When I woke up this morning and turned on the computer, Google greeted me with this image:
Ah yes, Big Bird on Wednesday, Cookie Monster yesterday and Bert and Ernie today. I see a trend.
It’s Sesame Street’s 40th anniversary this month (it premiered on November 10, 1969) and what better reason is there to reminisce about my childhood.
You see, I am a child of the seventies. I grew up with Sesame Street or Sesamstrasse as it was called in German. The German version was dubbed, obviously, and there were special characters created for the German version of the show.
When I think of Sesamstrasse, this picture instantly pops into my head. For me, the main characters were, Samson the bear and Tiffy the pink bird, who were specifically invented for the German version of Sesame Street and paired up with two real people (the very first ones of which I have very good memories being Lilo (Liselotte Pulver) in the denim suit and Horst (Janson) – in the red sweater).
Other characters that you might not know from the US version are Finchen and Herr von Bödefeld.
And then there were of course Ernie and Bert, Grover (German: Grobi), The Count (Graf Zahl), and the Cookie Monster (Krümelmonster) and many, many more. Does anyone remember the guy Don Music who played the piano and couldn’t finish a single song and therefore banged his head on the piano keys over and over. Heh, I guess that stuck with me.
My sister and I loved Sesamstrasse. We didn’t get to watch much TV when we were little, but Sesamstrasse was one of the shows that we were allowed to watch and that we both looked forward to watching every single time.
When I mentioned to J this morning that Ernie and Bert were on the Google homepage, he instantly started an imitation of Ernie… and I was like “No, no, that is all wrong, this is not how Ernie talks” and he replied “of course, it is” and a little squabble ensued about who’s right and who’s wrong about this. Turns out, we’re both right – in a way.
It really just depends on what you are used to. Obviously, since the German version was dubbed, Ernie got a “new” voice (which unfortunately was not picked out to resemble the original in any way, shape or form. That doesn’t seem to be high on the list of priorities for the dubbing studios anyway.)
Does that irritate you? Let me tell you, it does for me. OK, this is a topic for a whole different post that I might entertain you with a little later this month, but just for demonstration purposes, just listen to the two versions of Ernie’s “Rubber Ducky (Quietscheentchen) Song” and tell me which voice you think fits better :)