TV URBAN LEGEND: The comedy 227 used the same set as Sesame Street.
The 1980s NBC comedy 227 was a starring vehicle for Marla Gibbs, who rose to fame as the sassy maid on The Jeffersons). Based on a play by Michael G. Moye, the show was set in a Washington, D.C., apartment building with predominantly African-American residents (the official address was 227 Lexington Place). Although the series initially centered on Gibbs as inner-city housewife Mary Jenkins, it eventually became more of an ensemble show over its five seasons, especially as Mary’s best friend Sandra Clark (played by Jackée Harry) became a breakout character.
Another member of the show’s original cast was Alaina Reed Hall, who played the kindhearted Rose Lee Holloway. The actress first came to national prominence as a cast member on the PBS children’s series Sesame Street, where she was introduced in 1976 as Olivia, the younger sister of Gordon Robinson. Hall remained on the series until 1988, even doing the first three seasons of the show concurrently with her work on Sesame Street. So Hall linked the two shows. However, there’s an interesting legend that suggests there’s more of a connection between the two programs. According to Sesame Street‘s official website:
When she left Sesame Street, actress and singer Alaina Reed didn’t have to move far. Her new show, 227, shared a set with Sesame Street. In fact, the front steps of the 227 apartment building were the stairs next to Oscar the Grouch’s trash can!
Is that true?
While it’s true there’s a visual similarity between 227‘s front stoop and the stoop of the building where Oscar the Grouch’s trash cans sits, there is one significant problem …
227 filmed in Metromedia Square from 1985-87 and Sunset Gower Studios from 1987-1990 (after shooting the pilot on the Universal Studios lot). One thing those three places all have in common is that they are in Hollywood. Sesame Street has always filmed in New York City (Manhattan until 1993 and Astoria, Queens ever since). So no, they are not the same set.
But it’s such a pervasive legend that even Sesame Street repeats it!
Sorry for the brevity, but this one was relatively simple to solve!
The legend as …
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