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Sesame-street-ensemble-behind-the-scenes-1200x800
Behind the scenes of the final Sesame Street Google doodle (2009).
Jim Henson's Google Doodle(01:36)
Jim Henson's Google Doodle (2011).

Google is an Internet search engine, e-mail service provider, online map provider, video sharing, and social networking website. Founded by students at Stanford University in 1998, it is the most visited website in the world.[1] The company also owns the video sharing site YouTube.

Google's very first paid employee was Craig Silverstein, who founded the rec.arts.henson+muppets newsgroup.[2]

In 2006 Google's Internet satellite and map service, Google Earth, received the Jim Henson Honor's special Technology Honor. The award is given annual to individuals and products that "reflect the core values and philosophy of Jim Henson and the company he founded." The Jim Henson Honor's announcement stated that "Google Earth has used technology to bring the world a little closer and make the ends of the earth not seem quite so far away. Frankly, it is just the coolest thing out there."[3]

Sesame Street's Google Doodles

On the Google main page, anniversaries, special events, famous birthdays, and other occasions are highlighted with special artwork incorporated into the Google logo, referred to as "Google Doodles." On Wednesday, November 4th, 2009, Google featured Big Bird's legs with a link to search results for Sesame Street's 40th anniversary. This was followed by representations of other Sesame Street characters on following days.

Sesame Workshop's online store made a T-shirt with each design for free with any order including 40th Anniversary merchandise on the corresponding day; for example, the Big Bird design on November 4. These continued on for a week.

Google's official blog commented on the company's partnership with Sesame Workshop and featured a link to the song "Google Bugle", an unusual use of the term "google" 16 years before the founding of the search engine. For Sesame Street's final doodle on November 10th, 2009, the blog announced a special birthday surprise, offering a high resolution gallery of the week long doodle celebration. All twelve images are offered as larger, higher resolution images for download. As an added bonus Google even gave a sneak peak into John E. Barrett's photo shoot that yielded the final doodle.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel showed Big Bird a picture of the day's Google Doodle, the one of Big Bird's leg. Big Bird sarcastically commented "How flattering."

Main 40th Anniversary Google Doodles

Google Doodles t-shirts

International Google Doodles

On November 4, some international versions of Google used a special logo depicting a character from a local version of Sesame Street in place of the Big Bird logo, while the United Kingdom and other regions of Europe used a logo marking the 20th anniversary of British cartoon characters Wallace & Gromit. Starting November 5, all international Google sites (with the exception of those that do not use the standard Google logo) used the same Sesame Street logos, starting with Cookie Monster. On November 9, Google's German page used a logo honoring the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On November 10, the final Sesame Street doodle made its way to the German Google page as well.

Jim Henson's Google Doodle

GoogleDoodle-JimHenson's75th-(2011-09-24)

To honor Jim Henson's 75th birthday on September 24, 2011, The Jim Henson Company and Google partnered up to create a special Google logo with six original characters, corresponding in shape and size with the "Google" lettering, that the users could puppeteer themselves. Using a mouse and/or a keyboard, the characters would look up, down, and sideways, and open and close their mouths. Special animations could be discovered as well.

Special animations

Search Stories

In April 2010 Sesame Workshop posted two Sesame Street-themed Google Search Stories videos on their YouTube Channel. The videos were made with YouTube's Seach Story Video Creator which allows users to create search videos based on Google's popular Super Bowl ad. The videos posted show comical in-character searches by Bert and Cookie Monster. The characters Google such queries as "foods dat start wit letter c," "why me eyes so googly?," "what to feed pet pigeons?" and "tips for living with a messy roommate."

Language Tools

Google is available in various languages, including fictional and comedic languages such as Klingon, Elmer Fudd, and Pirate. One of the faux-languges, Bork, bork, bork!, is based on the Swedish Chef's faux-Swedish. The feature translates the Google site and search results into the comedic language.

