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Sesame Street Unpaved (book)

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SesameUnpaved
Written by David Borgenicht
Published 1998
Publisher Hyperion Books
ISBN 0786864605
Ssunpaved ukcover

UK Cover art

Sesame Street Unpaved is a 194-page behind the scenes look at the making of Sesame Street.

Chapters

Can You Tell Me How We Got To Sesame Street?: The Sesame Street Story

This chapter talks about the early years of the show, with info on the casting process, the original Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and Grover puppets, a list of other shows to be on the air for 30 or more years, and more.

I Can't Hear You-- I've Got a Banana In My Ear: The Classic Moments

Info on the many classic moments from the show, many of which are in script form and accompanied by stills from the sketches. Most moments are included in special sections devoted to the main Muppets from the show (with sections on Ernie and Bert, Big Bird, Mr. Snuffleupagus, Grover, Count von Count, Cookie Monster, Prairie Dawn, Telly Monster, Elmo, Zoe, Kermit the Frog, Guy Smiley, Herry Monster, and Oscar the Grouch (which includes the lyrics to I Love Trash)). Some moments represented include Big Bird learning about Mr. Hooper's death, Grover's Near and Far sketch, Sesame Street News Flash sketches, many Sesame Street Game Shows, many Sesame Street Muppet & Kid Moments, animated inserts such as The Alligator King and the King of 8, and Harvey Kneeslapper's practical joke for the letter B.

Who are the People In Your Neighborhood?: The Cast

Includes info on most of the human cast, Anything Muppets, many supporting Muppets who didn't get their own sections in the previous chapter, characters who are no longer on the show at the time (with explanations of what happened to them), and celebrities who have been on the show.

Sing--Sing a Song: The Music and Poems of Sesame Street

Includes lyrics, pictures, and secret facts on some of Sesame Street's best-known songs, such as Sing, Rubber Duckie, C is For Cookie, Bein' Green, The People in Your Neighborhood and others. Also includes a few poems, such as some of Roosevelt Franklin's.

"Psst! Hey, Buddy!": Behind the Scenes on Sesame Street

Includes behind-the-scenes info, such as info on the various types of Muppets, how the Big Bird suit is built, info on the various international versions of the show, a two-page spread listing who performed which characters (mostly just applying to the then-current main performers plus Jim Henson and Richard Hunt) and biographies on Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Caroll Spinney, Fran Brill, Jerry Nelson, Kevin Clash and Martin Robinson.

Errata

  • Page 16 states that Big Bird and Oscar were the first two Muppets seen in the first episode, but Ernie and Bert actually appeared after Big Bird and before Oscar.
  • On page 121, the year of Northern Calloway's death is erroneously given as 1989 (Calloway died in 1990). In addition, the book said that Calloway had died of stomach cancer, when in reality it was cardiac arrest, brought on by exhaustive psychosis.[1]
  • The section on Professor Hastings on page 135 is incorrectly accompanied by a picture of Dr. Nobel Price and Warren Wolf.
  • In the performer spread on pages 180-181, Steve Whitmire is listed as having performed Kermit the Frog and Ernie on the series since 1991. Whitmire didn't take up Ernie until 1993.[2]
  • On the same spread, Richard Hunt is listed as having performed Snuffy from 1977 to 1980. This is only partly true. Hunt had performed the back-half of the character and assumed the front half in 1977, with Nelson providing the voice.[3] After Nelson bowed out the following year, Michael Earl took over the role until 1980 (see Talk:Michael Earl). Similarly, page 41 says that Jerry Nelson "had to give up the part to Martin Robinson", with no mention of an in-between performer.
  • In Jerry Nelson's bio on page 187, the book states "And he's been doing it ever since the show began" when Nelson actually joined in the second season.[4]
  • The section on Gordon incorrectly states that he was played by Matt Robinson from 1969-1971, Hal Miller from 1971-1973, and Roscoe Orman since 1973. The information is off by one year. Robinson was Gordon until 1972, Miller was Gordon from 1972-1974, and Orman has played Gordon since 1974.
  • The section on Roosevelt Franklin on page 135 says that Roosevelt Franklin was "so popular that he got his own album - Roosevelt Franklin Sings." However, the only Roosevelt Franklin album was originally titled The Year of Roosevelt Franklin and later retitled My Name is Roosevelt Franklin. It was never titled "Roosevelt Franklin Sings".
  • On page 169, Nat Mongioi's last name is misspelled "Monjoy."
  • A trivia question on page 171 makes the claim that the word "Muppet" was a combination of "marionette" and "puppet" (the question cites Jane Henson for this information).
  • Page 189 states that Martin Robinson has "been with the company since 1979", while Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street lists 1980 as when he joined.

See Also

Sources

  1. Northern Calloway, Actor, 41, on Stage And 'Sesame Street', New York Times Obituary, January 13, 1990.
  2. Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street, page 135
  3. CTW Archives
  4. Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street, page 55

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