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Fay Ray

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Fay1

The inimitable Fay Ray

Wegmandogs

Fay, Battina, and Chundo

FarmerFay2

Farmer McFay

Fay Ray (1984 - 1995) was the Weimaraner dog most often used by photographer/filmmaker William Wegman in segments on Sesame Street.

Wegman, who had had success with his dog Man Ray from the 1970s until Man Ray's death in 1982, bought Fay, then known as "Cinnamon Girl", as a puppy in 1985. Wegman first began photographing Fay in 1986, and she made her screen debut in Wegman's 1986 short Dog Baseball.

In November 1987, Wegman was contacted by Sesame Street producer Arlene Sherman, who invited him to supply short films for the series. Fay was the natural choice to star. Wegman, in voice-over, would narrate and give instructions, and Fay would demonstrate everything from math skills to letter concepts. Beginning in 1992, Fay was joined by her three pups, all born in 1989: Batty (aka Battina), Crooky, and Chundo. The following year introduced a number of sketches based on fairy tales and rhymes, and also introduced the "Farmer McFay" series (amongst the first in which the dogs' heads were posed over a man's arms and body, usually assistants Jason Burch or Andrea Beeman). Other segments, such as "ABC," let the dogs be dogs.

The dogs also starred in a series of Sesame Street sponsored videos, both compiling earlier sketches and new material, notably Alphabet Soup (1995) and Fay's Twelve Days of Christmas (1995). In the latter, Fay, in a wig and posed over an apron clad model, poses as a loving mother preparing Christmas meals and presents for her family.

In late spring of 1995, Fay suddenly contracted leukemia, and passed away at the age of 11 on June 7. Her children, however, have continued to appear on Sesame Street. Fay's grandson Chip is a more recent addition to the menagerie.

Sketch Segments

Original films

Picture Description
FaySubtract
Subtraction (3 Balls) (EKA: Episode 2608)

Fay Ray subtracts 3 balls from a table.

FayRay.Headphones
Walkman (EKA: Episode 2614)

Fay listens to a walkman.

Fay.3balls
Addition (3 Balls) (EKA: Episode 2615)

Fay demonstrates addition by placing 3 balls on a table.

Title 01 39 0001
On Top (EKA: Episode 2620)

Fay gets on top of a box.

Fay2
Animal Disguises (EKA: Episode 2639)

Aping earlier photographs of Man Ray, Fay adisguises herself as various animals, including a ladybug, a moose, a green elephant, and a frog. Two girls, in voice-over, refer to the latter as "Kermit the Dog."

FayRayClock
Clockwise (EKA: Episode 2645)

Fay moves clockwise and ticks, until an alarm rounds.

FayRug
On and Off (EKA: Episode 2746)

Fay gets on and off a rug.

3161za
Over and Under (EKA: Episode 2795)

Fay demonstrates "over" and "under".

FayRay.OneofTheseThings
One of These Things (EKA: Episode 2822)

One of these balls is not like the other.

Fay.add4balls
Addition (4 Balls) (EKA: Episode 2835)

Fay demonstrates addition by placing 4 balls on a table.

Fay.4balls
Subtraction (4 Balls) (EKA: Episode 3049)

Fay demonstrates subtraction by removing 4 balls.

Fay.1ball
Subtraction (1 Ball) (EKA: Episode 3094)

Fay demonstrates subtraction by removing blue balls from a table.

FayRay.nearball
Near (EKA: Episode 3101)

Fay rolls balls near the camera.

FayRay.head
Left to Right (EKA: Episode 3145)

Fay Ray's head moves across the floor from left to right. Two segments later, her head moves from right to left.

FayRay.rug
On and Under (EKA: Episode 3190)

Fay gets on and under a rug.

Fay.Near
Near and Far (EKA: Episode 3672)

Fay Ray moves from far to near the camera.

Farmer McFay

A series of shorts in which Fay, posed in overalls over Jason Burch's arms, demonstrated numbers using fruits and vegetables from her crop, with Chundo playing her son. A subset of the series, The McDoubles, had Fay's female pups Batty and Crooky dressed in overalls joined at the waist.

Picture Description
3189d
Farmer McFay: 3 (EKA: Episode 3189)

Farmer McFay has 3 fruits.

FayTired
Farmer McFay: 5 (EKA: Episode 3215)

Farmer McFay is tired because she only slept for 5 hours.

McDoubles.2s
The McDoubles: 2 (EKA: Episode 3217)

The McDoubles twins display pairs of things.

BattyCrooky10
The McDoubles: Counting to 10 (EKA: Episode 3281)

The McDoubles count to 10 with their fingers.

FarmerMcFay.6
Farmer McFay: 6 (EKA: Episode 3287)

Farmer McFay counts six lemons and limes.

McDoublesHelp
The McDoubles: Helping (EKA: Episode 3427)

The McDoubles really know how to help each other.

Noimage
Farmer McFay: 4 (EKA: Episode 3506)

Farmer McFay counts a bumper crop of 4 fruits.

FayLemons
Farmer McFay: Lemons (EKA: Episode 3817)

Farmer McFay juggles 3 lemons, then two.

Nursery Rhymes

Various nursery rhymes and fairy tales enacted by the dogs.

Picture Description
Wegman.Goldilocks
Goldilocks (EKA: Episode 3325)

The dogs re-enact the classic tale, with Crooky in a wig as Goldilocks, and the other three as the bears.

3449muffet
Little Miss Muffet (EKA: Episode 3449)

Crooky, in a wig as Little Miss Muffet, deals with a spider.


Video: William Wegman's Mother Goose

3956t
Little Jack Horner (EKA: Episode 3460)

The nursery rhyme is recited with some help from the dogs.


Video: William Wegman's Mother Goose

Wegman.JackJill
Jack and Jill (EKA: Episode 3491)


Video: William Wegman's Mother Goose

BattyBoPeep2
Little Bo Peep (EKA: Episode 3525)

Batty as Little Bo Peep, seeking her sheep (three parts).


Video: William Wegman's Mother Goose

3957zh1
The Ten O'Clock Scholar (EKA: Episode 3529)


Video: William Wegman's Mother Goose

FayRay.Pattycake
Pat-a-Cake (EKA: Episode 3576)


Video: William Wegman's Mother Goose

Wegman.KingCole
Old King Cole (EKA: Episode 3664)

Chundo as Old King Cole.


Video: William Wegman's Mother Goose

Fayray.rubadubdub
Rub-a-Dub-Dub (EKA: Episode 3681)

The dogs reenact the nursery rhyme.
Note: This sketch is accompanied by slow, classical music; however, on the home video release, the music has fast-paced vaudeville music.


Video: William Wegman's Mother Goose

ToMarket
To market, to market (EKA: Episode 3697)

The dogs play out the nursery rhyme.


Video: Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days

Jackanory.dog
Jack-a-Nory (EKA: Episode 3745)


Video: William Wegman's Mother Goose

4122bg
Jack Sprat (EKA: Episode 4122)

Jack Sprat and his wife eating a meal.

The Alphabet

Picture Description
Wegmandogs.A
A (EKA: Episode 3359)

The dogs form an A.

Wegmandogs.E
E (EKA: Episode 3426)

The dogs form a letter E.

Wegmandogs.H
H (EKA: Episode 3291)

The dogs form an H.

Wegman dogs J
J (EKA: Episode 3280)

The dogs form a J.

Wegman-jester
J - Jester (EKA: Episode 3719)

The dogs make a J and dress as a jester.

Dogs.K
K (EKA: Episode 3457)

The dogs form a K, as in King.

Wegmandogs.L
L (EKA: Episode 3300)

The dogs form an L.

