Sunday, December 16, 2007

Carolyne Heldman

Well folks, I’ve finally made it to the big time - thanks to help from former MTV VJ Carolyne Heldman. Remember her? She used to host music videos back in the days when MTV seemed to care about music. Okay, I need to save that rant for another time. Anyway, I used to watch Carolyne on MTV back in the late 1980s. There were quite a few times when I preferred watching her more than any of the bands.

Every once in a while, I like to do a Google search for some of my favorite lesser-known subjects/celebrities just to see how things are going with them. A few days ago, I typed Carolyne’s name into the Google search engine. Can you guess whose Web site came up first in the comprehensive search of millions of Web sites? No, it wasn’t MTV, or even a classic TV Web site.

It was this site.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I would like to see Carolyne again. Well, the Google search engine caught on to Carolyne’s name, and at least for the moment that post is the “most relevant” Carolyne Heldman site on the Web according to Google!

In the world of the Web, getting to be the first site on a Google search is a pretty big deal. There are a lot of advertisers out there who would love to be the first site on a Google search. If you sold umbrellas, you would want your site to be first when somebody did a Google search for “umbrellas.” It’s the same for almost any well-known product or person. First in Google (they hope) means that the site is the most relevant to your search. It obviously doesn’t always work out that way, but that’s the goal.

My site is the top Carolyne web site? This is an honor! I think Carolyne is one of those talented people who unfortunately is not as well-remembered as they should be. She was seen by literally millions of people for a few years in the late 1980s, but today, if you asked 100 people, you’d probably be lucky to find two or three who recognized the name. There are quite a few celebrities like that. They’re not “superstars,” they’re just people who happen to be celebrities!

I just wish I could tell you more about Carolyne. I know that since MTV she has worked on local TV in Colorado and that she is living there with her husband & family. I only know this because in the late 1990s she appeared in the MTV Ultra Sound episode, “I was an MTV VJ, too” along with other classic Vjs like Adam Curry and Kevin Seal.

Carolyne is attractive, smart and quite down-to-earth. On the “Ultra Sound” episode, she lamented the fact that she didn’t seem to be “cool enough” for MTV. But she didn’t have to be. She was fine just as herself. She didn’t have to do silly things or act like someone who she wasn’t, like some other Vjs seemed to be doing. She was more or less her honest self, and that was admirable. Carolyne, if you happen to read this, I wish you and yours all the best. And could you please contact me? I’d love to let everybody know how you’ve been doing. And I’d like to have your autograph. :)

If you happen to have any footage of Carolyne from her MTV days, I’d enjoy doing a video trade with you. You can contact me via my Youtube channel (see links) or you can leave a message for Sesameguy on the Muppet Central forums.


MY FAIR CHAUVINIST: Two friends of mine have been lucky enough to have their work published in a magazine. If you’re a fan of “My Fair Lady,” you might enjoy their views of this musical, and why Eliza may not have gotten the best deal in the world. Plus, they get bonus points for making reference to both the Muppets and Star Wars in the same column.


MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Way back in ye olden days of the early 1970s, the first Sesame Street calendars contained birthdays for many of the major characters. Well, since a new year is on the way, this might be a good time to take note of whose birthday you’d like to celebrate in 2008! Here, courtesy of MuppetCentral, is the list of Sesame birthdays:

Jan 13: Rubber Duckie
Jan 28: Ernie
Feb 3: Elmo
Feb 23: Gordon
Feb 29: Kermit
March 20: Big Bird
April 17: Sherlock Hemlock
May 3: Susan
May 23: Sam the Robot
June 1: Oscar
June 7: The Amazing Mumford
June 25: Maria
July 1: Guy Smiley
July 26: Bert
Aug 3: Prairie Dawn
Aug 19: Snuffleupagus
Aug 20: Bob
Aug 31: Herry
Sept 19: Slimey
Sept 29: Telly
Sept 30: Zoe
Oct 4: David
Oct 9: Grover
Oct 14: The Count
Oct 29: Betty Lou
Nov 2: Cookie Monster
Nov 14: Luis
Dec 17: Little Bird

I hope that the omission of characters such as Roosevelt Franklin and Don Music will be corrected in future Sesame St. calendars. :)


I’d like to direct you to a Christmas wish from my friend Daniel S. Tiger. Like he, I wish you all a wonderful holiday and a great new year ahead.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

They're baaaack!

Uh-oh. It’s those Santas again! It’s December already? Dang it. . . It’s time to utter a few four-letter words.

December 10 is the two-year anniversary of this blog. Whether I like it or not. I’m sorry to say that a certain four-letter word comes immediately to mind, and that word is: TIME. Or the lack of it.

