Un-Sunny Days: 3 longtime Sesame Street cast members get the boot

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Cookie Monster will have to found a few new friends to share (or not) his treats with, now that three longtime “Sesame Street” cast members have been let go. (Sesame Street/Common Sense Media/TNS)

By JILL VEJNOSKA/ jvejnoska@ajc.com, originally filed Friday, July 29, 2016

Today’s story is brought to you by the word “Sad.”

“Sesame Street” confirmed Thursday that it had released three of its most treasured and long-tenured cast members.

No, not Big Bird. Instead, it’s beloved human cast members Bob McGrath (who played the mild-mannered  and supportive “Bob” on the children’s educational show for 45 seasons), Emilio Delgado (“Luis” since 1971) and Roscoe Orman (“Gordon” since 1974) who’ve gotten the velvet boot.

“As of this 46th season, the original cast, we’ve all been graciously let go,” McGrath, 84, scooped the news at Florida Supercon. “The show has done a major turnaround, going from an hour to a half hour. HBO has been involved also. And so they let all of the original cast members go.”

Well not quite. A couple of veteran cast members remain, McGrath added. Namely, Alan Muraoka, who came on board in 1998 as the “new” owner of Mr. Hooper’s Store and Chris Knowings (“Chris” since 2007).

But that wasn’t enough to satisfy many “Sesame” lovers, who took to social media to bemoan the decision.

 

Some also pointed the finger of blame at HBO, which last fall embarked on a five-year deal that allows it to air first-run episodes of “Sesame Street” exclusively to its networks and streaming outlets (After nine months, the episodes are available for free on PBS, which was “Sesame Street’s” original home for its first 45 years).

In its statement posted on the show’s Twitter page on Thursday, Sesame Street, which is produced by Sesame Workshop, said the cast change decisions were solely its own.”(They) remain a beloved part of the Sesame family and continue to represent us at public events,” it said of McGrath, Delgado and Orman.

“Since the show began we are constantly evolving our content and curriculum to meet the educational needs of children. As a result of this, our cast has changed over the years . . .As we’ve stated previously, Sesame Workshop retains sole creative control over the show. HBO does not oversee the production.”


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