Sesame Street has fired three longtime cast members from the 45-year-old beloved children’s series.
Bob the music teacher, Gordon the science teacher and Luis the “Mr. Fix-It,” played by Bob McGrath, Roscoe Orman and Emilio Delgado respectively, have been axed from the show.
“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,” McGrath, 84, said at a Florida Supercon Q&A on July 2.
McGrath has been with Sesame Street since it started in 1969. He’s known for some of Sesame Street’s best songs, and he narrated the Sesame Street app Elmo’s Big Birthday Bash.
Delgado, 76, known as “Mr. Fix-It,” joined the show in 1971 and his character married Maria, played by recently retired Sonia Manzano.
Orman, 72, who played Gordon the science teacher, has been on the show since 1974. He also played Trash Gordon.
Sesame Workshop tweeted a statement saying the three actors “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.”
The iconic series moved to HBO in early 2016 after more than 40 years on PBS.
The more modern Sesame Street will focus episodes around a single topic instead of jumping from Elmo’s World to the day’s major storyline.
The show plans to move into the digital realm more and more as it evolves, with Cookie Monster tapping tablets and Elmo and Abby trying to get another character to stop staring at her smartphone, according to reports.
Sesame Street fans mourned the loss of their favourite characters in the neighbourhood.