"Morty Moot Mope" + "Same Sound Brown"
I'm pretty sure that "Morty Moot Mope" and "Same Sound Brown" are one and the same sketch, not two as currently listed. Brown was summoned to help the king find a rhyme for his name. That was one of the few "Roosevelt Franklin Elementary School" I remember the most and was repeated often. I know I can't be the only one here who remembers it.
Unfortunately, there isn't a tangible source for this sketch I could cite. (At least not yet.) However, the next best source is this clip from Captain Kangaroo, which uses the same story and poem that Roosevelt recited. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVgMHZ08Dqo (Warning: volume on clip is very loud.) Is this sufficient enough evidence to combine "Morty Moot Mope" and "Same Sound Brown" into one sketch? What's the consensus? -Dave Splurge 22:00, June 26, 2011 (UTC)
- Well, the book Sesame Street Unpaved includes the words to "Same Sound Brown", and the words say nothing about Morty Moot Mope or anything about Brown finding a rhyme for a king. I don't think any of us have video footage of either segment right now (the book shows pictures of Roosevelt Franklin in front of a purple-ish background. While it could be the wrong images, I don't know of any other Roosevelt Franklin skethces with that background, except for the brief clip of the character shown in Sesame Street Unpaved). --Minor muppetz 23:36, June 26, 2011 (UTC)
- I should have watched the clip first posted first. I started watching the clip, and saw that the words to Same Sound Brown's introduction are in fact the words written in the book, listed with the title "Same Sound Brown". --Minor muppetz 23:41, June 26, 2011 (UTC)
- Yeah, I don't want to use memory alone as a source, either. All I was wondering is whether the clip, along with the Unpaved book, were legitimate sources. --Dave Splurge 00:18, June 27, 2011 (UTC)
Other 'Headball' sketches
There is reference to one 'Headball' sketch with Hard Head Henry Harris, but I remember at least 2 more from the mid 70s - one with Baby Breeze answering a question about what he would do if his ball rolled into the street, and another with an alphabet chant featuring other RF Elementary School characters. All of them had a Howard Cosell-esque announcer. There may have been more but that's what I remember. Joinery1 18:36, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
- I thought there was only one headball sketch. If we can find more (cited) info on the others we should either make a seperate page for the Headball sketches or just make a seperate section listing those skits. The one listed I found stills from on a Sesame Street website that showed stills from rare sketches. I forget what the website was, but I think the stils came from an international version of the show (and I have found the listed Headball sketch on You Tube, with dialogue dubbed). --Minor muppetz 15:40, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
What I think happened -- and it seems kind of sad -- is that the Roosevelt Franklin puppet eventually got reclassified as an Anything Muppet, to be thrown into crowd scenes and voiced by whoever was handy. Maybe around five years ago or so, I saw the puppet used as an "extra" in a scene with a lot of other kid Muppets. He had no speaking lines.
What a sad backstory one could write for poor Roosevelt. -- Galen Fott
An anonymous user added some questionable additions, namely this statement: "Matt Robinson, who played Gordon during the first three seasons, performed Roosevelt's voice for the same period. After Robinson left the show, Jerry Nelson (one of the regular Muppet performers) took over the voice. The "classroom" segments date from the latter period." With the Roosevelt Franklin Elementary School skits on YouTube, and even Roosveelt's cameo in the Season 4 premiere (included on Old School Volume 1), it's clear that for those appearances at any rate, Robinson was still recording the voice. If anyone can provide reliable evidence of Nelson ever voicing the character, feel free to do so. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 02:26, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
- I am the user who posted the revisions about Jerry Nelson taking over Roosevelt's voice.
- I do not know this for absolute fact, but I have read several references on line over the years, and in Googling around a little tonight I found some remarks which might tend to support this possibility, for example: 
- Now, this does not "prove" anything. However, it makes a whole lot of sense to me. I suppose someone could ask Jerry Nelson, and that might settle it.
- The reason I am inclined to believe this is because Matt Robinson left the show after the 1971-1972 season. I find it extremely difficult to imagine that Robinson would have stayed on solely to do a Muppet character voice (and by all accounts, when he voiced Roosevelt, Matt did the voice only, not operating the Muppet) and not performed on camera as Gordon. (By that time, Robinson was pursuing a career as a writer and director, and even in 1969, he only reluctantly took the on-camera role of Gordon because the producers--himself included--had no luck finding a suitable Gordon performer and other people around the show told him they thought he was the man for the job.) One of the scenes referenced on the discussion page (in which the Roosevelt character briefly appears) is the opening scene of show #406, which was the first appearance of Harold "Hal" Miller as Gordon (in fact, Miller appears in the same scene). It is conceivable that Robinson could have recorded the voice for a number of scenes in advance (actually, more likely given how "Sesame Street" usually operated, scenes with the character could have been reused over and over, long after any "new" ones had been produced). But just in terms of common sense, it seems very unlikely to me that Robinson would have continued to do the Roosevelt character "post-Gordon."
