I am one of the millions of people who loved "Sesame Street" as a child. (I will admit that in recent years, too, I have enjoyed the odd clip of, say, Oscar the Grouch.) One of the people who gave voice to our favorite characters has passed away. Tony Geiss was 86 years old. According to his Hollywood Reporter obituary:
Geiss most notably spent over three decades working as a staff writer and a composer for Sesame Street, the award-winning kids show that features Jim Henson’s Muppet characters in short skits and animated sequences. Geiss invented several Muppets of his own, including the Honkers and Abby Cadabby, and helped come up with the concept and theme song for “Elmo’s World,” a segment featuring the furry red monster that runs at the end of every episode.
His contributions to the TV show earned him 22 Daytime Emmys screenwriting and songwriting.
The New York Times offers still more color to this creative soul's ways:
Mr. Geiss would repeatedly discover ways of amusing children while giving a wink to parents who were watching with them. He once wrote a sketch called “Omelet: Prince of Dinner” about a man who couldn’t make up his mind whether to have peas or broccoli for dinner.
“The peas or not the peas — that is the question,” the prince says.
Mr. Geiss helped create the “Sesame Street” segment “Elmo’s World,” aimed at toddlers, about Elmo, a furry monster with an orange nose whose companions are Dorothy, a goldfish and the Noodle family. He also composed that segment’s theme song. He wrote the television productions “Cinderelmo” and “Don’t Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” then, with Judy Freudberg, wrote the film “Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird.” The Emmys he helped garner were among scores won by the show since its inception in 1969.