too early for that since it was just this weekend. I didn’t find any new DragonCon content, but I did find a panel from StocktonCon Steve did…*checks*…a month ago already! Wow…

Word of warning before I post it: Like at OCon, Steve and the moderator were miked, but the audience questions weren’t. Why? I have no idea. It seems like a no-brainer to me, but what do I know?

One thing I want to specifically point out about this panel is that Steve talks in glowing terms about Kermit’s interview with Ellen Degeneres. That is also a favorite appearance of mine, and it was surprising to me at the time that Ellen and Kermit had never met before. That, too, seemed like a no-brainer. I really wanted to work that interview into 60 for 60, but the only place I could have worked it in was during the Kermit month, and I opted for the backstage interview instead. If I have a regret about how it turned out, that may be it. 

In the meantime, I’m waiting quite impatiently to see if OCon is going to post video of Steve’s Q&A panel. I asked them via Twitter if we could expect it, but I haven’t received a response. Neither my notes nor my memory are really adequate to talk about it, but if I had the video with the notes to supplement it, I think I could recreate it for you with a reasonable degree of accuracy. 

Soooooooo…What did everybody think of the shoooooooow?

Oh my gosh, you guys, that was so great! I laughed SO HARD the whole time!

I have to get a microphone, though, because I’ve got lots of miserable stuff I can talk about. And I have a background in theatre and improv, so I could kind of play along. It was so frustrating watching Weldon begging for callers with problems and not being able to participate. 

So, what about you guys? Did you watch? Did you laugh? Did you have sound problems? (I had to break out the headphones during the Dark Crystal parody as it suddenly went quiet. Was it just me?)

I’m all wound up now. Let’s keep it going! 

Steve’s Website Goes Live and Weldon’s Show Has a Title

At long last, here is Weldon in all his repulsive glory: 

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Download the DISCORD app now to call in tomorrow night!

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It’s nice to finally see Weldon, and I like his looks a lot, especially his hands and his weird little pointy teeth. 

I know that “doesn’t give a rat’s ass” is a common expression, but it also made me think of Rizzo. Poor, voiceless Rizzo.

I plan to watch the show, but I don’t anticipate that I’m going to be able to participate, at least not yet. Need to track down a microphone first. 

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Something Seems To Be Happening on Saturday

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HU ‘boy…he’s back…

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And thank goodness, because all the people taking Weldon’s posts too seriously was getting reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally uncomfortable. 

But we can tell that Weldon is meant to be a not-nice character because he doesn’t tell us whether this is happening at 8:31 AM or PM! That nonspecific fiend!

(My guess would be PM.)

I assume that it’s happening on Steve’s new website, which kind of doesn’t exist yet, but here it is anyway: stevewhitmire.website

If/when I find out more, you’ll find out more!