I enjoy writing and I enjoy posting on this blog. But there’s this thing called LIFE (another four-letter word, you will notice) that keeps getting in the way. I enjoy having a little space here on the world wide whatever where I can share my views and keep in contact with others. But there are other things happening besides this site, and they’re just about all more important than this site! So this poor site gets pushed aside rather easily.

It wasn’t meant to be this way. In my blogging dreams, I planned of posting at least three or four times a week, with photos and extensive data. Alas, it was not to be. Time isn’t on my side in this one. I had to remove the words “updated weekly” from the mast head when it became clear that I would be lucky if I could update monthly!

The writers in Hollywood went on strike a few weeks ago. That’s because writing is work. Even those who enjoy it must confess that it takes time to do well. It’s not something that can be taken for granted, as some people are disposed to do. Good writing takes time. If I’m having trouble putting together a simple blog, imagine how much work it must be for good writers to put together a TV show every week - or even every day, in the case of soap operas! Thankfully, they are given some time (and cash) to write. But I don’t have that luxury. That puts this blog on the same level as cleaning out the attic or buying the latest gadget. It’s something that should be done, but that doesn’t have to be done immediately.

What’s the next step? Well, just as those Santas are moving one step at a time, I will do the same. I definitely will keep posting once in a while, and hopefully you can find something here that you will enjoy. You’ve probably figured out that you don’t have to check in every week. But hey, there’s always every other week. As I’ve said before, thank you for your patience. Your prayers and good wishes for me are very much appreciated.

Also, please keep checking my YouTube page every few weeks. I have been posting new videos there (Most recently Ernie and Bert‘s "what happened here" and "The King‘s Nose"). You just might find something fun over yonder.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go clean the attic. . .


DUSTY, BUT THERE: We have an update to the November posting about “In search of: Retired Puppets”. As mentioned before, a fellow named Benjamin Wagner is working on a documentary about Fred Rogers. He recently visited the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, and in a blog posting he confirms that the Mister Rogers puppets are on display there. He writes:
The Museum has been home to "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" exhibit since 1998. Developed in partnership with FCI, it replicates the show's set -- it's all there: King Friday's castle, X the Owl's tree -- but in a hands-on way. Kids can be on or behind the camera, drive trolley, put on their own puppet show, or play Mister Rogers' piano.
Picture Picture's there too. We watched a video on the making of the exhibit narrated by David Newell. There was Mister Rogers wearing an overcoat and glasses, standing next to Bill Isler and smiling.
Mister Rogers' spirit was everywhere. And smiling.
Still -- and I've felt this way numerous times throughout the making of this film -- his absence was palpable too.
Puppets from The Land of Make Believe stood in glass cases in the hallway next to the exhibit. And while it was exciting and even moving to see the real Daniel Striped Tiger and King Friday, it made me sad to see them staring back at me all glassy-eyed, lifeless and dusty.
I miss Mister Rogers, and often wish he was here to help Chris and me.
You can read the complete blog posting here:
You can read about Ben's meeting with Mister Rogers here:
Now we need somebody in Chicago to visit the historical society and see if the Kukla and Ollie puppets are on display!


FELIZ NAVIDAD FROM BOB: In the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade this year, we saw an appearance of the legendary Bob McGrath. Yes, Bob is still on the street! You may have seen him singing “See you tomorrow” to Big Bird in a more recent clip. I like to promote the “old school” stars whenever I can. Bob also has a new Christmas album, but don’t click on the link below if you’re in a library. It plays a clip of Bob singing. You’ll bother all the non-believers sitting around you. I guess Bob took a lesson from Maria (Sonia Manzano), whose site also has a song clip.

I wonder if Bob’s Christmas sing-along is a tribute to his days singing with the Mitch Miller singers. Remember Mitch? They did a few sing-along Christmas albums as well. I’m not sure if Mitch Miller ever went on tour, but Bob did! Bob performed some of his songs at a few Barnes & Noble bookstores in the last few weeks.


AND, OH YEAH, BY THE WAY. . . I would assume that all my web-savvy muppet friends have discovered the Beta version of the Sesame Street video site! I haven’t been having much luck with it so far, but that’s probably more due to my connection than anything else. I can’t wait to test-drive it on a fast modem. I shall report back when I have more luck. In the meantime, enjoy some superb classic Sesame St. clips from yesteryear on this site.

And hats off to Sesame Workshop. With the “Old School” releases plus this Web site, they demonstrate that they have a desire to share the classic material. They are definitely on the right track.