A ‘Sesame Street’ Renaissance

Sesame Street is a classic, and the work of Johannes Vermeer, James McNeill Whistler and other talented artists is widely recognized as classic art. So what happens when Sesame Street characters and classic art collide?

Why, this, of course.

Kermit’s Mother By LegGodt

And this.

Marquis de Rosita By RatbarSteward

And of course, this.

Cookie monster By Alena910

These images are part of a photo effects contest by the website www.worth1000.com, which describes itself as “the top creative contest site in the world.” These three images come from a contest titled “Sesame Street Ren 3: classic paintings with Sesame Street characters,” which encouraged users to submit their original entries combining classic art and their favorite Sesame Street character.

You can view all of the entries from this particular contest here. And, if you want to see more, check out photos from some of their other “Sesame Street Ren” contests here here and here

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the internet throws a curveball. What’s your favorite entry?

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Best-Selling Author Steven Johnson Talks About How We Got to Now

On his new series, How We Got to Now – premiering with its first two episodes tonight at 8 and 9 on WPT – best-selling author Steven Johnson explores the impact of innovation on our modern existence by following the fascinating – and often surprising – paths of scientific discovery that shaped who we are today.

I could try to explain how Johnson traveled around the world – and back in time! – to find out how even the seemingly most simple endeavors changed the entire path of history, but it is much better to go right to the source.

We had the chance to do just that in September when Johnson visited Madison to speak to the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. He sat down with us for an exclusive interview at the Monona Terrace and talked about his new book and PBS series, both which reveal the story behind the remarkable ideas that made modern life possible. Watch the conversation now.

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Catch Up with Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey seasons 1-4, airing 2 p.m. Saturdays on The Wisconsin Channel and 2 p.m. Sundays on WPT’s flagship channel. Click to see the full Masterpiece Classic schedule.

Downton Abbey Season 5 Premieres January 4 2015Way back, in January 2011, a brand-new series premiered on Masterpiece Classic on Wisconsin Public Television. It’s been a long time since viewers were first introduced to Downton Abbey and its fascinating cast of characters.

In four seasons, we’ve experienced the love story of Mary and Matthew, we’ve enjoyed the Dowager Countesses’s biting charm, endured the good and the bad with Anna and Bates, and thrilled to shocking losses and new beginnings. On January 4, 2015 the story will take new turn when a fifth season begins on WPT. But before then, enjoy an encore of the first four seasons, airing weekends on WPT.

From now until the Season 5 premiere on Sunday, Jan. 4, weekends are reserved for Downton Abbey. Watch every episode or revisit your favorite season. Season 1 begins Saturday, Oct. 11 and Season 2 begins Sunday, Nov. 2. We’ll update this post soon as we know when Seasons 3 and 4 will re-air on WPT.

And if you don’t ration your excitement like the Dowager Countess does, you can always look to Amazon Prime and iTunes for on-demand viewing of Season 1-4.

Here’s a look at what’s to come on Season 5, which picks up in 1924. The United Kingdom has its first Labor Party prime minister, radio is the latest miracle and Downton’s traditional ways are besieged on all fronts.


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Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: Nothing says “romance” like an avalanche

Every year, my family pulls a few well-loved DVDs or VHS tapes (yes…we still have a VHS player in the house) off the shelf. Inevitably, somewhere between While You Were Sleeping and Fiddler on the Roof, we end up watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

If you haven’t seen the 1954 classic, check it out tonight at 10:30 p.m. It’s part of WPT’s lineup of classic films and features the always-charming Howard Keel. Keel plays Adam Pontipee, a wild woodsman living in America’s early frontier. When Pontipee brings a wife home, his six brothers are forced to adapt and pick up a few manners: how to fold a napkin, how to cook a proper meal, and – of course – how to perform a choreographed dance.

I’ll let you watch the movie (and you should absolutely watch it), but I’ll tell you right now that between a barn raising, an avalanche, and an isolated winter, all of Pontipee’s strapping red-headed brothers find love in the frontier. For a sneak peak of the action, check out one of my favorite scenes:

I’m not sure if a box-step will get you a bride these days (or if it ever did…let’s be real), but Seven Brides for Seven Brothers remains one of my favorite classic musicals. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, funny and entertaining film to start the weekend with, look no further.

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Sesame Street + Star Wars = Hilarity – and Learning!

A long time ago in a cookies and milky way galaxy far, far away… Our friends at Sesame Street turn their knack for parody toward the epic sci-fi saga of Star Wars.

Kids will learn an important lesson in self-control, while the Star Wars nerds (read: me) will revel in the appearance of Snufflupagus as a wooly Bantha and the terrific in-joke of Grover (originally voiced by Frank Oz) as Yoda (also, a similarly voiced Oz character).

As Only One Cannoli says, “May the “Four” be with you!”

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