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Song of One Update

(Note from Ken) I didn't want this to get buried way down on the page, so I'm copying it up here:

Well, the cover of the upcoming 40th anniversary set has been posted at The Muppet Newsflash, and the cover shows stills from many sketches, one of which depicts the baker holding one wedding cake. We might just get to see this sketch by the end of the year! --Minor muppetz 00:09, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Oh, my gosh! It'll be worth the price of admission just to finally see that! I've waited 40 years to see it! -- Ken (talk) 01:23, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, now you can see it at --Minor muppetz 13:58, September 18, 2009 (UTC)
WOW! Thanks, Michael! -- Ken (talk) 02:28, September 19, 2009 (UTC)

A Heads-Up

On the recent episode of The MuppetCast (show #98) Steve Swanson mentioned that the Jim Henson's Fantastic World exhibet had Jane Henson give a lecture entitled "Look Both Ways", in which she screened some of Jim Henson's number films, from 1 to 12. Was anybody (besides Swanson) there? Was Henson #1 shown there? Anybody remember any details, or take good notes on what happened? In the podcast after discussing this part of the event a brief audio montage of some of the films were shown, but only ones outside of this series (such as "King of 8", "Number Three Ball Film", and so on), but I don't know what the chances would be that Henson would have made a second number 1 film (especially one that's just as rare). --Minor muppetz 16:37, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm sure Steve Swanson could tell you. —Scott (talk) 16:49, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Baker actor again

I finally found some pictures of Alex Stevens, who IMDb listed as playing "Falling cake baker" on Sesame Street. I assembled the above gallery, and frankly, I'm now pretty well convinced we've found our quarry. Stevens was a professional stuntman and occasional actor, working out of New York, and when Sesame Street began, he was a semi-regular on Dark Shadows (as the werewolf, various stunts, some stand-in work, etc.). Now, the first season of Sesame Street also featured the same costume designer as Dark Shadows, and I think some other minor crew members. So he was in the right place, at the right time, and the images seem like pretty strong evidence (the ears, the chin, the eyes...) It's not as good as a definite statement from someone at Sesame, but at this point, it's probably the best we can do. For his other on-camera roles from around the same time, sans make-up and visible enough for comparison (unlike occasions where he played "Man on Fire" and the like), I have Frank Sinatra's Lady in Cement in my Netflix queue, but right now, I'd feel pretty comfortable adding Stevens to this page. What do others think? . -- Andrew Leal (talk) 04:10, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Hey, nice bit of research. It's very convincing. I'm not sure how I feel about saying that it *is* him when we don't really know for sure. This is certainly the best lead we've had yet. If the IMDb info is true, then it was added by someone who knows. A confirmation has to be floating around out there somewhere. Other thoughts? —Scott (talk) 17:37, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, we've used similar logic with things like Kirk Thatcher Cameos, sans outside confirmation. I agree it would be nice, though. Nothing seems to be floating out there, but the guy's still alive, and does occasional Dark Shadows conventions, so it might be possible to contact him, but I can't find any address or e-mail info online (or if you can still contact Karen Falk, she might be able to dig something up, with a name to go on and not just "the guy who played the baker.") Still, I don't think it's that likely we'll find another stuntman who was working in New York TV in 1969 who looks like the baker. And if more visual evidence is needed, like I said, I can go through more Netflix things. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 17:55, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
It's not mentioned in my Dark Shadows books, but that's not surprising -- DS fans know Stevens' name, but he's not one of the main cast, so people don't write a lot about him. Also, I would imagine that all of his baker shots were filmed in one day, so it wouldn't be a major item on his resume.
I think Andrew's point above is well-taken -- that Stevens was a stuntman working in New York TV in 1969. I'm completely comfortable saying that this is Stevens. -- Danny (talk) 23:15, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Alex Stevens Is the president of East Coast Stuntmen's Association and was in 100's of movies and TV Shows. Yes that is his picture as the man who falls down the stairs in Sesame Street. I have a facebook page set up for him that tells a lot more about him an the part he played. He was also the modle for 'Zane Grey Digest', 'Werewolf' on Dark Shadows. And not only Doubble for Frank but was a good friend and frequented Jillys in NY. See more on his Facebook fan page: By Stacy Poulos (His niece, my dad and Alex were twins). [1] -- User:Stacypoulos 18:27, October 18, 2011

