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Forums: Index > Article Content > Grandma Harriet
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Is there a source on the name Harriet for David's grandma? It's not in any of the scripts and in the footage I've seen, everyone calls her "Grandma" (even her fellow seniors in Episode 1441). It was previously talked about here for trying to find the actor on screen, where the sources seem to be IMDb and a Muppet Central Forum post, neither of which we would deem trustworthy these days. It's entirely possible it's mentioned in an episode we don't have footage from yet, as it's common for a lot of the scripts to not 100% reflect the dialogue accurately, but it doesn't seem too likely to me. (The last name "Hobson" was used only in one script and not even in dialogue, so I added a source for that.) - Shane latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 04:22, 27 September 2021 (UTC)

Wow, this feels like one of those things we've taken for granted forever.
Hm, let's see. No text matches for searches in Street Gang, Sunny Days, Memoirs of a Muppets Writer, or The Wisdom of Big Bird. A quick flip through Sesame Street Unpaved shows that she's not in David's bio, but she could be mentioned somewhere (I'm not entirely trusting of the OCR'ed searchable text in the version on Open Library).
Confirmed on the scripts: I don't find any matches in the scripts themselves, however the pdf filename of Episode 1717 is "1717 Harriet, Granny Bird, Granny Snuff (Raymond Sipherd).pdf". That could mean one of two things: 1) they got the name from us, or 2) there's another internal document to back it up.
I don't see of-the-day references to her name in articles on newspapers.com, so she probably wasn't included in any press releases for her first season like other characters sometimes get. The closest newspaper match I could find was the actor's NY Times obit where it uses the Harriet name, but this was in 2011, so they could have gotten the name from us.
Other places to check: I don't have access to anything we've pulled from the CTW Archives right now, but those might be worth looking through. β€”Scott latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 11:55, 27 September 2021 (UTC)
I went through all of the script highlights she appears in and I couldn't find anything identifying her as "Harriet." She's either referred to as "David's grandmother" or just "Grandma." -- Tony (talk) 12:39, 27 September 2021 (UTC)
Good catch on those CTW docs. I saw all those obituary articles trying to search for a source, and I'd agree that they probably got that name from us as well. Unless it's mentioned in an episode we don't have yet, or there's some kind of internal document we don't know of that gives her a name, it looks like we're just assuming this was her name (like how we used to have the JHH episode titles). If we can't find anything official, I'm good with moving the page to "David's geandmother/grandma." - Shane latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 17:17, 27 September 2021 (UTC)
It does beg the question, if it's not official, where did the name come from? One of the old fansites? Nate started the article; I doubt it, but I'll see if he remembers. β€”Scott latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 17:20, 27 September 2021 (UTC)
Nate doesn't remember. For official sources, I'll check my digital and print CTW archives when I get home, some of which I don't think is floating around in many places. I'm still curious about what made us name the article that name in the first place, be it old fansites or whatever. The Sesame Street Encyclopedia doesn't appear to be archived. Could also have been something else we have listed in Category:Muppet_Fandom. β€”Scott latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 17:49, 27 September 2021 (UTC)
The only other place I can find that name is this old fansite from 2005, but much of that information is spotty and innacurate by what we know now. - Shane latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 18:31, 27 September 2021 (UTC)
Good find. Internet Archive's earliest copy of that is January of that year, so well before us. Also, not sure if it's the same thread you found, but I came across this MC post from Nov 2005 including the name. Again, not sure where "BEAR" got it, but more evidence that the name has been floating around out there for awhile.
For official avenues, I just checked the indexes of Learn at Home the Sesame Street Way, Sesame Street and the Reform of Children's Television, and Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street with no luck. The 40 years book has her picture on David's page, but no name.
