Friday, May 17 2013 13:10

Watch: How to Get to SESAME STREET? The Rock Father learns, and brings the scoop on Season 44!

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PBS KIDS VIP AmbassadorLast week, the world was introduced to the newest neighbor on SESAME STREET, a Writer from Puerto Rico named Armando - or 'Mando as the folks on the 'Street quickly dubbed him. The introduction of this new character is part of a focus on Hispanic Heritage and Diversity that plays a key role in the forthcoming 44th season of the iconic series on PBS KIDS. Mando (Ismael Cruz Cordova) joins Maria (Sonia Manzano), Luis (Emilio Delgado) and Muppets Rosita and Ovejita (Carmen Osbahr) as part of SESAME STREET's bilingual community. This week, my adventures took me to the famed Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach, where I joined my fellow PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent) Ambassadors at the 2013 PBS Annual Meeting. There, I spent some time with Mando and Rosita... and just may have found the answer to that age-old question: "Can You Tell Me How to Get to SESAME STREET?"

Lomogram 2013-05-16 07-03-1During a hosted breakfast presented by Sesame Workshop, details for the 44th Season of SESAME STREET were revealed. A curriculum focusing on the ability to "Self-Regulate" (managing emotions and self-control) and improve "Executive Functioning" skills (working memory, cognitive flexibility) is in place this year. In addition to the arrival of  Mando, our old pal Cookie Monster will be getting his own segment - one in which the baked-goods aficionado will help kids master the skills of self-restraint (something that Cookie Monster has struggled with in the past) through a series of parodies as he bravely attempts to self-regulate. On the parody note, HOMELAND and SONS OF ANARCHY are among the pop culture staples getting the send-up this year. Additionally, A-listers such as Tyra Banks, Charlize Theron, Dave Matthews, and Peter Dinklage will be passing through the neighborhood... with some additional celebrity sightings expected. There will also be a tribute to late puppeteer Jerry Nelson, who, while perhaps best-known as Count Von Count, also performed beloved Muppet characters beyond SESAME STREET, such as Electric Mayhem bassist Sgt. Floyd Pepper, Gobo Fraggle, and Emmet Otter among others.

Lomogram 2013-05-16 07-07-0After witnessing a live musical performance by Mando and Rosita at the Sesame Workshop breakfast, the PBS KIDS VIP group moved into a breakout session with PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger, followed by a discussion with SESAME STREET Executive Producer Carol-Lynn Parente... who was joined by Mando and Rosita.

THE ROCK FATHER was able to spend a few minutes with actor Ismael Cruz Cordova and Muppet Rosita for a fun conversation about writing... music... and how to get to Sesame Street. There's also a lot of talk about Me Encanta Mi Cabello! this season... I LOVE MY HAIR - a song that has been re-done for new audiences - and as such, we dish on hair, followed by some comments on contributing to the 44-year legacy of this iconic show. 

And for my daughters... some love from little Rosita...

The HipwadersThe version of the "Sesame Street Theme" in the video above was performed by noted Kindie Rockers, THE HIPWADERS, who included the song as the B-side to their "The Books I Like to Read" single when it was released last Fall. Support great family music by grabbing it on iTunes.

Bonus: Check out more conversations with Mando and Rosita from these great PBS KIDS VIP Bloggers - Crazy About My Baybah, Beverly Hills Mom, Greeblemonkey, TeachMama, DandelionMoms, The Mama Maven.

For more details on the new season of SESAME STREET, be sure to visit their official website, and for local listings visit PBSKIDS.org!

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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