Although we've figured it out by now, this red book entry officially confirms it (I would hope they used their own official production notes as opposed to the wiki, but I wouldn't be surprised). --Minor muppetz 18:40, June 4, 2012 (UTC)
Likely a little of both (both the visuals, and above confirmation by Stevens' nace, already fully confirmed it), and while I know they lack an official cast list for, example, Paperwork Explosion, they have actor notes for many of the commercials, and this would have been closer to that (including length and the way it was storyboarded). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 18:57, June 4, 2012 (UTC)

May I add something to the page, please?

Mind if I add something to the article? Can I add in the color flash list in each number to the films when that number was introduced? --Rash Raccoon 23:38, 30 November 2007 (UTC)Rash Raccoon

Frankly, I'm not sure how it would enhance the article. I'm glad you posted the info here, but I don't see how listing the colors for each segment adds to our understanding or knowledge, and from what you've posted, it just seemed to rotate between the same three colors in different, random combinations. If you want to specify the green, blue, and pink in general, that might be okay, but a detailed list, like the one below, would just be confusing, especially since the curious can simply look up the entries on YouTube or DVD or whatnot. The color sequence isn't part of the content in the way that the "3 peas!" etc. are. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:14, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate the advice. By the way. I looked on Youtube. This may bring grief, but Baker film #6 got deleted from Youtube. --Rash Raccoon 03:46, 1 December 2007 (UTC)Rash Raccoon
I can always re-upload a copy, if that's a problem. -- Ingeborg 15:41, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Flashing color patterns?

The films' runs are over, but they're now on Youtube. I've seen 2-10, and I think I recall these 3-color patterns when the numbers flashed towards the screen during the "Let's sing a song of x", x being the number, like this:

2: green, blue, pink. 3: pink, blue, green. 4: blue, pink, green. 5: pink, green, blue. 6: green, blue, pink (with red and yellow backgrounds). 7: blue, pink, green. 8: green, blue, pink. 9: green, blue, pink (with red and yellow backgrounds). 10: blue, pink, green.

I've seen all of the films except 1. When 1 flashed, what 3-color pattern was used for it? --Rash Raccoon 19:23, 17 November 2007 (UTC)Rash Raccoon

The 1-flashing patterns were red, blue, and green. --Minor muppetz 01:52, September 25, 2009 (UTC)

Song of Two

Now that we have multiple copies of the 2 song, I'm noticing differences between Old School 1 and 2. On one version, when the kid draws a picture of a person with 2 heads, the lady says, "Two HEADS?". But then on another version, she says, "TWO heads?" Am I crazy, or are there possible multiple takes of these films? Has anybody else noticed this? -- Ken (talk) 06:15, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

This film appears in the test pilot, and in that version (my copy anyway), during that shot, it looks like there are some squished bugs on the film print. I don't remember seeing that on any other version, so it makes sense that it was re-done. --MuppetVJ 06:26, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
It's most assuredly possible. I think you should compare the two one after another if you're really that interested. —Scott (talk) 06:26, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I've noticed it, too; there were also some editing problems, and the flashing twos onscreen had some major cell flares, unlike the series version. -- MuppetDude 16:52, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

What's the Citation Needed?

In the section onf "Ten Song (Song of Ten)", a citation needed tag is put after the note about the "ten indians" sequence being replaced by "ten bells". Originally this note said that it was replaced a few years after it was made, but I just changed the wording to "sometime". Is this what the citation was about? Because I've read that the original version was shown on Noggin, and I've heard that this version has been available on You Tube (I don't know if it still is). If the citation needed is about the "ten indians" being repalced, the alternate version does appear in The Street We Live On, and a still of the "ten bells" sequence is posted here. --Minor muppetz 03:04, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

The citation is for the existence of the "ten indians." Is that viewable anywhere? —Scott (talk) 03:33, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
The citation is about the "ten indians" claim. The Street We Live only had the ten bells. So the ten indians needs citing; it *probably* happened, but we need something concrete, not just that you've read that it was on Noggin or heard that it was on YouTube, given how many rumors have circulated about Sesame Street censorship and so on. Someone with access to an actual copy of that version needs to confirm and, if possible, provide an eka. -- Andrew Leal (talk)
I have a copy viewable on my Sesame Street fan-club blog; will that do? As for EKA citations, the first Season 1 appearance must've had the ten Indians; two Season 1 episodes in my collection (#54 and #83) show that part. -- Ingeborg 04:02, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Yep, that'll do. —Scott (talk) 05:52, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't know when the ten indians sequence was replaced, but I doubt that both versions existed in the same year. If you look at the scan of number 10 segments at Talk: University of Maryland, you'll only see "Henson #10" listed once, along with the epsiodes it appears in. There are no notes about any alternate versions in that file. --Minor muppetz 19:43, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Song of One again

I just got an e-mail from a friend on YouTube; he quoted someone who apparently has access to the old tapes. He wrote:
...I just talked to Karen King from National Broadcasting Service archives and she got some information about baker number One that I emailed you regarding what the items were.There was only one that was incorrect.It was not one elephant but rather one cow.I remember the man opening up the door with a question mark and the cow making a moo sound. Anyway this is a start....Richard Banville
As soon as Mr. Banville passes on Ms. King's list, would that be an acceptable source for this article? Please let me know! -- Ingeborg 00:35, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
This just in: Mr. Banville passed on a forwarded message from Ms. King, with the items cited in the Song of One. It turns out she knows someone VERY close to the original material; she wrote--
I emailed Karen Falk, the archivist at the Jim Henson Company. Her response was that she can't give out the footage, but she did give me the script information:
  • Item 1: one penny
  • Item 2: one Eye
  • Item 3: one wind up toy
  • Item 4: one elephant
  • Item 5: one belly button
  • Item 6: one wedding cake
Other than the elephant/cow confusion, I'd say the list confirms a lot of fan memories; but how do I cite this e-mail as a source? It did get passed down through two other people... -- Ingeborg 00:53, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Karen Falk wouldn't normally have access to footage laying around to check for a YouTube user. That sounds fishy to me. Unless she's got notes from Jim's original shoot of the short, which still wouldn't be the final aired version anyway. It's vague at best what all parties are going on, and passing on. I would ask Karen myself, but this pretty superficial as far as calling in the big guns goes. I really think we should wait until we have first-hand access to the video to confirm. There's just too much muddy history on this one. —Scott (talk) 19:25, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Ingeborg, can you clarify whether or not Karen King from the National Public Broadcasting Archives is going by script of video footage information? The NPBA appears to be located at the same library as the CTW Archives in Maryland, so I'm guessing it's a script. If we can get a box number, it would be easy to verify this information the next time someone makes a trip down there. This would be more conclusive than going through three or more parties and passing the information along.
So to recap: Karen King at NPBA and Karen Falk at Henson seem to have scripts for Song of One, but one of them says elephant and the other says cow. It's possible that one source is the original intended script and the other is a transcript. Of course, a mistake could have been made on the transcript as well. I feel like we're getting closer to solving this mystery, but it's still muddled. A video source would be ideal here. —Scott (talk) 03:59, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
I'll write to Ms. King myself and ask whether she was using a script, a video clip, or both. As soon as I get an answer, I'll post it here... -- Ingeborg 04:09, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
If it's from a script, all the library stuff is in boxes that are marked with catalogue numbers. If you could get that, it would be a great help. —Scott (talk) 04:10, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
I think this regards the "Song of One". Sometimes I almost wonder, why couldn't "1" be here? I know the things were the wedding cake, the cow, the penny, the belly button, and the eye, but I'm not concerned with the items. It's the color flash order I'm concerned about. What 3-color pattern was the "1" when it flashed? -- user:Rash Raccoon 16:29, December 10, 2007
The thing is, the 1 segment is the most rarely-seen of these segments. I don't think anybody here has a copy of it. I hope that Sesame Workshop uploads it onto the Web Video Player soon. --Minor muppetz 22:18, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Possible Baker Lead

