Tough Pigs Anthology

Summer 2004

 

Hipsters and Squares

Part 1: Imagine On, Baby!

 

   Now, dig this: Henson didn't just discover hipsters in the late 60's. Henson and hipsters are solid, Jackson, all the way back to the beginning of his career. 

 

   Back on Henson's first show, Sam and Friends, there was Harry, the grand-dad of all the swinging hipsters to follow. Harry always had his shades on, like Mahna Mahna and Floyd Pepper after him. One of the best-known surviving clips of Sam and Friends is a sketch called "Visual Thinking," where Harry teaches Kermit how to imagine shapes that appear above their heads. By the end, Harry and Kermit are be-bopping so much that they get buried under their own riffs.

 

   A decade later, we see a similar sketch used on Sesame Street...

 

Voice cast: Northern Calloway (Hipster), Frank Oz (Square).

 

    

 

 

 

(Frank plays a man in a suit and tie, with a huge orange nose. His voice is deep and self-important, like Sam the Eagle. Northern plays a free-spirited hipster. Northern enters, scatting.)

 

Northern

Zap -- zoo da -- zow

 

Frank

All right, uh, we're going to imagine shapes today.

 

Northern

We gon' what?

 

Frank

We're going to imagine four different shapes, and the first one is a circle.

 

Northern

AAOW! Circles! I like circles, yeah. 

 

Frank

DON'T -- DO that.

 

Northern

Oh.

 

    

 

Frank

Now, do you know what a circle looks like?

 

Northern

Yeah, well, I know, yeah -- a circle, a circle, it looks, uh... looks round! Circles look round.

 

Frank

Yes. Watch closely, I'm about to imagine a circle.

 

Northern

Imagine on, baby. 

 

Frank

Here we go.

 

(As Frank imagines the circle, it appears on the screen. He strains, it's an effort for him to imagine.)

 

Frank

We start over here, you see, and then -- if I can imagine it -- it's kind of hard, it goes -- around like this, and it goes up again -- like that -- and it meets that, there.

 

Northern

Woo!

 

Frank

Ah, there. A circle. Now let's see you imagine a circle.

 

    

 

Northern

Aw, I can imagine a circle. Erase yours. 

 

Frank

All right, there.

 

Northern

Ready! (Funky guitar chords play as he imagines.) Zap-zap! Zip, zow! Looka that, ha ha! This is, this is fun!

 

Frank

All right, stop it. Get this off me!

 

Northern

Zop, zap, zoooooo! Yeah! Yeah!

 

Frank

Stop that! All right, that will do! Get these out of here. Erase that right now!

 

Northern

All right, all right.  (sigh)

 

    

 

Frank

Now, the next shape to imagine is a rectangle.

 

Northern

Oh-oo! AAOW! Rectangles!

 

Frank

Will you please stop that. Now, this here is a rectangle. Now, I'll show you. You start over here, you see... and you go all the way over here with this line... and then we go down... and then we go... over here with another long line... and then we go up and meet... there. Well. That is a rectangle.

 

Northern

Woo-ee! Hey, can I ask you a question? 

 

Frank

Yes.

 

Northern

Can rectangles go up and down instead of sideways to sideways?

 

Frank

Of course.

 

Northern

All right, then erase yours.

 

Frank

All right. There!

 

    

 

Northern

Watch this! Zap! Zoo-dow! Zip-a-doo-OO! 

 

Frank

Well, that's very good, uh, but --

 

Northern

La de doo-doo... da doo...

 

Frank

What's that? What is that?

 

Northern

Well, this is a design. 

 

Frank

A design?

 

Northern

Decoratin' it! Ha ha!

 

Frank

We don't need that, just stop those dots. Get rid of that. Erase it! Erase it!

 

Northern

Ohh, all right. All right!

 

    

 

Frank

All right. Now. We are going to imagine triangles.

 

Northern

AAOW! Triangles! My favorite thing!

 

Frank

Please stop that!

 

Northern

Oh. 

 

Frank

Now, here's a triangle... start over here... go up... and then we meet the other... there. All right. Now you try a triangle.

 

Northern

All right, here we go. (He starts playing the two triangles like a guitar.) Waaaa! Yeah, yeah! Hey! Y'know what this looks like?

 

Frank

What?

 

Northern

Yeah! Looks like... zap! Oo-oooo! Oo-weeee!

 

Frank

Stop that, stop that! That'll do! We don't need that! All right, stop it now!

 

Northern

All right, all right.  (He plays a lick of Bach's Minuet in G Major on the guitar.)  You like this? 

 

Frank

What's that?... That's better.

 

Northern

It's a catchy tune.

 

Frank

Yes, well, let's, uh, throw it away. Erase it. The whole thing. Gone.

 

Northern

All right, all right.

 

    

 

Frank

Now, the last shape we're going to imagine is a square. Do you know what a square is?

 

Northern

I know who a square is!  (He draws an arrow pointed at Frank, and busts out laughing.)

 

Frank

Uh, that's cute. Uh, now, let's see you imagine a square, then.

 

     

 

Northern

All right. Za - ba - daaaa - zeeba-deeba - zeeboooo... Imaginnne... (He draws a square around Frank's head, boxing him in.) 

 

Frank

Uh. Uh, what's going on?

 

Northern

Hey, I need my guitar back. (He draws the guitar again, and starts playing.) Woo-oo-oo!

 

Frank

(trapped in the square) Hello there!

 

Northern

(strumming) Rectangles, circles, triangles and squares! 

 

Frank

Hello out there! Hoo-ha!

 

Northern

Rectangles, circles, triangles and squares!

 

Frank

Let me out of here!

 

    

 

 

Next: Too Cool for School

 

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Danny@ToughPigs.com

 

 

Anthology contents