- Minor Muppetz cites a Muppet Central posting "that Matt Robinson continued to perform Roosevelt Franklin for a few years after he stopped playing Gordon. I don't know why." But in the actual passage quoted, the original writer said, "it's possible Robinson recorded the Roosevelt Franklin sketches in advance after relinquishing the day to day role of Gordon (and the writer/producer stuff)." In other words, pure speculation. So we don't really know one way or the other...I seem to remember Nelson himself being quoted somewhere saying he did Roosevelt's voice for a time, and I'll continue to look for verification of this.
- In the mean time, we do know that Matt Robinson did perform the voice of Roosevelt Franklin, at least for the first three seasons.
- I also posted some corrections to some dates. The correct dates for the three Gordons are Matt Robinson (1969-1972, shows #1-405), Harold "Hal" Miller (1972-1974, shows #406-665) and Roscoe Orman (1974-present, shows #666-present). This can be verified by looking at the videos. The 1998 "Sesame Street Unpaved" book has incorrect dates, which are repeated again in the booklet with the "Old School Volume 1" DVD set (despite the fact that Orman does not appear in any of the episodes included on the DVDs). The "Unpaved" book also stated that the Maria character started in 1974 (actually Maria, David and Luis all started on the same day, on show #276, which is included in the DVD set). But that's a whole other subject. -- User:Mr. Not What What 22:54, November 4, 2006
- Hi, welcome to the wiki! I'm glad that you're helping out; you obviously know a lot. It's true that we don't know one way or the other right now, and it definitely could use some more research. Speculation is okay here on a talk page -- that's part of what these pages are for. On the article pages, we should only post facts that we have a reliable source for. -- Danny (talk) 04:09, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
As you can see in the screengrabs from this Camp Wannagohoma sketch (which dates from the late 80s), the little purple guy looks pretty familiar ... but the voice is Jerry Nelson. Make sense? ... I thought not.
--MuppetVJ 06:51, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
- Bringing back this subject, I wonder why it would be hard to believe that Matt Robinson would have stopped performing the voice just because he stopped playing Gordon. I don't think there has ever been an official explanation given to why he stoped playing Gordon (some Muppet Central users, myself included, beleive that it was becasue he was more of a producer than an actor). Matt Robinson could have gotten a job offer that would have gotten in the way of him playing Gordon on a regular basis, but for Roosevelt Franklin, he only did the voice. I don't know how many Roosevelt Franklin sketches were tapped each year, but it's possible that he could have been scheduled to record the characters voice on a limited basis (maybe once a season). Maybe he could have foudn time to do the voice, or maybe he had some recording equipment and was able to record the voices on his own time. After all, these days Frank Oz only spends up to four days a season performing his characters (Jim Henson probably spent almost as much time each season during the 1980s), and as far a sI know, Ruth Buzzi still provides the voice of Suzie Kabloozie, even though she stoped playing Ruthie in 1998. --Minor muppetz 03:55, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Was Matt Robinson the only person to voice Roosevelt Franklin? Matt left the show in 1971, but the Sesame Encyclopedia says the character continued until 1974. The Sesame Unpaved book says that the character was retired because of concerns about stereotyping -- but isn't an easier explanation that his performer left the show? I'm confused. -- Toughpigs 04:29, 9 Dec 2005 (UTC)
I have read a post on the Muppet Central message board that Matt Robinson continued to perform Roosevelt Franklin for a few years after he stopped playing Gordon. I don't know why. --Minor muppetz 01:24, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
- Dredging up an old question, it's possible Robinson recorded the Roosevelt Franklin sketches in advance after relinquishing the day to day role of Gordon (and the writer/producer stuff). Regardless, I recently ran across an interesting passage, from CTW Board of Advisors Chairman Gerald S. Lesser in his 1974 book Children and Television: Lessons from Sesame Street (which has proven to be an informative and at times startling read, as when he describes Mr. Hooper as "abrasive and mean"). Anyway, Lesser speaks positively about Roosevelt, "an agile, quick-witted and quick-moving, street-language-articulate black-child puppet," and later defends the use of Roosevelt's "black English dialect": "The natural diversity of language simply reflects the natural diversity of characters." It's possible Lesser didn't want to address the issue (and the book generally does only touch upon specific show sketches and plots in relation to how effectively children responded, or odd criticisms from rabid right-wingers), but it makes me wonder if the offensiveness of Roosevelt was either something which arose later and is why his original sketches left circulation, or is simply a pat answer (the complaints about Roosevelt's school being too rowdy, now, that might have been a factor, and would accord well with the criticisms from teachers, parents, and reviewers represented in the book, folks who were outraged by Buddy and Jim struggling to form a letter W). --Andrew, Aleal 05:26, 7 February 2006 (UTC)