I'm parking this info here, since right now it's our very first lead on the possible performer of the baker, but it's not a very reliable one either. The ever-fallible IMDb, in their "other works" entry for Alex Stevens, claims he was "Counting cake baker who falls downstairs on Sesame Street 1971-?" On the one hand, as with all IMDB info, there's no way of knowing where it came from, I can't find confirmation elsewhere, and the date is completely wrong. On the other hand, it's actually somewhat plausible, since Alex Stevens is a professional stuntman, and when Sesame Street debuted, he was based in New York, as a semi-regular on Dark Shadows (playing the werewolf), and a few other Dark Shadows folks (costume designers, etc.) also worked on the early Sesame Street shows. So it's a *slight* possibility, but only that. Still, I'm parking it here, since now with a possible name, it gives us something to search for and increases the possibility of some day finding such confirmation, if it exists (nothing shows up online, but there's still print sources, or the possibility of checking with any of our Henson/Sesame contacts, now that there's an actual name to query). Also, he played a few bit parts in films; I'll try to get around to renting the least painful options/most likely to feature his face visibly, and then a visual comparison might be possible (as has worked in the past). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 21:33, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Song of One

The description for "Song of One" has been on the page since it was created by Michael. Has this been included on any commercial releases? I'm curious as to who's actually seen the film -- it appears to be the most rare in fan circles (YouTube, MC chatter, etc.) and only appears three times in our SS episode pages: Episode 0086, Episode 0121 and Episode 0116. —Scott (talk) 22:20, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

It's never been aired commercially, and that's all I know about it besides the information on the page. It appears that the info just comes from the fans' memories, or from the brief description from the Sesame Street Magazine parent's guide. -- MuppetDude 13:07, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
What's this parent's guide? —Scott (talk) 14:45, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Danny used it when the Sesame Street episode guide was first being put together. The first edit made to Episode 0196 makes reference to it here. -- MuppetDude 15:40, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't see what that has to do with the "baker films." At this point I'm a little suspect of the description for Song of One. The only source we're going on right now is fan memory. —Scott (talk) 15:57, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, the cover of the upcoming 40th anniversary set has been posted at The Muppet Newsflash, and the cover shows stills from many sketches, one of which depicts the baker holding one wedding cake. We might just get to see this sketch by the end of the year! --Minor muppetz 00:09, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Baker actor

The baker's voice was Jim Henson, but who was the actual baker? 02:18, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't think anybody knows, except for people at Henson and Sesame Workshop. Oddly enough, the booklet that came with Old School Volume 1 pointed out that Henson provided the voice but another actor played the baker, but it doesn't say what the actors name was. --Minor muppetz 21:10, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Episode Guide Format

I think the time might be right now to format this the way we have been doing with sketch listings on various Sesame Street episode pages, as well as sketch guide pages, with images from the sketches. I have seen stills from all of these sketches (except for the ones about the numbers one, four, and eight) elsewhere on Muppet Wiki. As far as I know all of these sketches except for the one about the number one are available at You Tube, though I am not sure whether it's possible to make stills from You Tube clips. I have a feeling that none of us has access to a copy of the One segment, but even then, maybe somebody could make a still of the number 1 from the opening sequence untill somebody can get a still from the segment. --Minor muppetz 23:57, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

10 cut from DVD

It says here that the 10 segment was cut from the DVD release of The Street We Live On. Is this true? This is the only time that I've read this kind of info. The page for The Street We Live On doesn't mention this kind of editing, and I haven't read anything about this being cut at the Muppet Central message board. I would have expected to have heard about this edit somewhere else, just like I have with the other edits from that DVD. --Minor muppetz 03:45, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Guillermo added that, but it appears on the DVD I have. Unless for some reason there was a seperate later printing of it with the skit removed, which seems very odd. Unless Guillermo's talking about the VHS version, which might conceiavbly be different. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:57, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
It's on my DVD, too. I removed the line. — Scott (talk) 20:46, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

article title

Why do we call these "The Baker Films"? — Scott (talk) 20:00, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

