SESAME STREET INTERVIEWS
Ben: Ok, lets start with an icebreaker question: Let’s say you found a selfish genie and he only gives out 2 wishes, what would they be?
BB: “Oh, that’s funny. That’s funny. Well, you know when Mr. Lopper passed away a long time ago, I was sad. I was so confused at the time. I didn’t know I was learning about death, but at the same time next thing you know a new baby arrived on Sesame Street. I guess we all die for reasons, but there’s hopefulness with new life. Still, I’d give anything to be able to go to Mr. Looper’s shop to chat with him, and have a birdseed milkshake. Another wish is something I like to say to my friends, “
bad days happen to everyone, but when one happens to you, just keep doing your best and never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself.”
Ben: That’s wonderful advice Big Bird. So you’ve been with Sesame Street since it’s inception in 1969. That makes you 52 this year?
BB: "No, I’m 6.5 years old. Don’t ruffle my feathers!”
Ben: Point taken. Favorite episode?
BB: “All of them. I’ve learned so much about the world and my neighborhood over the years.” Always something new to learn. I just learned recently that I’m seven-eleven.”
Ben: Seven eleven? That’s a gas station.
BB: I know what a gas station is silly. I found out that I’m only 7’11”.
Ben Well, that’s because as you age, you lose some of your height.
BB: I was 8’2” and now I’m only 7’11”. I don’t understand how you get smaller.
Ben: Big Bird, you are no longer…never mind, lets move on.
When you first came to Sesame Street, people would make fun of you for having, what they called, “An imaginary friend named Mr. Snuffleupagus.” They would always happen to just miss him. People started calling you crazy and/or Schizophrenic. How did that make you feel?
BB: It made me mad. He is my best friend and it took a long time for Snuffy to finally meet all my friends. But it happened and everyone was sorry for thinking I was making it up.
Ben: What about being depressed?
BB: Yeah, I mean I get sad at times. I think everyone does. It’s hard to stay happy all of the time. I’m an eternal optimist. My job in life has always been to accept everyone for who they are. All my friends on Sesame Street are dealing with various mental health issues. It’s not enjoyable for any of them, but they are not any less puppet or human for their issues.
Ben: Do you think your child-like wonder has kept you going all these years?
BB: For sure. I love adventure! I have gotten to visit so many different places. I love uni-cycling, I love flying on planes, I once steered a horse carriage. I love people and getting to know them. Games are fun too!
Ben: What’s your favorite place to visit?
BB: Anywhere that makes me happy. Sometimes, just being home in my nest is good enough for me.
Ben: Any final words for our readers?
BB: Listen, I think I hear angels singing.
Ben: I think you need something stronger than coffee. That’s the coffee maker (Keurig coffee maker is brewing in background).
OSCAR THE GROUCH
Ben: Hey, glad we get a chance to sit down and talk. I’m looking forward to asking you some questions.
Oscar: "Big deal. Hey, let's get this over with. I never watch television anyway. It's too trashy, even for me.”
Ben: So what’s your current status with Grudgetta? You guys were engaged at one point, but then called it off. Any plans to ever move forward with a wedding?
Oscar: Hey man, I gave it a shot once. She kept saying no no no! Look at it this way, misery loves company, and I’m my own best company.
Ben: But you live in a trash can Oscar?!
Oscar: "Well, the rent is cheap and I love trash, so I figured I would be close to it if I lived in a trash can myself. What’s wrong with that?”
Ben: True. I guess home is HOME, whatever that may look like.
Ok, well, so legend has it you were once orange colored?
Oscar: Ah yes, all the Grotches are actually orange, but I once took a vacation to Swamp Mushy Muddy, where I turned green. It was damp and dark and I guess I got covered in moss. I would never shower of course, because I love trash!
Ben: You know, I actually read that Jim Henson said orange didn’t show up well on tv cameras in the 70’s, so are you sure that that’s the real reason behind your green look?
Oscar: Well, I’m just wonderful me, so can it! Hahaha…get it? Can it?
Ben: Yes, I get it.
Alright, so it’s well know that you have anti-social behaviors and are a compulsive hoarder. Maybe something in the medical community they call OCD?
Oscar: Who’s asking?
Ben: Well, your audience. Why the behaviors?
Oscar: I like it. People and other muppets annoy me. I have a soft spot for children (reenacts a gage reflex). But enough about that.
Ben: No, let’s talk some more on this. Did you experience any trauma in your childhood? Before you came to Sesame Street?
Oscar: Man, you’re persistent. Fine. Grotches have a long history of depression. My grandpa once told me so. He shared with me stories of debilitating depression and anxiety in this teenage years. Him and a couple of his buddies would go dumpster diving around town. Shit, they got hooked on everything; LSD, cocaine, other hallucinogens. Smoking like a chimney wasn’t unheard of either. He told me he got kicked out of home, was living under bridges and couch surfing. People and other muppets were stealing his shit all the time. He would get into a lot of fights.
Ben: Hearing this story from him, how did it affect you?
Oscar: Oh, I see where this is going. Well, you may not believe this, but I have a hard time talking about my feelings.
Ben: You don’t say? (Surprised look on my face)
Oscar: Well, what? Should I “talk to someone?”
Ben: Well, there’s help out there. Holding on to trash and having trouble opening up to others is not something you should be ashamed of.
Oscar: The hell I’m giving up Slimey!
Ben: Oh, god no. In no way am I suggesting that!
What about medication?
Oscar: I’ve got pills everywhere, but I’m picky about what pills I’m willing to take. Can I get one with gravy on it?
Ben: Well, I’m sure that could be a potential option. What about seeing a therapist?
Oscar: "If you want to see me, I'll tell you what to do
Knock three times on my trash can lid, and then I'll know it's you.”
Ben: Yeah, and then you will tell them to go away.
Alright, final question. What’s your favorite food?
Oscar: Junk food man, junk food!