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Norman Stiles

Norman Stiles

Norman Stiles (b. December 4th, 1942) is a writer who worked on SESAME STREET & its related products for over 20 years; his concepts include the Muppet characters Count von Count & Forgetful Jones.

Stiles initially studied zoology & chemistry at Hunter College, & became a social worker for the New York City Welfare Department. During that period, he began writing comedy material for such performers as Ron Carey (later a regular on Barney Miller) & Marty Brill, & wrote for Merv Griffin.[1]

Stiles joined the Children's Television Workshop in 1971, & became the head writer on SESAME STREET beginning with Season 4. In later years, his work would often touch upon sensitive topics, such as the death of Mr. Hooper in episode 1839, or the effects of divorce on children in the unaired "Snuffys Parents Get a Divorce". In 1990, as part of the Season 22 curriculum mandate to examine race relations, Stiles wrote a skit in which a blue monster named Britta refuses to let Elmo play wubbaball because of his different fur color, only to find herself excluded.[2]

Stiles has also written for appearances by the Muppets, such as an Ad Council nutrition spot with Cookie Monster, & authored a variety of SESAME STREET books (including The Perils of Penelope), wrote lyrics for such songs as "Put Down the DUCKIE", & helped to script Jim Hensons pilot special The Muppet Show: Sex & Violence.

Stiles discussed his philosophy of writing in 1988: "Never talk down to children. Always try to entertain children & parents at the same time. Try to have adult characters speak the way adults speak & not in singsong kiddy-show style. & teach something while all this is going on...This is basically a sketch comedy show.[3]

Outside of the Muppets & SESAME STREET, Stiles has written for America 2-Night (starring Martin Mull & Fred Willard) & Mel Brooks' 1975 sitcom spoof of Robin Hood called, When Things Were ROTTEN.

In 1996, Stiles co-founded Sirius Thinking Ltd, an independent children's TV production company, with fellow SESAME alumni Michael K. Frith & Christopher Cerf. At Sirius Thinking, Stiles wrote & produced the PBS children's show Between the Lions, which premiered in 2000. The show has won 6 Daytime Emmy Awards, including a 2004 Emmy for best writing.

In APRIL 2014, Stiles launched a crowdfunding campaign for an online video series Baby & Toddler Parenthood News Network with his wife Ellen Dillon & child development expert Amy Hatkoff.

TV writing creditsEdit

Book creditsEdit

SESAME STREET Songwriting creditsEdit

Grouches in the South of France
Me Gotta Be Blue

Miscellaneous writing creditsEdit

External linksEdit

ProofEdit

  1. Season 4 Press Kit. 1971
  2. Johnson, Peter. "Taking Race Relations to the STREET." USA Today. November 12, 1990
  3. Blau, Eleanor. "Mum's the Word, But SESAME STREET is Turning 20." The New York Times. November 14, 1988

VideosEdit

Love in the JUNKyardEdit

GROUCHES in the South of FranceEdit

Swamp Mushy MUDDYEdit

Im Sad Because Im HappyEdit

PicsEdit

See alsoEdit

Page NavigationEdit


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