Fans of old-school Sesame Street have had to cope with a lot recently: the move to HBO (ensuring that non-subscribers can’t see new episodes on PBS until nine months after their HBO premieres), and the format change that chopped the show down from 60 minutes to a mobile-friendly half hour. Even so, I’m one of the many shocked by this news today:
I have nothing against the newer cast members (indeed, I’ve been an Alan Muraoka fan for quite a while). Even so, I don’t see the HBO and Sesame Workshop logic that downsizing the cast will appeal more to tech-obsessed children. Today’s children have grandparents and other beloved older people in their lives. Shouldn’t they have the privilege of knowing Sesame Street‘s elder statesmen the way previous generations did? These firings seem ageist to me, and they rob the show of some of the diversity that’s made it so important over the years. I’m also sad that kids will be deprived of some really fun performances now that the cast is so streamlined. I have no doubt that Roscoe Orman, Bob McGrath, and Emilio Delgado will land on their feet, but this incident is a definite loss to television (and society!) nonetheless.
I can feel a rant coming on (get off my lawn, you HBO brats!), so I’ll try to look on the bright side. At least Gordon, Bob, and Luis will have time to reunite their 1970s power trio now. (I scoured YouTube for that brilliant Sesame Street episode and found nothing. The revisionist history continues! Bah.)