Wegmandogs.M
M (EKA: Episode 3683)

The dogs form an M.

Wegmandogs.P
P (EKA: Episode 3882)

The dogs form a P.

4027v
T (EKA: Episode 3355)

The dogs form a T, which is for train.

Wegmandogs.Violin
V (EKA: Episode 3689)

The dogs form the letter V, for violin and valentine.

FayRay.W
W (EKA: Episode 3344)

The dogs form a W.

3976za
X (EKA: Episode 3725)

The dogs form an X, and Fay Ray gets an X-ray.

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

Picture Description
3786r
Waiter (EKA: Episode 3786)

The dogs show what a waiter's job is like.

Wegmandogs.hairstylist
Hairdresser (EKA: Episode 3814)

The dogs show the job of a hairdresser.

Wegmandogs.fishing
Fisherman (EKA: Episode 3872)

The dogs show what a fisherman does.

Dogswearclothes?
Tailor (EKA: Episode 3875)

The dogs inhabit a clothing boutique.

3977zb
Conductor (EKA: Episode 3950)

The dogs show an orchestra conductor and a pianist.

Dogmechanic
Auto Mechanic (EKA: Episode 3952)

The dogs demonstrate the job of an auto mechanic.

Miscellaneous

Picture Description
Wegmandogs
Sleeping (EKA: Episode 3010)

Fay, Battina and Chundo are really sound sleepers - neither an alarm, nor a jackhammer, nor an elephant will wake them up.

Wegmandogs.scarves
Next To (EKA: Episode 3066)

The dogs get next to each other in pictures.

WegmanDogs.Oneofthesethings
One of These Things (1st version) (EKA: Episode 3105)

One dog (a terrier) is not like the others.

WegmanDogs.Oneofthesethings-2
One of These Things (2nd version) (EKA: Episode 3114)

One dog (a poodle) is not like the others.

Wegman8
Dog Numbers: 1 to 8 (EKA: Episode 3438)

The dogs form the numbers 1-8.

Dogs9
Dog Numbers: 1 to 9 (EKA: Episode 3688)

Similar to the above, the dogs form the numbers 1-9.

3726.Wegmandogs.popcorn
Popcorn (EKA: Episode 3726)

The dogs cook popcorn in three different ways.

Dogs.bread
Peanut Butter (EKA: Episode 3740)

The dogs make a peanut butter sandwich.

Dogs.PBJ
Peanut Butter and Jelly (EKA: Episode 3749)

The dogs make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Dogs.baseball
Baseball (EKA: Episode 3851)

The dogs get their exercise by playing baseball.

BattyCrookyBoat
Rowboat (EKA: Episode 3882)

Batty and Crooky row a rowboat.

Wegmandogs.paint
Painting (EKA: Episode 3924)

Battina poses for a painting.

3979m
Clay (EKA: Episode 3962)

The dogs make things out of clay.

BattyCrooky1alt

BattyCrooky1
1 (EKA: Episode 4000)

Batty and Crooky stack wooden blocks to form the number 1.
In subsequent appearances, a computer-animated 1 appeared over the stack.

4008WegmanDogs
Stop and Go (EKA: Episode 4008)

The dogs show stop and go during a race.

Wegman.4
4 (EKA: Episode 4154)

The dogs sit in 4 theater chairs.

WegmansPool
In and Out

The dogs show in and out with a swimming pool.

WegmanInstruments
Musical Instruments

The dogs play various instruments.

Noimage
ABC

Fay demonstrates the first three letters of the alphabet by balancing letter blocks.

Noimage
3

The dogs show the number 3 in a variety of poses.

Credits

  • Director: William Wegman
  • Assistant Director: Andrea Beeman
  • Cameraman: Alan Cohen
  • Lights: Edgar Gil
  • Arm Models: Jason Burch, Andrea Beeman

Videos

References

Wegman, William. Fay. New York: Hyperion Books, 1999.

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