I confess I had no idea who Sonia Manzano was when I read she was retiring. Then I saw a photo from Sesame Street with Maria and Elmo. Maria is retiring! Sonia has been working for Sesame Street since she jumped from the Broadway production of Godspell into everyone’s favorite kids show. Maria Figueroa was a Puerto Rican teenager who took a job at the Sesame Street Library. I’ve always wondered how it was good that a library got converted into a Fix-It Shop but then I remember it’s TV for preschoolers and that I shouldn’t worry about Teletubby custard being Soylent Green either.
I wouldn’t even tweeze my eyebrows back then. Sonia Manzano on her Sesame Street start.
Maria was always the one who mediated arguments among the muppets. I think Oscar has a thing for her since he always calls her “Skinny.” Maria married Luis in 1988 and together they fixed an insane amount of toasters and had a daughter they named Gabi. Then the Fix-It shop became the Mail It Shop and then a Laundromat and Maria and Luis had to fix toasters on the street until Maria was hired as the superintendent of 123 Sesame Street. Man it’s a rough economy even on the kid’s shows.
Leaving aside the fictional biography it’s hard not to be charmed when Sonia does her Charlie Chaplin pantomime. Only a teenager when she first started working for Sesame Street Manzano went on to become a writer for the series and has earned 15 Daytime Emmy Awards. For those of us who have just been crushed by a mountain of muppet nostalgia Sonia has been replying to tweets with hints that she’s going to be back for a 50th anniversary guest appearance.
Donald Trump who’s been attempting to evict the residents of 123 Sesame Street from their rent controlled apartments stated on Wednesday that he loves all the Mexican People including the Puerto Rican ones like Maria.