PLEASANT PLAINS - Staten Island's favorite Muppets are coming back for a fourteenth season this September, and they're bringing some new faces to their cast.
In recent years, Korean War Veterans Parkway, the Sesame Street edition broadcast in Staten Island, has faced some criticism in regards to the lack of diversity in their cast.
"Yeah, I mean, the media's gotta keep up with the times," Pleasant Plains resident and father Dominic D'iorio said. "I mean, it's not like when our parents were growing up, ya know? We got more diversity and understanding now. Like me, for example. When my parents were growing up, it was all Italians. Now, it's totally mixed. We got Sicilians, some Poles, and a German on our street. It's a regular United Nations in these streets. You can't not have that reflected in the TV. We don't want our kids unprepared for the world, ya know?"
Korean War Veterans Parkway will be returning this September. The names and backgrounds of the new characters written in to add more diversity have been released. A Greek-American goat, Gus Snuffalufapopolis, will be moving onto the Parkway. Gus and his father, Mr. Snuffalufapopolis, open a diner in town and will teach the gang about child labor laws and how they only count when you're not working for your family. Count McCount, a mathematically inclined Irish-American bartender, who serves the Parkway Pals hard lemonades and teaches lesson about figuring out tips.
The addition of new ethnicities are not the only progressive steps the Korean War Veterans Parkway writers are taking. "We're going to push the envelope a little bit more so that the kids on the Island can grow up to be more open-minded because the world is a changing place," Mazzioli says. "I don't Fan Favorite Cookie Mobster chows down on some cannoli on set. want to give away too much, but this season Kermit "The Frog" Borello will explain the relationship between his Uncle Elmo and his roommate, Bert. Grover, fan favorite Neighborhood Wise Guy Big Boiyd's lawyer, will explain to the gang what Passover is."
The head writer for the show, Dorinda Mazzioli, ensures the worried parents that all of the original Muppets will still be employed. Old fan favorites, including Cookie Mobster and Oscar "The Grouch" Camazzo will be returning to continue to impart important lessons about family and loyalty to the bambinos and bambinas of the Island.