Vila Sésamo is the Brazilian co-production of Sesame Street that ran from 1972 until 1977 on TV Globo and also ran until 1974 on TV Cultura. It was the first international Sesame Street co-production with new material to air, developed alongside Plaza Sésamo and Sesamstrasse. The show was revived in 2007 and continued until 2016.
Original run (1972-1977)
Vila Sésamo premiered as a nationwide special on October 12, 1972, and began regular airings on October 23, 1972 broadcast by TV Cultura and TV Globo. The initial run of 130 episodes was budgeted at $1 million, making it the most expensive television production in Brazil at the time. In this phase, they fulfilled all the norms of the American Sesame Street. Most of the material was dubbed, and the presentation of thematic charts in repetitive order. The puppet characters in the series, created within Brazil and not by the Muppet Workshop, were Garibaldo, a seven-foot tall blue bird who served as the show's equivalent to Big Bird, and Gugu, the resident Grouch. They lived in the vila with Gabriela, Juca, Ana Maria and Seu Almeida. At that time, there was no color television in Brazil, so the show was broadcast in black and white.
A second season began airing in 1974. Vila Sésamo had become entirely nationalized, with new cast members, new music and new scripts. Two new puppet characters were introduced: Funga Funga a big, furry red elephant, and Zé Das Latas, a robot. After the second season, TV Cultura decided to stop financing the project.
The final and third season began airing in 1975 and ran through 1977. TV Globo, being solely responsible for the third season of Vila Sésamo, changed the format to make it more nationalized. All original Sesame Street material was dropped, except for the Bert and Ernie sketches. A larger set was built for the renewed Vila Sésamo, and more new characters, children, and actors took part in the show.
Despite its success, overwhelming production costs eventually led to the show's cancellation.
Revival series (2007-2016)
Vila Sésamo returned to Brazilian television on October 29, 2007. Rather than a full co-production, the new series, which airs on TV Cultura, is a programming block consisting of dubbed episodes of Elmo's World, Play with Me Sesame, and Global Grover, along with selections from Sesame Street and Sesame English, as well as locally-produced live-action and animation inserts. Appearing in new hosting segments were Garibaldo, this time a duplicate of the Big Bird puppet, and Bel, a female monster. In 2008, the package began airing on TV Ra-Tim-Bum.
September 23, 2016 was the last day of shooting for the crew, and Vila Sésamo ended in its current form. Garibaldo was sent back to Sesame Workshop, but Bel remained in Brazil with Abby, Elmo, Grover and Cookie Monster to start a new version, called Sésamo.
The TV special 40 Years TV Cultura, which preceded the new series, featured a refurbished version of the original Garibaldo introducing the new Garibaldo. In this appearance, the original Garibaldo was performed by Hugo Picchi.
October 5, 2019, they made a brief revival in the form of a hidden camera prank on the TV show Programa Silvio Santos that has been on the air since 1958. It was mainly made to honor the 50 year anniversary of Sesame Street. This time they brought back again the new version of Garibaldo, Abby, Elmo and Cookie Monster.
Original Cast (1972-1977)
- Laerte Morrone as Garibaldo
- Roberto Orosco as Gugu
- Marcos Miranda as Funga-Funga
- Dilim as Zé Das Latas
- Sônia Guedes as Marocas
- Antônio Petrin as Marinheiro
- Henrique Lisboa as Sabichão
- Aziz Bajur as Bidu
- Aracy Balabanian as Gabriela
- Armando Bógus as Juca
- Sônia Braga as Ana Maria
- Manuel Inocêncio as Seu Almeida
- Flávio Galvão as Antônio
- Milton Gonçalves as Professor Leão
- Ayres Pinto as Cuca
- Luiz Antonio Angelucci as Bruno
- Paulo José as the magician
- Elany Del Vecchio as Jujuba the clown
- Tereza Christina as Pipoca the clown
- Flávio Migliaccio as the builder