The offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce are back open for a sixth season, but when he’s not drinking cocktails on the beach and reading Dante or promoting a line of cameras, Don Draper sometimes hangs out with the kids’ educational TV set. Jon Hamm, everyone’s favorite ad man / distinguished University of Missouri alumnus / conversation-starter about the highly gendered objectifying nature of the media, appeared on Sesame Street yesterday to help his buddy Elmo teach viewers about the word "sculpture."
The rather unprepared Hamm has the task of distracting the audience while Elmo finishes his self-portrait rendered in hammer and chisel, showing off different examples of the art form (including some very heavy metal). He explains the word very well, and, as with his appearances on 30 Rock and other more adult shows, commits wonderfully to physical comedy and slapstick. What’s strange about it though is that although he clearly conveys the idea of a sculpture, he mentions getting a hernia, which, like, would he have to explain what a hernia is to a preschooler? Will there be a follow-up episode? Anyway, watch below, especially if you’re in need of a good laugh today.
We’re not sure when Sesame Street began putting so much care into expertly parodying very adult television shows to teach kids the importance of directions, counting to 30 and more, but it’s pretty entertaining and usually pretty on-point. Today, the team from the ‘Street returned to their PBS roots, in the tradition of Monsterpiece Theater with Alistair Cookie, with a spoof of everyone’s favorite Edwardian melodrama, Downton Abbey.
From the opening title music to the interior shots of the stately manor, as with each of these spoofs, "Upside Downton Abbey" goes for accuracy. The Muppets introducing the concepts of upside-down and right-side-up strongly resemble the butler, Mr. Carson, and the Dowager Countess, and whoever was in charge of that Muppet definitely studied Maggie Smith’s inflection. All I know is, if they keep this up, we can’t wait for the Sesame Street take on Breaking Bad. It would be a great way to teach kids about measuring and following recipes!
Sheldon Stephens, the 24-year-old male model who accused Sesame Street‘s Elmo voice actor Kevin Clash of having an underage sexual relationship with him, was allegedly offered $125,000 to recant his claims, the New York Post reports.
Since the scandal dropped last Monday, Clash had consistently said he only had a relationship with Stephens "as two consenting adults" when the young man was of legal age. Stephens had originally claimed they had sex when he was only 16.
In any case, Stephens recanted his statement last week; TMZ claims that he only did so under pressure. The Post reports his settlement document reads:
“Stephens agrees that immediately upon the execution of this Agreement, his council, Andreozzi & Associates, P.C., shall release the [following] statement: ‘He [Stephens] wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship.’
Kevin Clash, who was memorialized in the documentary Being Elmo, is still on a leave of absence from Sesame Street.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.
At some point in the life of many little girls and some little boys there comes the cold, hard realization that you cannot be a princess when you grow up. Think about it: do you really want to spend the rest of your life like Kate Middleton abusing brown eye liner? I thought not. A new clip from Sesame Street breaks it to those booger-eaters with the help of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Justice Sotomayor is hanging out with Abby Kadabby, the girly-girl pink "princess" muppet on Sesame Street. Abby is enthusiastic about becoming a princess when she grows up, which is when the Justice teaches her the word "career." Being a princess is not a job, sorry!
My little feminist heart skipped a beat and tears filled my eyes as Justice Sotomayor told Abby all the different things she can do when she grows up that are a career.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.
Even though Romney’s loss has washed away fears that PBS funding could be cut, it seems that Big Bird still has some worries down on Sesame Street. The show has announced a very special hurricane-themed episode, which airs on Friday, and it’ll lend some awareness to disaster relief. Never too early to teach kids how to help out, I’d say.
Per the Sesame Street tumblr:
A hurricane has swept through Sesame Street and everyone is working together to clean up the neighborhood. When Big Bird checks on his home, he is heartbroken to find that the storm has destroyed his nest. Big Bird’s friends and neighbors gather to show their support and let him know they can fix his home, but it will take time. While everyone on Sesame Street spends the next few days cleaning up and making repairs, Big Bird still has moments where he is sad, angry, and confused. His friends help him cope with his emotions by talking about what happened, drawing pictures together, and giving him lots of hugs. They also comfort Big Bird by offering him temporary places he can eat, sleep, and play. Big Bird remembers all the good times he had at his nest and realizes that once it is rebuilt, there are more good times and memories to come. Finally the day has come where most of the repairs to Big Bird’s home are done and his nest is complete. As he is about to try it out, though, the city nest inspector says it not safe, yet, because the mud isn’t dry. Big Bird is sad that he has to wait another day, but Snuffy comes to the rescue and blows the nest dry and he passes the test! Big Bird thanks everyone for being his friend and helping to rebuild his nest and his home.
Usually I’d bemoan a spoiler, but this sounds like a pretty sweet episode all-around.
Big Bird left the safe confines of Sesame Street last night for a (chaperoned, I hope) trip to Studio 8H, where he chatted with "Mr. Meyers" about this week’s snub from Mitt Romney.
Romney famously said in Thursday night’s debate that he would cut the "miniscule" amount of the federal budget — that’s the word the Christian Science Monitoruses — that goes towards PBS. Said Romney:
"What things would I cut from spending I will eliminate all programs by this test: Is the program so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And if not, I’ll get rid of it. Obamacare’s on my list. … I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too. But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for [it]."
Mitt Romney stated his intention on Thursday night’s presidential debate to cut the minute part of the federal budget that funds PBS. I sat quietly while you came after reproductive rights and gay marriage but I will not stay silent when you go after Downton Abbey, Mr. Romney. Are you trying to look like a major dick? Anyway, in short order, smartasses on Twitter did what they do best and hence, we have @FireMeElmo tweets. Let’s look at some of the best after the jump:
@firedbigbird Did Big Bird get severance package? H.R. say Elmo deserve nothing.
Over the past several years, Sesame Street, perhaps in an effort to compete with Phineas and Ferb (that’s a kids’ show, right?) and stay hip with kids and adults, has featured more celebrity guests (ain’t nothing cuter than Elmo and Neil Patrick Harris dancing together) and, perhaps to keep parents interested, more parodies of very, very adult television shows. A 30 Rock spoof to teach kids how to count to 30 featured “Liz Lemon” (an actual lemon) and a Muppet that actually looked a lot like Alec Baldwin; a more recent sendup of Mad Men taught children how to articulate their emotions far better than Don Draper can.
In the latest adult TV for kids send-up, kids can learn the art of compromise—as well as what sound a chicken makes—thanks to Boardwalk, er, Birdwalk Empire. “Nucky Ducky” and his gang of flappers run into “Clucky Luciano” and his pack of chickens, and a flap breaks out on the boardwalk. Luckily, Agent Von Cuckoo is on the scene (with a predictably mid-Atlantic accent) to help the rivaling fowl gangs set aside their differences. The best part of the whole thing is the main title sequence, which is pretty on point wit hthe show. Watch.
The summertime reign of Carly Rae Jepsen continues. Have you given up and downloaded the song on your iPhone on your way out of a bar in Manhattan and then listened to it on repeat for the entirety of the 35-minute commute back to your apartment in Brooklyn? (Asking for a friend.) Well, you’re not alone, Jepfriends, because even the cookiest of Sesame Street denizens exhibits his typical lack of self-control when it comes to those insufferably infectious sounds of "Call Me Maybe."
That’s right: Cookie Monster has his own cover of "Call Me Maybe," aptly titled "Share It Maybe." Of course, the cover lacks Jepsen’s accurate use of subject-verb agreement skills, but Cookie Monster is, arguably, much cuter, and it has a much better lesson (read: sharing is caring, but, you know, don’t just give out your contact information to every attractive stranger). Plus, those eyes! It makes one long for a hot and heavy office romance with the blue monster, huh? (Nope!)
By the way, I’m working on my own hilarious parody, the chorus of which will go something like, "Here’s my number / Don’t get weird about it, OK? Call me if you feel like it, otherwise no skin off my bones. I have enough to deal in my life without your dramz."