Following the near-universal acclaim for his narrative directorial debut Eighth Grade, Bo Burnham is taking another unexpected turn so he can tell you how to get, how to get to Sesame Street.
The long-running children’s series is getting a new movie adaptation, and Burnham has been hired to pen songs for the Sesame Street film. Though the project is currently untitled, we do have some exciting details. Warner Bros. and MGM will co-finance the project, which is being helmed by Portlandia writer/co-creator Jonathan Krisel. Sesame Workshop is involved in the development of the project. Anne Hathaway is the first human star to be attached. Screenwriters Mike Rosolio (American Vandal) and Chris Galletta (The Kings of Summer) have taken a crack at the screenplay, which seems to lean hard into the theme song’s lyrics in that the plot revolves around finding how to get to Sesame Street.
The story follows the Sesame Street characters after they are mysteriously expelled from their own neighborhood, forcing them to collaborate with history show host Sally Hawthorne to prove that Sesame Street actually exists.
It’s a heady concept for a children’s musical, and one for which Burnham seems well-suited. Long before he was the toast of indie cinema, Burnham got his start crafting silly songs on Youtube. His humor evolved from sick burns to more cerebral considerations as he took to the stage. For instance, here’s a song about why God thinks we all suck. (Language NSFW)
In “Art is Dead” Burnham grapples with the inherent narcissism and vanity of show business.
But Burnham’s also down for delightful absurdity like his “Can’t Handle This (Kanye Rant).”
In short, this could be as inspired a hiring as when Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie was plucked to craft songs for 2011’s The Muppets. Which was a move that not only gifted us the weird and poignant jam “Man or Muppet” but also made the funnyman an Academy Award winner.
I thought Burnham deserved an Oscar for the Eighth Grade screenplay, but that went to Green Book. F*cking Green Book! Darkest timeline, etc. Nonetheless, the Sesame Street movie could be Burnham’s second shot at Oscar gold. If he can bring his signature blend of wit, whimsy, and poignant reflection to the Sesame Street soundtrack, Oscars 2022 could be a big one for Burnham.
The Sesame Street movie will hit theaters January 15, 2021.
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