Mary Arline (queen_of_kithia) wrote,
Mary Arline

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YoB&E: Day 167--Up and Down Song, featuring Placido Flamingo and Ernie

Fair warning: I've had this song running through my head for the better part of five days. (Granted, I don't really mind that, except that it's harder to sing than it appears at first, but other people might find it bothersome.)

"...from the opera of the same name."
There's an opera called Up and Down Song?

"It makes very little sense, but it's a lot of fun to watch."
So, it's like any opera then? (I'm kidding! I love opera.)

It's funny to see Ernie performing in an opera wearing his same old striped shirt and messy hair. One suspects he didn't have to audition for this gig.

The part where they use the little puppets in forced perspective makes me laugh, because suddenly they're singing without moving their mouths. Placido Flamingo IS talented: both an opera singer AND a ventriloquist! On Fraggle Rock they had puppets that size that could move their mouths by radio control, but I imagine that Sesame didn't have that in the budget (especially for one-time use). At first, I thought the crowd was cheering during that section, but then I realized it was supposed to be the wind outside.

I wonder if that's Jimmy working the curtain. His mommy must be so proud.

I like the part at the end, with Placido wordlessly schooling Ernie on opera/theater etiquette. As much as I like the song, that's probably my favorite part of the whole sketch.

Placido Flamingo was introduced in 1986-87, which was also the year I was in kindergarten (or rather, that was the year that I finished kindergarten), which means that was about the time that I had to stop watching Sesame Street on a daily basis because I was in school at the time. So, sadly, I don't have a lot of first-hand memories of Placido Flamingo, but based on what I've seen of him since then, it appears that he often sang well-known opera tunes with new lyrics; however, this appears to be an original composition, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Placido Flamingo was performed by Richard Hunt who, unfortunately, passed away in 1992, but he was also Don Music and Gladys the Cow (as well as a host of other Muppet characters). Most of his Sesame Street characters have since been retired, which is really a shame with regard to Placido Flamingo because he was a hilarious character and, personally, I don't think there's such a thing as too much fine arts education.

Interestingly, there don't seem to be a lot of Richard Hunt characters that show up in Bert & Ernie sketches. I was able to find nearly a whole month's worth of sketches of Jerry Nelson's characters interacting with Bert or Ernie or both, but so far I've only been able to find two three Bert & Ernie sketches with any of Richard Hunt's regular characters (I forgot that he also played Bert's nephew, Brad). That may be because, for at least a while during the '70s, he was the one performing Ernie's right hand. Which is a very important job, but it didn't really make the best use of his prodigious comedic talents.
Tags: internet videos, music, year of bert & ernie
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