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E51: Muppets in Moscow

Natasha Lance Rogoff is an award-winning TV producer, journalist, and author. As a filmmaker, she executive produced the Russian adaptation of Sesame Street, Ulitsa Sezam, and Plaza Sésamo in Mexico between '93 and '94. As a journalist, she reported extensively on Russia’s underground culture for major media outlets.

Natasha joined us to discuss her book "Muppets in Moscow: The Unexpected Crazy True Story of Making Sesame Street in Russia". The book recounts the ordeal of bringing this beloved TV show to a post-Cold War Russia, at a time when the country’s political stability was uncertain. A group of TV producers and artists with contrasting backgrounds overcame political, social, and economic barriers to produce a show that became a staple of Russian children's television in the late nineties. Known for its fight against prejudice and its promotion of tolerance, democracy, and freedom of expression, the show made a significant impact. But this is also a book about the powerful nature of art, a testament to perseverance, and a narrative about seizing opportunities against all odds. It's even a story about finding friendship and love in the most unlikely circumstances. A fascinating story we hope you all enjoy.


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