‘Sesame Street’ Parts Ways With Three Longtime Cast Members

Sesame Street Bob
Courtesy: REX/Shutterstock

Sesame Street” is saying farewell to three longtime cast members — Bob McGrath, aka “Bob,” Emilio Delgado (“Luis”) and Roscoe Orman (“Gordon”). McGrath had been part of the show since it premiered in 1969, Delgado made his debut in 1971, and Orman joined the show in 1974.

According to MuppetCast, McGrath broke the news at a recent convention, stating, “As of this season, I have completed my 45th season this year. And the show has gone under a major turnaround, going from an hour to a half hour. HBO has gotten involved also. And they let all of the original cast members go, with the exception of Alan Muraoka — who is probably 20 years younger than the rest of us — and Chris Knowings, who is also young.”

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Sesame Workshop denied any interference from HBO in a statement: “Bob McGrath, Emilio Delgado (“Luis”) and Roscoe Orman (“Gordon”) remain a beloved part of the ‘Sesame’ family and continue to represent us at public events. To us, and for millions of people worldwide, they are a treasured part of ‘Sesame Street.’ Since the show began, we are constantly evolving our content and curriculum, and hence, our characters, to meet the educational needs of children. As a result of this, our cast has changed over the years, though you can still expect to see many of them in upcoming productions. As we’ve stated previously, Sesame Workshop retains sole creative control over the show. HBO does not oversee the production.”

PBS CEO Paula Kerger addressed the cast changes during PBS’ Television Critics Association summer press tour on Thursday, since the public broadcaster continues to air new episodes of the beloved children’s show six months after they debut on HBO. “As you know, ‘Sesame Street’ is produced by Sesame Workshop, an independent production company,” she said. “The casting decision was made by them. We did not know about it beforehand. We found out about it after.”

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  1. Oscar says:

    Not to worry. Now that HBO is in the mix there will be a new gender-ambivalent couple, Jane and Trixie; Pistol Pete, a fun and witty homosexual rabbit; Tranny Tim, a kindly old goose/gander; and Rodriguez, the undocumented mouse.

    It will be just the kind of show every rabid leftist wants your kids to watch. [That’s because liberals don’t have kids of their own; they have to steal yours to reproduce ].

  2. Angela says:

    Well, the show really is geared towards the children, not the nostalgic parents. My son loves the show mainly due to the young, energetic performances. They gave it a good run, but after 40+ years, even the best thoroughbreds have to be let out to pasture.

  3. EricJ says:

    Old School Sesame ended in the early 90’s when Jon Stone left. After that, it was never about the Street anymore.
    It doesn’t seem to be the indispensable source of ABC-123 it used to be in our childhoods, and with the original cast, there didn’t seem to be a reason to finally retire it. Now we’ve got one. :(

  4. Bill says:

    Well, Maria, Luis, Gordon and Bob are all gone now. But what about Gina and Susan? Are they still going to be on the show?

    • Dan S says:

      From what I’ve found on other sites it would appear the only regular human characters remaining would be Alan and Chris and newcomer Nina. Watching the new season with my kids I would say I don’t think it would matter a whole lot… humans other than the aforementioned three are almost never on the show except on repeat segments.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’ll be ordering previous seasons on DVD and boycott HBO. These characters are as much a legacy of Sesame Street as the puppets themselves. Good thing Elmo doesn’t get a paycheck or he’d get the ax too. Shame.

    • Bill says:

      HBO has nothing to do with the changes. All the changes were set in place long before the HBO deal was even considered. The HBO deal was a very last minute thing, this season was filmed almost two years ago. Sesame Workshop itself has said that HBO does not have any creative control over the show whatsoever. If you have to blame anyone, blame Sesame Workshop itself.

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