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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

Vintage Sesame Street Reissues – not for kids

My friend Jay gave me a link of an NPR (National Public Radio) article/interview about the early episodes of Sesame Street being released on DVD. They talked about how some of the things they did back then wouldn’t be shown on TV by today’s standards (for kids anyway). Oscar the Grouch lives in garbage and he never seeks help to get out of it. Cookie Monster is a compulsive eater. In some parodies he was even shown smoking a pipe (and ended up eating it too). These are the things that you would no longer see today.

Now I am only 25, not old enough to be growing up watching the vintage Sesame Street. I hadn’t checked out the DVDs either. I watched a bunch of classic Sesame Street stuff on YouTube though, so I know what the interview was talking about.

My observations are that, at one time, Cookie Monster is one of the most important character on Sesame Street, but now it’s Elmo. Cookie Monster even had a song about cookie is good for sometimes, but eating healthy is important too. Cookie Monster nowadays don’t do much other than coming out to read a letter but ends up eating it because the letter is written on a cookie. He’s certainly not as important as before. Oscar is a lot less grouchy. He is still not the nicest guy, but now we really only see his soft side. Now all he does is tell Trash Gordon stories to Slimey. Well, I do think Slimey is really cute, but my point is, some of these characters have all been toned down a lot for clean, family fun.

I guess it’s a fine line between being silly and being too adult, huh?

This also makes me think about my own writing a little bit. So far, all the episodes I’ve made are pretty kid-safe (except for those who think tooth fairies are real – oops). I was wondering if I will venture into issues that’s more grown-up. When I say grown-up, I don’t necessarily mean sex, but rather, topics including politics, society, etc. as well. Maybe they will start to say words like “hell” and call each other stupid more. I don’t know. Still something to think about.

One thing I am very against though, is people thinking that puppets cursing = funny. That gets old really fast, actually. Cursing is fine by me if they have a good story to tell, or good gag to present. Sometimes cursing is good for emphasis of certain things. But yeah, I’d like to tell them, if ou have to make a puppet curse in order to get laughs, I’m sorry. That’s simply offensive and not funny. You can do better. (If you cannot do better, then don’t do it.)

Most un-focused post ever…

PS. This week I’ve been going to the LCC show: Enchant This! that I mentioned earlier. And then I’ll also be going home for Thanksgiving, so I’m not sure if I have time to whip together an episode this week. I do have something already brainstormed but I’m not sure if I have time to do all the production work. We will see…


  1. November 29th, 2007 | 10:26 pm

    I read a similar article on the same subject recently. It really shows how things have changed so much.

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