Breakthrough Learning Forum

Grover-at-Google(05:30)
Grover and Gary Knell at the Breakthrough Learning forum

In October 2009, national leaders in education, science, technology and philanthropy partnered for the Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age Forum hosted by Google. The forum set out to discuss and develop recommendations for using digital media for education reform. Included in the forum were the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, Common Sense Media, the MacArthur Foundation, and Google. The forum was held at the Google campus in Mountain View, CA from October 27-28, 2009. Presenters at the two day event represented a wide range of education and technology fields; Joan Ganz Cooney (Sesame Street co-founder), Gary Knell (Sesame Workshop CEO), and Grover (Sesame Street Muppet) made appearances and presentations at the event.[4][5]

Google+ Hangout for The Muppets

The Muppets Google Hangout(17:41)

On November 7 at 4:30pm PST/7:30pm EST, "The Muppets Google+ Hangout" was held on Google+ social network. Included in the chat were Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, Walter and Jason Segel, as well as James Bobin and Nick Stoller.

A Google a Day

During the week of November 28, 2011, the stars of The Muppets shared the daily search questions in Google's A Google a Day game - many of which were Muppet related questions.

  • November 28, 2011 - Question by Sam Eagle (link)
    Question: I am chagrined to learn that a well-known signer of the Declaration of Independence did not want the bald eagle to be the symbol of America.What lesser bird did he want to represent our great country?
    How to find the answer: "Search [Founding Father national bird] to learn that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the symbol of the United States. Franklin believed the eagle to be “a bird of bad moral character."
  • November 29, 2011 - Question by Fozzie Bear (link)
    Question: I knew I was a bear of many talents, but in one episode with the help of Rowlf and a big instrument, I found a talent I never knew I had. In what episode did I discover my new talent?
    How to find the answer: "Search [Fozzie and Rowlf] to find a YouTube video of them playing piano. From there, search [episode of Fozzie and Rowlf piano] to find that it was in episode 218 of The Muppet Show."
  • November 30, 2011 - Question by Gonzo (link)
    Question: I'm somewhat of a daredevil, a performer and an artiste extraordinaire, but one time I tried to pull off a stunt that left two people unconscious. Oops! What stunt was I performing?
    How to find the answer: "Search [Gonzo stunt left two people unconscious] and find that Gonzo tried to jump his motorcycle into the box of Statler and Waldorf, but he crashed, leaving the two men unconscious when Gonzo lost control of the bike and crashed into the balcony box instead."
  • December 1, 2011 - Question by Kermit the Frog (link)
    Question: While the Muppets and I have been on many adventures throughout our career, I've been lucky enough to age gracefully and I'm more mature than you think. How old am I?
    How to find the answer: "Search for [how old is Kermit the Frog] and find that Google knows that Kermit turned 56 this year. Happy 56th birthday, Kermit!"
  • December 2, 2011 - Question by Miss Piggy (link)
    Question: Vous know moi as a shimmering star in the galaxy we call superstardom, but vous may not know that moi and my Pigs in Space crewmates played a part in a NASA mission. What year did this happen?
    How to find the answer: "Search [NASA Pigs in Space] to find a feature on the NASA wake-up calls, “Music to Wake Up By.” Read to learn that the Pigs in Space crew woke up astronauts on the second shuttle mission in 1981."

2014 International Women's Day Video

On March 7, 2014, the Google Doodle celebrated International Women's Day with a special video. The video featured an appearance by Chamki from Galli Galli Sim Sim'.

Google Play

Google Play is Google's distribution platform for mobile apps, movies, books and other products.

On March 18, 2014, Google Play published a video consisting of a "Moving Portrait" of the Muppets, promoting Muppets Most Wanted.

References

Scooter google
  • In The Muppets, Scooter appears to have been working at Google. In a short scene, he says goodbye to Lisa, a receptionist at the company. The logo was blurred when a clip was uploaded to the Muppets Studio official YouTube, in advance of the home video release. (YouTube)

Notes

  • Brian Henson served as a guest judge for the 2013 "Doodle 4 Google" competition.[6]

Sources

  1. Google.com at Alexa.com
  2. The Guardian, May 2007
  3. The Jim Henson Company Announced Recipients of Second Annual Jim Henson Honors
  4. Sesame Street comes to Google: Improving our education system at the Breakthrough Learning forum
  5. Grover Visits Google: Breakthrough Learning Forum Begins Today
  6. "My Best Day Ever..." Doodle 4 Google Competition Opens

See also

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