If it’s Thursday, this must be the mailbag.
Q: We get a kick out of the Mr. Noodle character on “Sesame Street.” Has he done other comedic work? What is the actor’s real name?
A: The character in the “Elmo’s World” segments of Sesame Street is played by the multitalented Bill Irwin. He has been nominated for Tony awards as an actor, director and choreographer and writer, and won a 2005 acting Tony for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. He has co-starred in Waiting for Godot with Steve Martin and Robin Williams and has been the creepy killer Nate Haskell on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, in addition to other stage, TV and screen performances. (For example, you can also see him with Williams in Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry, Be Happy video, and with Martin in My Blue Heaven.) In 1984, he received one of the “genius grants” from the MacArthur Foundation; he is also in the International Clown Hall of Fame. He has been playing Mr. Noodle since 1998.
By the way, Mr. Noodle had a brother, The Other Mr. Noodle, played by Tony and Emmy winner Michael Jeter from 2000 until his death in 2003. And Kristin Chenoweth and Sarah Jones have appeared as Noodle sisters. Both are also Tony winners — Chenoweth as a performer, Jones as writer and star of the play Bridge & Tunnel — which shows how much talent has passed through Sesame Street, and how well some people use their Noodles.
Q: Will there be any new episodes of “CSI: Miami” coming this fall?
A: No. CBS decided not to renew the crime drama starring David Caruso. It did renew CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: NY.
Q: Has the 1960s TV series “Batman” starring Adam West and Burt Ward ever been released on DVD?
A: As far as I can tell, there has not been an authorized release (and I do not recommend unauthorized releases of that or any other series). It is not clear why a big-screen Batman: The Movie, made in 1966 with the TV series cast, is available.
Q: I’ve been looking for the TV series “Mayberry, RFD,” and the TV-movie “Return to Mayberry” on DVD. I’ve never found either of them.
A: I do not know of an authorized release of Mayberry, RFD, which succeeded The Andy Griffith Show from 1968 to 1971. The centerpiece was Sam Jones, played by Ken Berry, but several supporting players from the Griffith Show were also featured. Return to Mayberry, a 1986 movie reuniting the Griffith Show cast, is not available as a separate, authorized DVD as far as I can tell. But it has been included in some compilations, including The Andy Griffith Show 50th Anniversary: The Best of Mayberry set.
Q: Are any of the characters on Big Bang Theory married in real life?
A: Simon Hedberg, who plays Howard, and Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy, both mention spouses in their CBS bios. Kunal Nayyar (Raj) married Neha Kapur, a former Miss India, late last year. Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon, is not married but has been with the same man for 10 years, according to the New York Times. I have not seen any current marriages for other performers on the show — although Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny, said in a 2010 interview with CBS’ Watch! magazine that she and co-star Johnny Galecki (Leonard) dated for almost two years before breaking up. Big Bang Theory will begin a new season on CBS in the fall.
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Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and in the HeldenFiles Online blog at www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Facebook and Twitter. He can be reached at 330-996-3582 or firstname.lastname@example.org