Bob McGrath

Performer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-hour Archive interview, performer Bob McGrath details his 4-decade run as "Bob" on the classic children's series Sesame Street. He describes getting cast on the show, what a typical production week looks like, and the response he has gotten from viewers throughout the years. He talks about important moments on the program, including the episodes that dealt with the death of "Mr. Hooper", the marriage of "Maria" and "Luis", and the adoption of "Miles", "Gordon's" son. He discusses key creative talent from the series: Joan Ganz Cooney (creator of Sesame Street), Jim Henson, writer Jeff Moss, and performers Sonia Manzano, Loretta Long, Matt Robinson, Will Lee, and Carroll Spinney. McGrath also recalls his early career, including his appearance as a featured singer on Mitch Miller's series Sing Along with Mitch. Karen Herman conducted the interview on July 15, 2004 in New York City.

"Not only is it a great job working with great people, but knowing the impact that 'Sesame Street' has had on millions of kids all over the world has to be the most gratifying thing that anyone could possibly hope for. Having the opportunity of doing this has been phenomenal."

Highlights
Bob McGrath on how the death of Will Lee ("Mr. Hooper") was handled on Sesame Street in the episode "Farewell Mr. Hooper"
01:39
Bob McGrath on working with "Big Bird," "Oscar the Grouch" and "Bert and Ernie" on Sesame Street
02:54
Bob McGrath on the cast's Sesame Street wardrobe over the years, including his sweaters
00:47
Bob McGrath on a favorite scene with actor Will Lee ("Mr. Hooper") in the special Christmas Eve on Sesame Street
00:40
Bob McGrath on his character of "Bob" on Sesame Street
07:05
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On how his character on Sesame Street came to have the name Bob; on his childhood and early influences; on his interest in music; on the radio show he hosted in his school days; on being a voice major at the University of Michigan; on serving in Germany during the Korean War; on meeting his wife; on his early impressions of television
16:52
On his early appearances on television: on Hallmark Hall of Fame and NBC Opera Theatre; on his association with musician Mitch Miller; on working on The Mitch Miller Show
11:58

Chapter 2

On working with Mitch Miller on Sing Along with Mitch; on why Sing Along with Mitch ended; on touring with the show to Japan; on his return to Japan as a solo artist and opening for the top clubs in Tokyo; on the success of his TV career in Japan; on singing for the Prime Minister of Japan
12:59
On how he got his start on Sesame Street; on his memories of seeing Jim Henson's puppetry for Sesame Street; on his audition for Sesame Street; on his character "Bob"; on advice he received from Will Lee ("Mr. Hooper") on Sesame Street; on how Will Lee's death was handled on Sesame Street - the famous "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" episode
15:08

Chapter 3

On how the death of Will Lee ("Mr. Hooper") was handled on Sesame Street in the episode "Farewell Mr. Hooper;" on the impact of the episode and how it was received by the public; on the writing, scripts and production process for a typical week on Sesame Street; on the format of the show; on what the set and costumes are like for Sesame Street
09:30
On his impressions and experiences working with the other cast members of Sesame Street; on the phenomenon of the Muppets used on Sesame Street; on what makes The Muppets unique; on working with the puppet characters 
11:59
On working with "Big Bird" and other notable characters on Sesame Street; on working with many celebrities on Sesame Street over the years; on the music composed for Sesame Street
06:25

Chapter 4

On the evolution of the music of Sesame Street over the years; on his favorite moments on the show; on celebrating the 35th anniversary of Sesame Street and the show's success; on thoughts about retiring and other projects he's doing; on his thoughts on fame
09:21
On criticisms and people's reactions to Sesame Street; on his views of public broadcasting; on advice he would give to a performer wanting to work in public television; on the highlight of his career
07:49
Shows

Hallmark Hall of Fame

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Bob McGrath on one of his first jobs in television, working on the Hallmark Hall of Fame
01:50

NBC Opera Theatre

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Bob McGrath on one of his first jobs in television, working on the NBC Opera Theatre
00:05

Sesame Street

View Show Page
Bob McGrath on how his character on Sesame Street came to have the name Bob
00:23
Bob McGrath on getting acting advice from Will Lee ("Mr. Hooper")
02:57
Bob McGrath on the research/script done for the episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper," which dealt with the death of character "Mr. Hooper" following actor Will Lee's death
01:36
Bob McGrath on a favorite scene with actor Will Lee ("Mr. Hooper") in the special Christmas Eve on Sesame Street
00:40
Bob McGrath on how he got his start on Sesame Street
04:40
Bob McGrath on his character of "Bob" on Sesame Street
07:05
Bob McGrath on filming the emotional episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" when "Big Bird" comes to understand that "Mr. Hooper" has died
00:47
Bob McGrath on the evolution of the "street" set of Sesame Street
02:21
Bob McGrath on the cast's Sesame Street wardrobe over the years, including his sweaters
00:47
Bob McGrath on the reception of episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper," which dealt with the death of "Mr. Hooper" following actor Will Lee's passing
00:52
Bob McGrath on the writing, scripts and production process for a typical week on Sesame Street
04:50
Bob McGrath on the format of Sesame Street
05:23
Bob McGrath on working with "Big Bird," "Oscar the Grouch" and "Bert and Ernie" on Sesame Street
02:54
Bob McGrath on the highlight of his career, working on Sesame Street
01:21
Bob McGrath on memories working with guest star Linda Bove on Sesame Street and the far-reaching impact of an episode about hearing impairment
01:31
Bob McGrath on the evolution of the music of Sesame Street over the years; on his favorite moments on the show; on celebrating the 35th anniversary of Sesame Street and the show's success
07:15

Sesame Street: "Farewell, Mr. Hooper"

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Bob McGrath ("Bob") on getting acting advice from Will Lee ("Mr. Hooper")
02:57
Bob McGrath ("Bob") on the research/script done for the episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper," which dealt with the death of character "Mr. Hooper" following actor Will Lee's death
01:36
Bob McGrath ("Bob") on filming the emotional episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" when "Big Bird" comes to understand that "Mr. Hooper" has died
00:47
Bob McGrath ("Bob") on the reception of episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper"
00:52

Sing Along with Mitch

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Bob McGrath on Mitch Miller's conducting style
00:55
Bob McGrath on Mitch Miller and his musical preferences
02:01

To Tell the Truth

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Bob McGrath on one of his first jobs in television, working on the game show, To Tell the Truth
00:38

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

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Bob McGrath on singing "Danny Boy" in Japanese on The Tonight Show
00:31
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

View Topic
Bob McGrath on his character of "Bob" on Sesame Street
07:05
Bob McGrath on his fond memories of working with Carroll Spinney as "Big Bird" and "Oscar The Grouch" on Sesame Street
02:54

Diversity in Television

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Bob McGrath on memories working with guest star Linda Bove on Sesame Street and the far-reaching impact of an episode about hearing impairment
01:31

Hollywood Blacklist

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Bob McGrath on one of his first times seeing television - the McCarthy hearings
01:16

Industry Crossroads

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Bob McGrath on one of his first times seeing television - the McCarthy hearings
01:16

Korean War

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Bob McGrath on volunteering for the draft during the Korean War and serving in Germany
02:09

Memorable Moments on Television

View Topic
Bob McGrath on how Will Lee's passing was handled on Sesame Street - the famous "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" episode
01:36
Bob McGrath on filming the emotional scene of episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" when "Big Bird" comes to understand that "Mr. Hooper" has died
00:47
Bob McGrath on memories working with guest star Linda Bove on Sesame Street and the far-reaching impact of an episode about hearing impairment
01:31

People with Disabilities

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Bob McGrath on memories working with guest star Linda Bove on Sesame Street and the far-reaching impact of an episode about hearing impairment
01:31

Pop Culture

View Topic
Bob McGrath on getting acting advice from Will Lee ("Mr. Hooper") while working together on Sesame Street
02:57
Bob McGrath on how Will Lee's passing was handled on Sesame Street - the famous "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" episode
01:36
Bob McGrath on his character of "Bob" on Sesame Street
07:05
Bob McGrath on his fond memories of working with Carroll Spinney as "Big Bird" and "Oscar The Grouch" on Sesame Street
02:54

War

View Topic
Bob McGrath on volunteering for the draft during the Korean War and serving in Germany
02:09

We Considered

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Bob McGrath on memories working with guest star Linda Bove on Sesame Street and the far-reaching impact of an episode about hearing impairment
01:31

We Cried

View Topic
Bob McGrath on how Will Lee's passing was handled on Sesame Street - the famous "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" episode
01:36
Bob McGrath on filming the emotional scene of episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper" when "Big Bird" comes to understand that "Mr. Hooper" has died
00:47
Professions

Actor

View Profession
Bob McGrath on how his character on Sesame Street came to have the name Bob
00:23
Bob McGrath on his association with Mitch Miller and working on the Mitch Miller Show
08:42
Bob McGrath on advice he would give to a performer wanting to work in children's television
02:03
Bob McGrath on the highlight of his career
01:21

Performers

View Profession
Bob McGrath on how his character on Sesame Street came to have the name Bob
00:23
Bob McGrath on his association with Mitch Miller and working on the Mitch Miller Show
08:42
Genres

Children's Programming

View Genre
Bob McGrath on how his character on Sesame Street came to have the name Bob
00:23
Bob McGrath on a favorite scene with actor Will Lee ("Mr. Hooper") in the special Christmas Eve on Sesame Street
00:40
Bob McGrath on how Will Lee's passing was handled on Sesame Street
01:36
Bob McGrath on his fond memories of working with Caroll Spinney as "Big Bird" and "Oscar The Grouch" on Sesame Street
02:54
Bob McGrath on what makes The Muppet characters unique on Sesame Street
10:48
Bob McGrath on advice he would give to a performer wanting to work in children's television
02:03
Bob McGrath on the evolution of the music of Sesame Street over the years, on his favorite moments on the show, and on celebrating the 35th anniversary of Sesame Street and the show's success
07:15

