Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sesame Street----gentrified? Three actors are released

Earlier this year, Sesame Workshop, the producers of Sesame Street, entered into a deal with HBO to create new episodes that would air first on the premium cable giant before airing on PBS. So maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise that someone decided that the show's cast needed to get younger, and to accomplish that goal, they needed to cut three of the longest tenured performers on the show.

Bob McGrath, the one actor most closely identified with Sesame Street, had been with the show from its inception in 1969. Emilio Delgado joined the series as Luis in 1971. Roscoe Orman became the 4th actor to play the role of Gordon Robinson when he joined in 1974. All three were dismissed today, a move that is bound to send shock waves to generations of viewers who've grown up with Sesame Street.

I remember owning a Sesame Street album in my youth, around the 1st or 2nd season, I forget which. I know that the departures of Orman, Delgado, & McGrath will have people saying that a large piece of their childhood has been ripped away, because it happens to be true. McGrath's departure leaves Loretta Long as the only original cast member left from the 1st season, and that in itself is quite an accomplishment.

Let's take a step back in time and scope out a bi-lingual rendering of "Sing", a Joe Raposo composition later made famous by the Carpenters, from 1971.

One online commentator used the word gentrification to describe the decision, and another was under the assumption that HBO, a Time Warner unit, had taken over full ownership of Sesame Street. Over-reaction? Yep, because I am not entirely certain that Sesame Workshop had actually turned over complete control of the show, which in this writer's opinion would not have been best for business.

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