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Sesame Street wrap party

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SnuffyEatingAChild

Mr. Snuffleupagus eating the nephew of cameraman Frankie Biondo.

SS Cast & Crew 1984

Group Photo from the Season 16 wrap party: December 21, 1984.

When the Sesame Street cast and crew finish taping a season of shows, they traditionally celebrate with a wrap party. Party goers have dinner, watch a reel of outtakes from the season, and enjoy live skits that often poke fun at the show. In addition, toasts are exchanged, and awards and bottles of wine are presented to people who got engaged, married or had babies since the last party.

In a 2009 blog entry, Annie Evans wrote about the tradition:

We used to do the wrap parties on the actual set. Because the crew had to work these parties rather than enjoy them, and we moved to a smaller studio, the wrap parties started happening "off campus" a few years ago. These earlier studio wrap parties used to be quite lavish affairs. People such as John Tartaglia and Alan Muraoka would perform as well as other talented crewmembers [sic]. Often these were spoofs such as Alan and Telly singing "Everybody Poots." And then, there was the infamous Muppet performance. This show, usually written by Joey Mazzarino, was always a parody and very blue. Parents were warned ahead of time it was NOT suitable for children (but children came anyway). One year, it was Elmo the snobby star in Hollywood because of the "Tickle Me Elmo" craze. Another time, it was a Letterman-style show called "Late Night with Oscar the Grouch" and once it was a marketing spoof about all the Sesame Street products. [1]

Evans went on to describe a memorable wrap party sketch in which Mr. Snuffleupagus ate an autograph-seeking child; at the next season's party, Snuffy regurgitated the same child, "now wearing a tattered shirt and covered in goo." Another well documented sketch was performed at the Season 30 wrap party and featured a Mr. Noodle look-alike (played by Muppeteer Rick Lyon) shouting angrily that he won't be Elmo's patsy anymore and swearing to "get a new job where he can act with dignity."[2] The season 23 wrap party featured Jerry Nelson and Louise Gold performing a duet of "Friendship." Another wrap party sketch featured the parody character "Nookie Monster."[3]

In a 2009 interview, Michael Davis, author of Street Gang, mentioned wrap party sketches that spoofed the notion that Ernie and Bert are gay: when asked if there had ever been any discussion about the characters' "unusual relationship," Davis responded "Well, I'll tell you this, not only was there a discussion, but it was fodder for some of the funniest skits ever at their wrap parties every year." [4]

In addition to blooper reels, highlights from the season were also shown. At one wrap party, following a screening of a segment titled "Surprise!," which featured the cast getting hit by pies, Dulcy Singer sent one into Jon Stone's face.[5]

The parties also give out a "Richard Hunt Spirit Award," given to cast or crew members who "someone that everyone feels continues the humor and spirit of Richard on set."[6]

Sources

  1. Sesame Family Robinson, December 4, 2009
  2. Rick Lyon's Photo Album at lyonpuppets.com
  3. Street Gang page 247
  4. Felion, Marc; Fernós, Fausto "Sesame Street Cred" Feast of Fools, podcast #926, February 6, 2009. Web.(Accessed 1/18/2010.)
  5. Bailey, Joseph. Memoirs of a Muppets Writer, page 87.
  6. The Muppet Mindset interview with John Tartaglia. January 18, 2013.

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