Sesame Street Season 41
Shane Keating – Welp, it’s the last week of new episodes! And let me tell you, they’re some of the best this season. Let’s take a look.
EPISODE 4234 – ROCK ROCK BAND
Virgil Von Vivaldi (played by Michael McKean, in a reference to Spinal Tap) visits Sesame Street in search of rocks to make a rock rock band with. Abby and Elmo bring him some rocks, as well as Zoe, who offers him Rocco. However, none of the rocks they find are fit to be the lead singer. Abby tries some magic, but turns Chris into a large gem. He is changed back, but Virgil likes the idea so much, he asks to be turned into a gem to be the perfect “rock” singer.
McKean’s performance in this episode was so great. All of his remarks as he assigned each rock to a part were hilariously clever (like “Use the force, lute”). The running gag with the two Anything Muppets appearing whenever he said “rock” was nice too. There’s also a great gag with some penguins I won’t spoil.
- Elmo and Anna Faris try to explain what a “gem” is, but a prince keeps interrupting, giving Anna some rings. This is one of the few where the Muppet assistant is more so the one explaining the word.
- In the park, Grover bothers Mr. Johnson once more trying to sell him some V related items.
- Film: A NASA astronaut counts down from 10 to a rocket launch. Some really nice footage in this one.
- Film: A group of kids visit Sterling Hill Mines and collect rocks. I’ve been there a few times on Boy Scout trips and seeing them with their rock-collecting boxes brought back some memories.
Zoe is enjoying a day with Rocco and sings his favorite song (“Rocco and Roll”) with Alan and Chris. She goes to fetch his sun hat and leaves Elmo in charge of watching him. Elmo instead pays with Baby David and finds him missing when Zoe returns. Chris helps him find Rocco using clues. Elmo finally finds Rocco and apologizes to Zoe for his treatment toward Rocco.
For some reason, I felt a little uneasy about Elmo’s treatment of Rocco here. It’s always funny when he gets frustrated with him, but his carelessness was kinda thoughtless of him. Despite that, it was a good episode. “Rocco and Roll” was a catchy song that was kinda on the short side.
- LaDainian Tomlinson and Elmo show what a “celebration” is.
- Film: 19 is hidden in a pile of pebbles. Another “yawn” bit, but its really short so it doesn’t have much of an impact.
- Film: An announcer asks kids how they feel in different situation. It kind of went on for too long.
- Also, I know it’s not new, but a surprise in this episode was the inclusion of Bert’s song “I Gotta Be Clean.” It’s not “classic”, but it’s the oldest Muppet material we’ve seen all season.
Oscar has had it with the cleanliness on Sesame Street and forms a new company, “Dirtballs.” His workers, Hiram and Burt, follow him to spread dirt around the street. They try to foist some on Luis in the garden, but the dirt actually helps him and the kids plant some vegetables. Oscar brings some to Alan and Chris at Hooper’s, but it helps Chris out with his problem: he can’t keep his cousin’s hamster in the apartment, but the dirt is a perfect place for him to live. Finally, Oscar tries to spread some around the Laundromat, but Leela makes a game out of finding the “treasures” inside. Hiram and Burt are amazed at the many things dirt can do and sing about them. Oscar closes shop, fed up with the usefulness.
I love Oscar and this was a great street plot. He had so many great lines, I couldn’t list them all! The ending was a bit abrupt, but it does come completely from left field and it’s really funny.
- Usher and Elmo seen various animals “volunteering” to help adults. Susan makes a cameo, which is great because she doesn’t appear much these days.
- Animation: D stands for “dolphin” and “dive”. It has some really nice animation.
- Cartoon: 17 trucks are counted.
It’s Grouch Mother’s Day and Oscar has some plans to make it the worst for his mother. When she lands, they also get a visit from Oscar’s sister, Bunny. She constantly one-ups him on gifts, giving their mom more stinky fish and better skunk perfume. Oscar tries to drive them to the dump, but when he actually gets the car to start, his mother and sister are upset it works and think the street is making him too nice. Oscar arranges a gift Bunny would never think of – a Grouch trio (Bob, Gordon and Chris) singing a rotten song for her. Oscar’s mom has had the worst Grouch Mother’s Day ever and is grateful for two rotten kids.
Another winning Oscar episode! That’s why he’s my favorite!
- Rachel Griffiths shows some examples of a dozen – a carton of eggs, some bagels, and 12 singing penguins.
- Animation: A claymation remake of the classic “Ladybugs’ Picnic” cartoon. It’s alright, but not as memorable as the original.
- Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures: The two drift out to sea while relaxing on a floaty and end up on an island.
- Grover listens to his heartbeat and learns from a chicken how to make it faster. Another great Grover sketch!
Leela and Chris have plans to attend a party in the neighborhood. Abby offers to help Leela get dressed using magic. She does a magic spell that gives her a pirate outfit (complete with parrot). She tries the trick again and turns her into a football player. Leela tells her to be specific with her spell and she finally gets a fancy ball gown. Abby thinks her hair could use some improvement too and does another spell, which turns her hair all frizzy red and then into a puffy, Bride-of-Frankenstein look. After specifying her spell, Leela gets a ncie hairdo. Chris arrives to walk her to the party, but Leela can’t walk in her glass slippers. Abby offers more help and turns Chris into a horse. She changes him back and conjures a model airplane. She finally gets them a coach to ride. Abby does the dress spell on Chris, turning him into a pirate too. Chris likes the outfit and the two head for the party.
A nice little Abby episode. I enjoyed the various references to “Cinderella” (including Abby’s “Bipity-boppity-boo” inspired spells).
- Zoe Salanda and Elmo pretend to be various types of “transportation.”
- Cartoon: Elmo sings the Z sound in the word “zebra”. Yeesh, another one…
- Cartoon: 15 trucks make a 15
- The “Hot and Cold” song with Katy Perry was supposed to be in this episode, but was replaced with a Cookie Monster song, “The First Time Me Eat Cookie.” A good choice; I was hoping it would air again.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier