When a character leaves. If your kids are fans of The Wiggles you probably know that Greg (aka the yellow Wiggle) bowed out of the group last year due to a chronic illness. This week the Wiggles released their 28th DVD, its first without Greg, and it got us thinking about other dearly departed tv characters like Mr. Hooper of Sesame Street (seen here in the bow tie) or Steve from Blues Clues. What do you say to your kids when a favorite character leaves?
When Harold Hooper, affectionately known as storekeeper Mr. Hooper, died suddenly of a heart attack in 1982 Sesame Street decided to use his passing as a way to talk to kids about death and grieving. When the actor Steve Burns, beloved by children as the owner of Blue on Blues Clues from 1996-2002, wanted to leave the show his character went to college and left Blue in the capable hands of his younger brother, Joe.
The CNN story, "Wiggling On Without Greg" by David E. Williams interviewed several parents who were preparing their children for Greg's disappearance.
"Before I put the video in I told her this was with a different Yellow Wiggle, so she kind of expected it," said one parent. Nevertheless her daughter was somewhat confused: "I told my daughter that Greg's not on any more because he's sick, but then when the Disney Channel comes on she says 'Look, Mommy, Greg's not sick any more'," Grundig said. "I think she thought that by sick it meant he had a tummy ache or something."
Are your kids fans of the Wiggles? Have you talked to them about Sam the new Yellow Wiggle?