I believe that, like "Jazzy Spies," it was an online fan name which sorta caught on, and for lack of an offical title. And the Baker being the most memorable part of the films. As we know by now, it's listed as "Henson #3" on the first disc of Old School: Volume 1. --Dave Splurge 19:23, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I propose changing the article name to Henson Number Series, or something to that effect. — Scott (talk) 19:34, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
In the page for the ten film in "Sesame Street Unpaved", ther eis a note about this series of skits being created by Jim Henson. This part refers to them as "The Baker" films, with "The Baker" in quotes and capital first letters, while "films" is not in quotes, and the first letter is lower case. However, in Jim Hensons bio page in the same book, it refers to this as "The "Let's Sing a Song of One (and two, and three, etc)" films". Maybe "Let's Sing a Song of (counting films)" would be a better title? --Minor muppetz 04:01, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Also, some of the titles listed in the scene selection menus and classic cuts clips sound just as official as the fan-made titles listed in the various sketch guides. In the scene selections menu for Episode 0131, Doll House is listed as "Henson Dollhouse", so maybe the DVD producers wanted Hensons name in the titles of his non-Muppet films (then again, King of 8 isn't listed as "Henson King of 8", unlike in Songs from the Street: 35 Years of Music). Also, I have seen variosu titles from official sources for these individual segments. I can't remember how the three segment listed in the credits for A&E Biography: Sesame Street, or in Sesame Street Unpaved when the three segment is shown. The five segment has been released on various albums under the titles "Number Five" and "Five Song" (since the baker isn't included in the album version then it wouldn't really make sense to have the baker included in the title). I believe that I have seen teh two segment referred to as "Song of Two" somewhere, but I can't remember where (I think it was in a Sesame Street songbook). --Minor muppetz 04:09, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Ah yes, it hadn't even occured to me to check the credits for A&E's Biography (that's how I debunked the Jazz # series). They list is as "Three Song (Song of Three)" and ASCAP backs it up to close the deal. So, being that there are ten variations of the title, we need to disambiguate it. The most logical would be Number Songs, but that might be too vague. Number Song Series might suit our needs best. — Scott (talk) 04:50, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Morrow's Sesame Street and the Reform of Children's Television uses the phrase "the baker segments. Morrow had access to the University of Maryland CTW archives (in fact, since Danny's heading up there, I might check the finding aide, see if there's a way for him to check it), but the lack of capitals certainly doesn't imply an official title. He *does* note that the slapstick of the baker was a source of criticism (when I get some time, I'm planning to hunt down some of the cited reviews for juicy quotes). With the article change, I think it's worth emphasizing the role of the baker in the opening paragraph, since it seems to be the focus of critical attention as well as popular memory. All that said, I'm in full agreement on renaming. It's worth noting that The Sesame Street Book & Record uses "Number 5" and Songs from the Street: 35 Years of Music uses "Five Song," so Number Song Series does seem to be the best melding. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 04:57, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Kids imitating it?

I heard a rumor that these skits had to be dropped in 1988 because kids were imitating it by falling down stairs on purpose! Is this true? --Wile e2005 12:54, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't be surprised if that was the reason, but I've never seen any official statements from Sesame Workshop that mentioned this being the reason. Do you remember where you heard the rumor from? --Minor muppetz 13:27, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Someone who uploaded a Baker film on YouTube said it. --Wile e2005 14:00, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Crocodiles in Song of Three

I wonder if we should put in a note for the song of three that the three crocodiles are similar to those that appeared on The Muppet Show? I'm thinking of the smaller ones that appeared in the Crocodile Rock number.  David French (talk) 07:38, August 4, 2013 (UTC)

I don't think it's that notable. They bear a resemblance, but only because they're abstract versions of the same animal. —Scott (message me) 13:59, August 4, 2013 (UTC)