"I don't think there will ever be a children's program that will have the continued impact over time that 'Sesame Street' has had. Maybe in another universe, but I don't think on this planet."
About This Interview
In his three-hour Archive interview, Norman Stiles talks about his early years as a writer for various comedians, and how he came to write for the then-new children's program, Sesame Street. He describes writing for the show in its early years and working with such luminaries as Joan Ganz Cooney and Jim Henson. He recounts creating and writing for various characters, including "The Count", "Forgetful Jones", "Elmo", and "Telly Monster." He discusses writing for the actors on the show, and writing songs with composer Joe Raposo. Stiles recalls leaving Sesame Street in the mid-'70s, co-creating the Mel Brooks-produced comedy, When Things Were Rotten, and writing for Norman Lear's Fernwood 2-Night. He outlines his return to Sesame Street in 1980 when he became head writer and won a Daytime Emmy for the episode, "Farewell, Mr. Hooper." He recalls once again leaving the show in 1995 to create the short-lived series Between the Lions, and talks about his then-current projects and the legacy of Sesame Street. Adrienne Faillace conducted the interview on December 12, 2014 in Hoboken, New Jersey.