The local version of the children’s show, called “Jalan Sesama,” which translates directly as Everyone’s Street, is beginning production in Jakarta and expected to air later this year after contracts with Indonesian stations are secured. The U.S. Agency for International Development had earlier set aside $8.5 million for 156 episodes, part of $157 million pledged in 2003 by the Bush administration for education in Indonesia, which Washington regards as a key voice of moderation and democracy in the Muslim world.
In addition to Tantan, an orangutuan, and Jabrik, a baby rhino, the show features “Momon, a 5-year-old boy who likes math and drawing, and Putri, a 3-1/2-year-old girl with a healthy dose of curiosity — [who] bear a closer resemblance to Elmo and Ernie from the original show.” Wonder if the show features a version of Bert, Ernie’s “life partner”?
Herewith the show’s theme song (with apologies to Tom Lehrer):
When someone makes a move
Of which we don’t approve,
Who is it that always intervenes?
U.N. and O.A.S.,
They have their place, I guess,
But first send the Muppets!
We’ll send them all we’ve got,
John Wayne and Randolph Scott,
Remember those exciting fighting scenes?
To the shores of Tripoli,
But not to Mississippoli,
What do we do? We send the Muppets!
For might makes right,
And till they’ve seen the light,
They’ve got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
‘Till somebody we like can be elected.
Members of the corps
All hate the thought of war,
They’d rather kill them off by peaceful means.
Stop calling it aggression,
O we hate that expression.
We only want the world to know
That we support the status quo.
They love us everywhere we go,
So when in doubt,
Send the Muppets!