Sunday, October 10, 2010

Grover and Ernie

Today was a stay home day. No real place to go, at least not a trip that had to happen today. So, while sitting on my duff all day, I watched Torchwood and trawled the Internet for off the wall news reports. Not fake news or anything, just the weird and usual stuff, which is how I came across the spoof Sesame Street did of the Old Spice commercial. I laughed like mad. I haven't watched Sesame Street in years, because it went from being engaging to stupid. They redeemed themselves a bit with this skit. Grover was always one of my favorites, and the sad thing is no one remembers him. In the event that you don't remember or never knew, Grover was the skinny blue monster with the big pink nose who had a low sometimes squeaky voice. His doom was in introducing his nephew to everyone. I'm sure you all know him. His name is Elmo. Everyone loves Elmo. To me he's a bright red eyesore with an atrocious voice that firmly planted Grover's headstone. Talented little bugger.

Here is the video I was laughing at. It helps if you watch the original before watching this, but this is still wildly funny. At least to me. I'm sure many of you will be sitting there staring, wondering why or how I could think it funny.



After watching it a few times, I started thinking about Jim Henson. My family was still camped out in a motor home in the driveway of our earthquake damaged house when they aired the news of Henson's death. I cried on and off all day. Although I'd never met him, I'd grown up listening to his voice on Sesame Street as multiple characters, and on the Muppet show. Sort of felt like I'd lost a family member. In addition, he'd always been someone I would've liked to have met. Well out of reach now. His legacy lives on in Sesame Street for the most part and then there were the movies that he made. The Muppet movies of course, but he was a genius when he made Labyrinth, and the Dark Crystal. Absolute mastery of expressions and direction, in muppets which for the most part have no facial musculature. I'm impressed and always will be.

I think much of what he did was overlooked. Things like hiring Jeff Moss as a song writer for Sesame Street and other things. Jeff Moss wrote what is perhaps my favorite muppet song ever, with Jim Henson singing as Ernie. I remember hearing it when it first ran in an episode in the 80s and then sitting religiously in front of the TV for months after that watching Sesame Street armed with my trusty Fisher Price tape recorder in hopes of capturing the song so I could listen to it whenever I wanted. I did eventually get it, and I probably still have the tape somewhere carefully packed away. Perhaps not.

Here's the song. If I listen to it too much, I end up crying.


I've heard updated versions of this sung in concert with famous artists, but Jim Henson got it right the very first time, and for me his will always be the best.

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

That is funny! I didn't even know if Sesame Street was still on t.v anymore. I think it was a lot better than some of the cartoons and stuff they have now.

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Little Messy Missy said...

That Old Spice spoof..hahahaha. The world did lose someone great the day he died. Maybe I can watch Sesame Street today but I hear rumors that Cookie Monster is now Veggi monster. ;0(

Callie said...

I thought I was the only one who got choked up listening to that song when Jim sang it. I loved Sesame Street when Jim was in charge. The part that made Sesame Street great died when he did.

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

grover.... an inspired creation! I used to love him!