Četvrtak, 6 Oktobra, 2022
HomePuppetSesame Rewind: Earlier than Rocco, the Rockheads Have been Sesame Avenue's Authentic...

Sesame Rewind: Earlier than Rocco, the Rockheads Have been Sesame Avenue's Authentic Rock Stars


There are over 4,500 episodes of Sesame Avenue, lots of that are primarily misplaced to the followers. We’re reviewing among the greatest, strangest, and rarest episodes on the market in our sequence Sesame Rewind!

Earlier this 12 months, most people found a operating gag from Sesame Avenue that followers had recognized about for years: Elmo’s ongoing feud with Zoe’s pet rock, Rocco. For months now, any submit from the official Sesame or Elmo social media accounts is more likely to be filled with feedback about Rocco, the inanimate rock that Zoe treats like a sentient being, a lot to Elmo’s exasperation. As a result of it’s only a rock. (I wrote extra about this phenomenon right here.)

America loves that rock that simply sits there and by no means truly does something. However what if I informed you that, years earlier than Rocco was a twinkle in Zoe’s eye, Sesame Avenue featured a bunch of residing, respiratory rocks, who may truly speak and rely and play drums?

It’s true! They had been referred to as the Rockheads, and there weren’t simply two of them, nor three, however FOUR! Sesame Avenue wasn’t messing round with these guys. Sadly, they didn’t stick round, however as a substitute moved on from the present like a rolling stone. However I’d prefer to convey your consideration to them, within the hopes that extra folks can be taught to understand them. Perhaps any individual will even begin a “rock Tumblr” dedicated to them.

(Aspect notice: Once I informed my spouse and Powerful Pigs contributor Staci about these characters, she requested me if the title “Rockheads” was imagined to sound like “Rockettes,” just like the well-known dancers at Radio Metropolis Music Corridor. I don’t know the reply to that query, however I sort of hope it’s the case.)

The Rockheads had been launched in Episode 1939 of Sesame Avenue, throughout season 15 in 1984, however viewers needed to sit by over half the episode earlier than attending to them. In these days, it was nonetheless simply as widespread for an episode to have a number of unrelated avenue scenes as one serialized street-based story. First, we have now David educating Forgetful Jones find out how to use a pc to put in writing a letter to his grandmother.

You'll be able to inform that Forgetful hasn’t completed a variety of typing as a result of he makes use of the one-handed “hunt and peck” technique moderately than placing his fingers in home-row place. He will get caught after writing “Expensive Granny Jones,” however thankfully David is there to recommend a couple of extra issues he can say – and to clarify that he can simply print the letter as a substitute of sending all the laptop to his granny. Is Forgetful Jones the funniest Sesame Avenue Muppet ever? Fairly probably!

Later, Grundgetta is utilizing Oscar’s trash can as a rocket, however she’s annoyed as a result of she will’t get it to blast off. Simply in time, a lady comes alongside and affords to assist through the use of her superior area journey information, which consists of counting backwards from ten. It’s astronaut Sally Trip, by the way in which.

After which, lastly, we’re on our technique to see the Rockheads! We rejoin David, who's leaping on a kind of old school ice cream man bicycles (There have to be title for these, proper?) to ship some ice cream to a patron of Hooper’s Retailer. He has to ship it rapidly! (Are you able to guess what’s going to occur to the ice cream? I wager you may!)

We reduce to an deserted lot, the place 4 residing piles of rocks sit on a crumbling wall, which is outwardly all that’s left of a long-unoccupied constructing. Sesame Avenue went all in on the gritty city atmosphere in these days. Once we first see them, the Rockheads are arguing over which Rocky film was the most effective, which is hilarious. One in every of them claims Rocky III is the most effective, whereas one other claims “You'll be able to’t beat the unique!”

When David rolls by on his bicycle, they cease shifting and curl up like Rokkon and Stonedar from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe — you all keep in mind Rokkon and Stonedar, proper? — however David senses one thing kooky is happening and faucets considered one of them with a brick. It slowly sits up and very slowly says, “Ouuuch.” Richard Hunt performs this Rockhead, so maybe it received’t shock you to be taught that he manages to make the phrase “Ouuuch” humorous. All 4 of the Rockheads converse on this gradual, deep voice, which appears 100% correct to what rock piles would sound like if they might speak. They’re carried out (display screen left to proper) by Jim Kroupa, Martin P. Robinson, Brian Muehl, and Richard Hunt. They’re by no means recognized by particular person names; they’re all simply Rockheads.

The puppets are stunning. They’re simply so cool-looking. They actually seem like they’re made out of rocks, however each appears to be like prefer it’s made out of a unique sort of rock. Their look is supplemented by sound results of rock clanging and scraping collectively each time they transfer. The Rockheads are a outstanding mixture of design, development, efficiency. And mineral.

David rapidly learns that the Rockheads, although good-natured, are simply confused, to the extent that they don’t even know what number of of them there are. The Jim Kroupa Rockhead insists that there are 82 of them! David means that they rely themselves, after which rely themselves once more after considered one of them leaves, and so forth.

The Richard Hunt Rockhead says, “Okay… I’ll depart.” He abruptly falls backwards off the wall with a crash, which is a pleasant piece of slapstick. Or ought to I say “slaprock?” No. No, I shouldn’t. Lengthy story quick: 4 Rockheads take away 4 Rockheads leaves no Rockheads. Due to this fact, there have been 4 of them. This present is so instructional! David marvels on the Rockheads’ intelligence, as properly he ought to.

The Rockheads squeeze in another look within the episode. Within the ultimate avenue phase, David excitedly calls Maria over to the deserted lot and asks is she’d prefer to go to a rock live performance. She’d like to. However the place is it? Proper right here! The Rockheads pop up and proceed to play the Sesame Avenue theme tune on numerous percussion devices. Maria will not be precisely thrilled.

After which David instantly remembers the ice cream, which has been sitting contained in the field in his bicycle this entire time, and now it’s fully melted and his buyer doesn’t have their order. Which is simply too unhealthy, however I’d say some misplaced enterprise is price it for the possibility to fulfill the Rockheads.

This might not be the final time the Rockheads would seem on Sesame Avenue. In a later episode, Gordon additionally stumbled upon their brick wall, and particular person Rockheads would pop up a couple of extra occasions to be part of the enjoyable on the road. I assume the producers needed to get as a lot use of them as they might, as a result of I’m positive it couldn’t have been low cost to construct 4 of those guys.

Are the Rockheads as humorous as Rocco? Maybe not. The comedy worth of Rocco comes from Zoe, an in any other case pleasant little one, purposefully driving her pal up the wall by insisting {that a} rock is alive — and from Elmo, an in any other case cheerful little one, flying off the deal with when Zoe refuses to budge. The comedy worth of the Rockheads comes from them being a bunch of rocks who're sort of dumb. The idea of the Rockheads lacks the psychological complexity of the Rocco bit. And but, I can’t assist however love them, and to want that they had been used extra.

Muppet Wiki’s detailed episode guides record no appearances by the Rockheads after season 17, so that they in the end ended up within the Quarry of Forgotten Muppets. Was it as a result of they spoke too slowly? Was it as a result of youngsters love monsters and enormous birds, however discover it exhausting to establish with rocks? Or did the writers simply understand that they had used up their greatest materials for them with that “rock live performance” joke?

It’s too unhealthy they light into obscurity, however I prefer to assume they’d be pleased with Rocco for turning into a Sesame Avenue sensation. The Rockheads walked so Rocco may run. Besides Rocco doesn’t run as a result of he’s only a rock. And I’m not truly positive the Rockheads can stroll. However you understand what I imply.

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by Ryan Roe – Ryan@ToughPigs.com



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