I also checked my printed CTW Archive summaries, did a search on the old Usenet newsgroups, and started going through my digital CTW Archives. Nothing. β€”Scott latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 21:06, 27 September 2021 (UTC)
I may know a lead. Back on some old message boards I recall someone posting a Sesame Street quiz that was co-created around 1985 by Noel MacNeal with various then little-known facts (including the name of Oscar's robot Charles), so the Harriet note may have come from that. Luckily I printed out a copy, so I'll do a little digging and see what comes up. -- Tony (talk) 22:52, 27 September 2021 (UTC)
UPDATE: I haven't been able to find it yet, but if I recall correctly the quiz was created by Noel MacNeal and Gabriel Velez as a present to cast and crew members; anybody know how to contact MacNeal or Velez? -- Tony (talk) 01:02, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
MacNeal is pretty much everywhere on social media. I could have sworn I'd seen Gabriel Velez on Facebook, but I can't find him now. β€”Scott latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 01:06, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
Extra sidenote, that doesn't seem to have come up: episode 1050 says that the script lists her as Grace. -- Zanimum (talk) 00:16, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
The plot thickens. β€”Scott latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 01:06, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
Great catch (That's the problem with a bunch of these being machine gun-added; we miss some of these little details)! Script has her saying "My name is Grace," and with a search and video confirmation, Mr. Mac calls her Grace in Episode 1916 (also ID'd as Grace in script for Episode 2598). We can wait to see what Tony can dig up, but otherwise, I think we've got the evidence we need. - Shane latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 01:08, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
Is she called anything in Episode 1441? Script just has everyone, even while asking her to a dance, calling her "Grandma" (though she calls Mr. Hooper "Harold"). Not sure if that was a placeholder or what they went with for the final episode. But yeah, plenty of evidence for Grace, so whatever the source was for Harriet, I'd say script and screen evidence trump it especially as Grace was used off and on across eleven years. -- Andrew Emoji-drool.gifAdminsig.png 01:31, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
I agree; nice job, Nicholas! -- Tony (talk) 01:35, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
They just call her grandma in 1441. I agree we're ready to move the article. I think, considering "Harriet" has stuck for so long and has apparently influenced other sources, we should have a bit in the article briefly explaining the process. It would help if we could figure out where it came from in the first place; in other words, why our article was mislabeled for so long. β€”Scott latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 11:10, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
This had got me thinking for a while, would it be worthy to start a sandbox page on former article titles where we were really incorrect about the name or title, especially if we can’t figure out where the confusion came from? Have there been enough of those in the past (incorrect titles for β€˜β€™MuppeTelevision’’ episodes was brought up here)? β€”Minor muppetz (talk) 16:10, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
That would be interesting to me, but only for internal purposes. The closest thing I can think of where we went through a difficult process to figure something out and then documented its development was for Astoria; which wasn't something we had wrong, just something we didn't know for a long time. β€”Scott latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 16:42, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
I'm not opposed to mentioning the change on the page itself, as there is precedent for that kind of thing (Proto-Grover as "Fuzzyface"). I think it's a matter of how; again with Proto-Grover, there's at least a verifying source where "Fuzzyface" can be traced to. We have no idea where "Harriet" came from. - Shane latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 04:25, 29 September 2021 (UTC)
It wouldn't be enough to say that it was "propagated through multiple sites on the internet"? -- Zanimum (talk) 23:53, 3 October 2021 (UTC)
Not in the actual article, no (especially when one of the sites was us). Right now there's a note on the disambiguation Harriet page, "previously been incorrectly attributed to David's grandma," so that's good enough until we find the original source for Harriet. -- Andrew Emoji-drool.gifAdminsig.png 03:09, 4 October 2021 (UTC)
I'd still like to figure out where "Harriet" came from, but yeah, I don't feel like we have enough to address it in the article; and "propagated through multiple sites on the internet" doesn't feel like very helpful info to have on the page. As Andrew said, I think the note on the disambig page covers it for now as a way to assuage any confusion from people expecting to find her there.
Not sure if Tony has heard back from Noel yet, but I have an open question on the MC forum, too. It's as you say, Nick, it was indeed "propagated through multiple sites on the internet" which is where Nate got it from (although he doesn't remember specifically which one), but who conjured up that name and how may remain a mystery. β€”Scott latest?cb=20200820192427 (talk) 10:58, 4 October 2021 (UTC)
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