Friday, May 04, 2007

Enforced Secret Joy #38 – Don Music on Sesame Street

Here’s the tricky thing about memory, just when you’re absolutely positive you remember something from your childhood, after some searching about on Google and Youtube, you’ll discover that you were wrong on one crucial detail that scotches the whole thing.

All these years, I thought for SURE that it was the Sesame Street Muppet and game-host-with-the-most-Guy Smiley who would bang his head repeatedly into the piano wailing “Oh, I’ll NEVER get it, I’ll NEVER get it!” Never once did it occur to me that it’s a little out of character for our ever excited Guy Smiley, who normally wields a microphone and doles out prizes to Cookie Monster and presides over game shows like What’s My Part to do something like surrender to a fit of mopeyness, nope, nope, I was positive that it was him.

And yet, I am drop dead wrong. It is not Guy Smiley It is Don Music.

I can be forgiven a bit. It’s basically Guy Smiley’s face, an early prototype of eyeglasses that would eventually morph into what Scooter wears on The Muppet Show, and hair that looks like what Whitney Houston was sporting in her crack binges at the fleabag motel days.

There’s longer clips on Youtube of different songs that Don Music composes himself (The Alphabet Song, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, The Declaration Of Independence) yet this one encapsulates everything that cracks me up about Don Music. The seriousness of the task ahead (composing Mary Had A Little Lamb) the I-Am-Doing-Something-EXTREMELY-Important-And-Have-No-Idea-How-Ridiculous-I-Am composure (much like that puffbag James Lipton on Inside The Actor’s Studio) And the Woe Is Me The World Is OVER I Tell You Panic when Don can’t find the rhyming word that causes him to eat the keyboard with his forehead.

It makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. I hope it comes through here on the clip I’m attempting to embed.

Dear God, thank you for Don Music. Thank you for the late, brilliant Richard Hunt, his Muppeteer. Thank you for Jim Henson and the rest of the Muppet crew, for giving us such a wonderful world that has never been equaled since. Thank you for Youtube. I know I enter dangerous territory here, since there’s all sorts of legal issues and stuff, but honestly, if it wasn’t for youtube, I never would’ve figured out how my memory has been so faulty all these years, so thank you that it’s still up and still free, for however long it lasts.

And God, we both know how my head works. So if we play the recently neglected game of I’m Me, Where’s God In This Scenario, then I’m Don Music, trying to craft my life (song), failing to see the obvious next step (note), and there You (Kermit) are, carefully observing the situation, removed enough to frustrate me, and only stepping in to suggest the winning phrase after I throw a fit, give up completely, and embed all 88 keys across my face. Sure is funny. To YOU. Kidding! Thank you for laughter, thank you that You are present, even if You seem frustratingly remote. I know You’re there, somewhere. Lose the microphone, though. HA!

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