Game Shows

View Genre
Bob McGrath on one of his first jobs in television, working on the game show, To Tell the Truth
00:38

Late Night

View Genre
Bob McGrath on singing "Danny Boy" in Japanese on The Tonight Show
00:31

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

View Genre
Bob McGrath on his association with musician Mitch Miller and working on the Mitch Miller Show
08:42
Bob McGrath on one of his first jobs in television, working on the NBC Opera Theatre
00:05
Bob McGrath on Mitch Miller's musical preferences and conducting style on Sing Along With Mitch
02:56

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

View Genre
Bob McGrath on one of his first jobs in television, working on the Hallmark Hall of Fame
01:50
People

Victor Borge

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Bob McGrath on one of his favorite guest stars on Sesame Street, Victor Borge
01:05

Jimmy Carroll

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Bob McGrath on how the songs were selected for The Mitch Miller Show
01:16

Johnny Carson

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Bob McGrath on singing "Danny Boy" in Japanese on The Tonight Show
00:31

Joan Ganz Cooney

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Bob McGrath on working with Joan Ganz Cooney on Sesame Street
01:27

Danny DeVito

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Bob McGrath on his impressions and memories of working with Danny Devito on Sesame Street
00:13

Emilio Delgado

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Bob McGrath on working with Emilio Delgado on Sesame Street
01:10

Jeff Goldblum

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Bob McGrath on his impressions and memories of working with Jeff Goldblum on Sesame Street
00:38

Jim Henson

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Bob McGrath on first hearing of Jim Henson when he got a call about Sesame Street
03:21
Bob McGrath on his admiration for Jim Henson and his great memories of working with him on Sesame Street
05:19
Bob McGrath on Frank Oz's and Jim Henson's directing talent and comedy with "Bert and Ernie" and "Grover" on Sesame Street
01:18

Gloria Lambert

View Person Page
Bob McGrath on working with Gloria Lambert on Sing Along With Mitch
00:26

Will Lee

View Person Page
Bob McGrath on getting acting advice from Will Lee ("Mr. Hooper" on Sesame Street)
02:57
Bob McGrath on a favorite scene with actor Will Lee ("Mr. Hooper") in the special Christmas Eve on Sesame Street
00:40
Bob McGrath on how Will Lee's passing was handled on Sesame Street
01:36

Loretta Long

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Bob McGrath on working and touring with Loretta Long
00:50

Sonia Manzano

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Bob McGrath on working with the talented Sonia Manzano on Sesame Street
00:56

Joseph McCarthy

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Bob McGrath on one of his first times seeing television - the McCarthy hearings
01:16

Ed McMahon

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Bob McGrath on singing "Danny Boy" in Japanese on The Tonight Show
00:31

Mitch Miller

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Bob McGrath on one of his first jobs in television, working on The Mitch Miller show singing with Mitch Miller
00:50
Bob McGrath on his association with musician Mitch Miller
08:42
Bob McGrath on Mitch Miller and his musical preferences
02:01
Bob McGrath on Mitch Miller's conducting style
00:55

Jeff Moss

View Person Page
Bob McGrath on what the writers of Sesame Street, Jeff Moss and Joe Raposo devised for his character on the show
02:39
Bob McGrath on the music composed by Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss for Sesame Street
01:35

Louise O'Brien

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Bob McGrath on working with Louise O'Brien on Sing Along With Mitch
00:20

Roscoe Orman

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Bob McGrath on his high opinion of Roscoe Orman, working with him on Sesame Street
00:57

Frank Oz

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Bob McGrath on his impressions of Jim Henson's and Frank Oz's work
01:08
Bob McGrath on his happy memories of working with Frank Oz on Sesame Street
02:13
Bob McGrath on Frank Oz's and Jim Henson's directing talent and comedy with "Bert and Ernie" and "Grover" on Sesame Street
01:18

Joe Raposo

View Person Page
Bob McGrath on what the writers of Sesame Street, Jeff Moss and Joe Raposo devised for his character on the show
02:39
Bob McGrath on the music composed by Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss for Sesame Street
01:35

Matt Robinson

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Bob McGrath on working with Matt Robinson and the "street" perspective he brought to Sesame Street
01:36

Doc Severinsen

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Bob McGrath on singing "Danny Boy" in Japanese on The Tonight Show
00:31

Caroll Spinney

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Bob McGrath on working with Carroll Spinney on Sesame Street
00:35
Bob McGrath on his fond memories of working with Carroll Spinney as "Big Bird" and "Oscar The Grouch" on Sesame Street
02:54

Diana Trask

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Bob McGrath on working with Diana Trask on Sing Along With Mitch
00:23

Leslie Uggams

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Bob McGrath on his memories of working with Leslie Uggams on The Mitch Miller Show
00:18
Bob McGrath on working with Leslie Uggams on Sing Along With Mitch
02:02

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