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Letters and Word Balloons

In the various episode pages, I have seen a number of images from skits that seem to be similar. These sketches involve a character saying a letter of the alphabet and then a word beginning with that letter, as an image of that word appears in the word balloon. Examples include "Y-yo-yo" (in Episode 0043), "A-ape" (in Episode 0083), "H-hole" (also in Episode 0083), J-jam (in Episode 1839), and S-snake (in Episode 2096). The video Learning About Letters also has two similar skits ("G-gorillia" and "K-key"). Does anybody know if this is meant to eb a series of skits, and if there is an official title for these skits?

I can't think of a good article title for them. It seems like they always have different characters appearing outside of the word balloons. Does anybody know who animated them? If it's not a direct series of skits, I still wouldn't be surprised if they were from the same animation company. --Minor muppetz 21:35, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I've seen them referenced to as "Speech Balloon" segments in the Gerald S. Lesser's book Children and Television: Lessons from Sesame Street. -- MuppetDude 18:36, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Did the book cite any examples of Speech Balloon sketches? It might be good to know if any particular sketches were mentioned, just in case he was referring to something else. --Minor muppetz 14:36, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Ones for "F-Fly" and "A-Ape" were described and/or pictured. -- MuppetDude 17:24, 17 April 2007 (UTC)


I have a question about the relevance of some of these articles. I know that we have some interest in Sesame Street as a program, but our main interest, obviously, is the Muppet segments. There's been a bit of discussion on Category talk:Numbers that really drove home to me that there's some danger of the Sesame Animated Segments area getting too far away from the Muppets.

In my opinion, there are a few kinds of animated segments that are relevant and interesting for the wiki:

1. Songs, like The Alligator King or It's a Lovely Eleven Morning. Some of these songs ended up on Sesame albums, and therefore that makes them relevant.

2. Regular recurring segments, like Pinball Number Count, The Typewriter and Jazz Numbers. Those are so identified with the program that they become, essentially, part of the cast.

3. Segments that have some other relevance to the Muppets, like Henson's films, or The Noble Ostrich, which includes an animated Big Bird cameo.

So those are fine. But there are some segments that have pages right now that don't fit those criteria, namely: Arnold Rides a Chair, King Minus, Lillian, Big Sister, The Old Woman Who Lived in a Nine and Yakity Yak. I don't see the relevance of those pages to a Muppet wiki.

Another reason why I'm concerned is because I think the descriptions of animated segments can sound a bit like people describing their dreams, especially when the person writing the description is a novice writer. The Yakity Yak page has a sort of homeless guy talking to you on the subway feel to it that I personally find unnerving.

I propose setting a standard for what animated segments get their own pages on the wiki, based on the three criteria I used above. That doesn't mean that other segments will be ignored -- every segment gets a photo and a description in the Sesame Street Episode Guide pages. If people want to make sure that their favorite animated segments have a place on the wiki, then I would suggest helping to build up those Episode Guide pages, rather than creating Animated Segment pages.

What do other folks think about this? -- Danny (talk) 23:46, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Although I'm a huge animation fan, I tend to agree. Actually, I made "Arnold Rides His Chair" a redirect to the pre-existing Arnold (animated character), which already describes the short, has an image, and established a context, the fact that the character later starred in a popular Nickelodeon series but got his start on Sesame Street. That's interesting, I think anyway, but a seperate page for the one-off sketch isn't needed. Wanda the Witch is significant, since she was in the first show, surfaces in merchandise, and is discussed in most of the pedagogical histories. The others, not so much. Actually, "Lillian, Big Sister" is only one short to feature the Lillian character, but again, there's already an image at Craig Bartlett and anything about the shorts (I know of two) can be said there. To me, articles on animators, like Bud Luckey and Sally Cruikshank, can be fun to read, but not all of their shorts deserve individual pages. Most series characters do, I hope (I'm proud of Billy Jo Jive), and there's some which are interesting because of connections: Traction Jackson, in addition to remaking the "Me and My Chair" song, is produced by Rickey Boyd, while Suzie Kabloozie was created by staff writer Mo Willems, voiced by cast member Ruth Buzzi, and even evoked by Zoe in a street storyline. On the other hand, the page for her cat Feff is tiny and not needed.
Looking at what's there, one of my own pages, Jake the Snake, may not be vital, but it has voice info (as one of many characters voiced by staff writer Jim Thurman), animator credits, and the John Wayne reference, a help if we ever make a reference page for Wayne. So would that pass by? Andrew Leal (talk) 00:04, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
If it was entirely up to me, I'd say Jake the Snake would go. Sorry. I think the info could go on the Jim Thurman page just as easily. If we were to make a John Wayne page, then we'd really only want Muppet references, not random animated Sesame references.
I totally agree about the animator pages -- I think the pages on Bud Luckey and Sally Cruikshank are great, and I agree that the series characters like Billy Jo Jive, Alice Braithwaite Goodyshoes and Suzie Kabloozie are worth keeping. My only objection is to the one-shot cartoons. -- Danny (talk) 00:10, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Sigh, you're probably right. It's just that unlike King Minus or a few others, it's not actually on any episode pages yet, so info would actually be lost. I'll try to see if any of it can be moved, since I like the image and so on, before nuking. It's also an award winner, becoming a finalist for best animated short at the 1988 Ottawa International Animation Festival and winning Best Design at ASIFA-East, but there's probably other Sesame award winning shorts as well. Andrew Leal (talk) 00:20, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Do you know which episode(s) it was used in? If you have an episode number, you could put it on that page. -- Danny (talk) 00:25, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Nope, and it's not currently mentioned anywhere else on the Wiki. All I know is it debuted in 1988, and continued to air through the 90s. Le sigh. Ah well. I do reserve the right, once I or someone finds an image, to create a "Jasper and Julius" page (which also fits the criteria, as recurring characters and since they appeared in the Sesame Street newspaper strip, which I am now reminded still needs a page). Part of what happened with some, like the Old Lady in the Nine, is somebody went through Bud Luckey's filmography and created a page for every short listed, not just the important ones like Alligator King or Ladybug Picnic. Pages like that or That's About the Size of It can be merged back into his page. Andrew Leal (talk) 00:33, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, I solved my Jake the Snake problem, and just created a Buzzco Associates, Inc. page, with details on all of their shorts. I may make It's Hip To Be a Square a redirect as well. Yeah, it's a song, but the page doesn't even have an image. Andrew Leal (talk) 03:38, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Excellent -- I think that's the way to do it, when we know the animator. -- Danny (talk) 03:41, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Actually, now that we're talking about it, I think we should figure out the relationship between this category and Sesame Street Sketches. Most (but not all) of the items in this category are also in Sketches. There are also some animated segments categorized in Sketches that people forgot to categorize in Animated Segments. I propose that we clearly separate the two -- that Sesame Street Sketches is for live-action segments, and Animated Segments is for cartoons. -- Danny (talk) 12:36, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

I started this category, thinking that it would be a good category to add, and every once in awhile I have gone searching for more pages on animated sketches so that this category could have more. I didn't realise that there were some animated sketches in the Sesame Street Sketches category. --Minor muppetz 14:09, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, Scott and I (and others) had added pages for most of the recurring segments/notable one-shots (King of 8, Alligator King) long before, which Michael missed. I'm doing category cleanup as we speak. Andrew Leal (talk) 15:14, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
And actually, another inconsistency issue, is whether to stick animated characters under Category:Sesame Street Characters. Most are, a few aren't. Do we add them all automatically or be selective? Right now, I'd say that any recurring character, or a one-shot like Wanda the Witch who has featured in ad materials and merchandising, is a Sesame Street Character. The other one-shots are Sesame in the sense that they appeared on the show, but they aren't really cast members, so that's iffy to me. Andrew Leal (talk) 15:24, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for the cleanup, that fixes everything. I'm going to move the question about animated characters to Category talk:Sesame Street Characters... -- Danny (talk) 16:22, 13 July 2006 (UTC)