Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • - Five, four, three, two, rehearsal.

  • - Business Insider.

  • Oh, this sounds exciting.

  • - In 1969 our founders, Joan Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett

  • had the revolutionary idea of asking,

  • what if kids can learn from TV?

  • They had noticed that kids could repeat beer jingles.

  • Where there's life there's Bud

  • - What'll you have?

  • Pabst Blue Ribbon

  • - So they posed themselves that question

  • and basically created Sesame Street

  • which is a show that's now been on the air almost 50 years.

  • We film at Kaufman Astoria Studios

  • which is in Astoria, Queens

  • and is a very old studio

  • that was built in the '20s

  • by what was United Artists at the time

  • and has gone through many iterations over the years.

  • On a regular production day, like today,

  • when you're visiting,

  • there's about 60 people involved

  • when you count the production staff

  • that's downstairs in the office

  • as well as all of the technical and stage crew

  • and camera people and costume designers, et cetera.

  • It really does take a village to bring this show together.

  • Every year when we start a new season

  • what we do is our curriculum team

  • convenes an all-day seminar.

  • And they basically consult with experts

  • in child development, child psychology, preschool teachers.

  • As the writers work the curriculum team

  • works in tandem with the production team

  • and they review all the scripts and give feedback

  • from the educational standpoint.

  • We also do a lot of research.

  • So we'll take some of the scripts into schools,

  • we'll read them to the kids

  • and solicit feedback from them.

  • Our production cycle is essentially a 12-month cycle.

  • You know, from the moment of that curriculum seminar,

  • which I described,

  • to the moment we deliver shows to HBO.

  • Jim Henson, you know, obviously his impact

  • on Sesame Street is massive

  • and he was the one who brought The Muppets to Sesame Street.

  • And so his legacy, I mean, is very solid

  • and lives on on the show

  • because all of our puppeteers are trained, basically,

  • in a methodology that he invented.

  • I mean, he took the puppet theater

  • and decided, I'm gonna get rid of that

  • and just use the TV frame as my puppet theater

  • while looking at a monitor

  • so that I can position my puppet

  • and see exactly what I need to see.

  • And so, basically he invented, you know,

  • puppetry for television.

  • And our puppeteers are trained in those methods

  • that he came up with.

  • It truly is, like, kind of a magic act.

  • So we have a core group of puppeteers

  • that is 14 people, 14 performers.

  • We have a mentee program that we run

  • to identify new puppeteers.

  • And so there's a few of those

  • and we'll bring them in a day here, a day there.

  • There's essentially three categories of puppets.

  • There's the walk around puppet.

  • So that's Big Bird or Snuffy, for example,

  • where the person is inside the puppet

  • and they're operating it from inside.

  • It's a full suit.

  • - You and me together, ol' pal.

  • - Then there's what we call a bag puppet.

  • So that's, like, Cookie Monster or The Count.

  • - Om, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom.

  • - One, two, three, four.

  • - And so there the puppet covers the puppeteer.

  • The puppeteer's operating the mouth with one hand

  • and is operating one of the hands with another

  • and then there's a second puppeteer,

  • which we usually call the assistant puppeteer,

  • and that person comes behind and operates the other hand

  • and helps hand props from below frame.

  • Then third kind of puppet is what we call a rod puppet.

  • So that's like an Elmo or an Abby.

  • And so they have,

  • those are typically operated by a single puppeteer.

  • They hold two rods which operate the hands

  • and then they're operating the mouth this way.

  • The primary puppeteer is always the person

  • that does the voice.

  • - Oh, Cookie Monster,

  • how could you mistake the mushroom for cookies?

  • - So, the most recent and probably most talked about

  • for the US is Julia,

  • who's a young girl who's on the Autism spectrum.

  • - Can Big Bird see your painting?

  • - See your painting, yes.

  • - And she was developed originally

  • by our Social Impact team.

  • Another example on the international side,

  • because we do a lot of international work,

  • is Zari who was developed for Afghansitan.

  • - Welcome to the street.

  • - Thank you Elmo.

  • Today I'm so excited to be here.

  • - [Both] Yay!

  • (both laugh)

  • - She's six years old.

  • She's curious and also has a younger brother

  • who looks up to her which is a great, kind of,

  • gender equity role modeling.

  • Caroll Spinney has been here since season one, you know,

  • and is the originator of both Oscar and Big Bird.

  • He's obviously a legend

  • and an amazing performer and just an amazing guy.

  • We have a couple of crew members,

  • believe it or not,

  • who've been here for nearly 50 years.

  • Frankie, who's our Camera One operator,

  • has been here since the beginning.

  • Our sound effects editor, Dick Maitland,

  • has also been here since the beginning.

  • They work on Sesame Street because they love Sesame Street.

  • They believe in our mission.

  • So people tend to stay.

  • In a given season of 35 episodes

  • we'll have, you know, 10 to 12 celebrity appearances.

  • We love to do musical guests

  • because kids love music.

  • And, you know, the celebrities are for the parents

  • you know, more so than the kids

  • who may not know who John Legend is

  • but when we can combine both,

  • doing musical and a celebrity appearance,

  • then it's great for everyone.

  • Celebrities will reach out to us

  • especially if they've recently had kids

  • and they think to themselves,

  • wow, I would love for Junior to see me on TV.

  • Sesame Street has changed a lot

  • and our production models evolve

  • with new technology all the time.

  • So we did a big kind of redesign of the set in season 46.

  • So that was about four years ago.

  • And it was, you know,

  • obviously we kept 123, the brownstone and Hooper's.

  • Those are the touchstones of the set.

  • But we wanted to modernize it some

  • to give it a more colorful and vibrant atmosphere

  • and also to position the puppets in specific places.

  • So Abby, who is a fairy, we put her in her garden.

  • And so now every kid who watches Sesame Street knows, like,

  • that's Abby's garden, that's where she lives,

  • that's where she hangs out and plays with her friends.

  • There's hundreds of studies

  • that have shown the effectiveness of Sesame Street

  • and how kids who watch Sesame Street

  • are ready for school in a fashion

  • that's greater than those who don't.

  • - Why me love cookies?

  • Oh, they just the perfect food.

  • They round, they crunchy,

  • they soft in the middle,

  • they chocolate, mmm, chocolatey.

  • Sorry, me got to go get a cookie right now.

  • Excuse me.

- Five, four, three, two, rehearsal.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 US puppet sesame puppeteer street nom nom nom

How Sesame Street Is Made

  • 393 2
    Samuel posted on 2018/07/01
Video vocabulary