Snap Your Fingers, Here He Comes
April 6, 2005 2:19 AM   Subscribe

Ladies And Gentlemen, The Teeny Little Super Guy - not quite a meme, but more of a collective, "Oh man, I had totally forgotten about that" from the internet. This obscure 80s Sesame Street character's nostalgic resurgence has taken the form of a Livejournal Community, countless blog entries and even an indie rap video homage. Could Captain Vegetable be far behind [.wav file]?
posted by StopMakingSense (20 comments total)
Is he all that obscure? Those skits and the Twiddlebugs (scroll down, page in Korean, I think) were the best parts of Sesame Street.
posted by frecklefaerie at 5:07 AM on April 6, 2005

I've never forgotten teeny little super guy, I just thought everyone else had. I'm being revisited by little kiddie joy just thinking about him. Thanks StopMakingSense!
posted by Crushinator at 5:46 AM on April 6, 2005

I'm proud to admit that the Teeny Little Super Guy themesong has been a staple of my MP3 collection for years.
posted by Robot Johnny at 6:11 AM on April 6, 2005

He was always one of my favorite parts of Sesame Street. Every so often the theme song earworms into my head and I go around the whole day humming it. Looks like you just sparked this season's occurance since I'm already singing it to my son now.
posted by Melinika at 6:22 AM on April 6, 2005

Point of discussion-- why is our generation so retro-obsessed? I like it because it's easy to get cheap laughs from 80's references, but it also annoys me a little bit because I don't generally share the affection. Watching "Voltron" was not time well spent. Why do I end up discussing it more than something from my past that was worthwhile?
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:45 AM on April 6, 2005

I'm ashamed that I don't remember him. The rap video homage was cute, though.
posted by fungible at 7:01 AM on April 6, 2005

I'd completely forgotten! So very happy to remember. Are any episodes available online?
posted by aladfar at 7:23 AM on April 6, 2005

Point of discussion-- why is our generation so retro-obsessed?

Point of clarification-- all generations... We are just now getting to that point (i.e. a generation past the generation that these things are currently being generated to entertain).

General response...because of the nature of human memory and culture. We like the things that are familiar, as the memories of the past blend into the present and are confronted with fears or unease about the future, it's a positive feelings to be reminded of the things that occupied our time when the most pressing matter of the day was getting home in time to watch...say..."Voltron".

Which is to say, these types of media artifacts put us back in a place, and a state of mind, when life was stress and fancy free.
posted by wah at 7:28 AM on April 6, 2005

why is our generation so retro-obsessed?

Because the icons of our youth seem comforting and familiar, and everything currently going on in the world seems strange and threatening.

I doubt that this is anything new, I'm not sure why it's so much more popular now than in previous generations, and considering that what comes up on the first page of a google search on 'voltron spinning laser blades'** Caution: Creeeeeepy fan fiction. , I'm not at all sure it's entirely healthy.

Having said that, I still find myself humming that Seasame Street classic - 'I'm an aardvark and I'm prouuuuud', from time to time.
posted by backOfYourMind at 7:48 AM on April 6, 2005

Thanks, backOfYourMind, now I'll have the aardvark song in my head all day.

*I'm an aardvark, standing bravely...*
posted by jazon at 8:52 AM on April 6, 2005

I always liked these two characters. (Is that technically three characters?)
posted by debralee at 9:15 AM on April 6, 2005

Teeny Little Super Guy? A trifle. Was there a more powerful children's programming than The Yip Yip Martians? I think not.
posted by basilwhite at 10:00 AM on April 6, 2005

Aww teeny little super guy! believe it or not, the TLSG's creator (Paul Fierlinger) was the father of a good friend of mine from the old neighborhood.

My memories of the sets are a little different (I think all episodes were shot in their house) since I was actually walking around them (this gives TLSG a very strange nostalgia for me), but still.

Thanks for making me have nice thoughts about an old friend, SMS.
posted by illovich at 10:05 AM on April 6, 2005

I just love this sort of thing. I haven't thought of Teeny Little Super Guy in years.

thanks, StopMakingSense!

Ha! On preview - Poor Space Kitten was just terrified of the Yip-Yips when she was quite small - she consistently ran from the room crying when it was on - but somehow sesame street still holds a fond place in our hearts...
posted by Space Kitty at 10:29 AM on April 6, 2005

Hoka hoka HEY! Hoo-ah!

I have wanted to remix the Captain Vegetable song for so long, unable to find a copy of it.

StopMakingSense, you're my hero!

posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:16 PM on April 6, 2005

I vividly remember the episode where they went to pick out a pet spoon. I want to see that again.. just so I can see if the wiggly spoons in the drawer looked as real as they did then.

Awesome post, StopMakingSense.
posted by cmyk at 1:44 PM on April 6, 2005

*I'm an aardvark, and I'm tough and smart and strong...*
posted by jazon at 1:53 PM on April 6, 2005

Yeah, but what about the opera singing orange with the elastic band mouth?
posted by boost ventilator at 7:01 PM on April 6, 2005

Teeny Little Super Guy! The TLSG made the rounds at Everything a couple of years ago, which was the first time I'd heard of it in a couple of decades.

As a kid I always had trouble making sense of it. I must have been eight at the time. "What? He's... painted on the site of a glass. He gets from place to place by... sinking down into the counter. Does this make sense? Is he "super" because he's the only one who can do this? Wait, the others can do it too. They seem to exist in a kitchen universe. The song said he's inside of 'you and me,' but I don't see how that could be true literally (unless I ate a cup) or figuratively (since he's not really a metaphor for anything)."

Yeah, I was a riot in elementary school.

Sesame Street, back in their "cool" period, had a number of things like this. If any of you buy the Incredibles DVD, go to the section on Boundin' (the short that aired before the movie in theaters) and check the bit about the primary creator of the short -- he was the guy who animated and sang the "Ladybug Picnic" song! "One two three, four five six...."

Remember the cartoon typewriter on wheels? "New-ne-new-ne-new, NEW-ne-new-ne-new!" A friend of mine swears that was Bill Cosby, and the strange thing is, I believe him.

Also, does anyone else remember the animated bits they did based on the bridge-crossing scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Is it even POSSIBLE that Sesame Street was cool enough to have done that, so soon after the movie came out?!

But the weirdest Sesame Street memory, for me at least, has to be those incredibly odd "Thelma Thumb" cartoon bits, about a young girl with the superpower of being able to turn into a tiny fairy thingy. I never could wrap my mind around *that* one. I kept wondering what the backstory was, or what was the deal with that talking crow.

Wait, no, that's not the weirdest... that was the one with the big animated letter 'Z' going between planets, with a laconic voice just saying "Zee" over and over, eventually landing on one planet with a resounding thud. Man, if you ever want to give a kid nightmares about a letter of the alphabet....
posted by JHarris at 2:03 AM on April 7, 2005

Speak of the devil... boingboing just posted a link to a site of Sesame Street memories. The TLSG is on the list, as well as some other things long forgotten....
posted by JHarris at 11:42 AM on April 7, 2005

« Older Behind the curtain of public radio   |   5 Minte Shoe Shine Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments