Bo Burnham is writing songs for the Sesame Street movie. The classic educational children’s TV series has been airing since 1969, combining music, humor and puppetry. With its extensive array of characters such as Ernie and Burt, Big Bird, The Count and Mr Snuffleupagus, the series remains a staple with children even today.
Throughout the years, Sesame Street characters have made the move from TV to the big screen twice - the first time being in 1985 when Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird was released, which was followed in 1999 by The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. While neither film was an especially large box office hit, Warner Bros. has not given up on the concept of a Sesame Street movie, and are currently moving ahead with a new film slated for a 2021 release. So far the film promises to be much bigger than previous efforts, with a key component of what has made Sesame Street great all these years already being addressed.
Deadline reports that comedian/musician/filmmaker Bo Burnham has officially signed on to contribute music to the upcoming Sesame Street movie. Burnham is known for his song-based stand-up comedy, and found fame after posting videos of his songs to YouTube back in 2006. The Sesame Street movie will mark the first time that Burnham’s musical talents have been utilized in a feature length film.
Aside from his stand-up and musical ability, Burnham wrote and directed 2018’s wonderful coming of age dramedy Eighth Grade, as well as taking on the role of director for Chris Rock’s most recent Netflix stand-up special, Tamborine. At just 29 years of age, Burnham has tread much ground in Hollywood, and his work on the Sesame Street movie could very well bring him into Oscar contention - as it did for comedian Bret McKenzie, whose quirky compositions won him the Oscar for best original song from 2011’s The Muppets. Like The Muppets, the Sesame Street movie will focus on the inhabitants of Sesame Street undergoing a difficult transition and journey, after they are mysteriously expelled from their famous neighborhood and forced to head to Manhattan. Once in the Big Apple, the Sesame Street crew befriend history TV show host Sally Hawthorne, who makes it her personal mission to prove that Sesame Street exists, despite an evil mayor who's determined to prevent the beloved neighborhood from becoming public knowledge.
As of this writing, the Sesame Street movie seems like the perfect vehicle for Burnham’s clever and humorous songwriting ability. It remains to be seen just what kind of movie Sesame Street will turn out to be, but Warner’s past efforts at adapting the cherished children’s series have yet to really do the characters and its legacy justice. Hopefully the third time will be the charm for Warner Bros. on this classic IP.