• The Sesame Street Critic

Natalie Portman Sesame Street Performance - Natalie

Natalie Portman's second Sesame Street performance reveals her Achilles heel as a performer. Even a few songs didn't bring this performance grade up to an A.


Grade: B-

Character: Natalie

Sesame Street Characters: Alan, Big Bird

Episode: #4060

Original Air Date: April 8, 2004


There could be a reason why HBO Max doesn't have every episode of Sesame Street available. Some actors' agents may have some pull, or HBO prioritized episodes based on reviews. Either way, episode 4060 wasn't the best for Sesame Street or Natalie Portman.


Not long after playing a princess and an elephant with Elmo, Natalie Portman was back on Sesame Street. This time she played the character Natalie, a customer at Hooper's that becomes the new employee in less time than it takes to drink a glass of pineapple juice.


The first thing working against Portman was the writing. It seems like Season 35 and Season 36 were lacking in that department in general. The premise was just OK and everything kind of fell flat. The way the conversation jumps right into the job ad when Natalie Portman's character enters is awkward, as is her response. Also, none of the characters respond the the earth shaking antics of the elephant when he first enters Hooper's.


Unfortunately, the songwriting wasn't any better, and ultimately in this skit the music hurt more than it helped. Natalie Portman is an exceptional actress, but singing isn't her strong suit. The first song while she's cooking the omelet is alright. She gets points for cooking while acting. But there's no saving the second song about changes. The lyrics are atrocious and Portman really struggled to make the basic song sound decent.


It's obvious that Natalie Portman's voice is strained in the skit and raspy throughout most of it. Again, kudoos to Portman for pushing past that physical obstacle. However, the raspiness really didn't work for the skit. At times the voice with the sly smiling looks came across as suggestive and sultry - definitely not the vibe Sesame Street is going for. Making the porridge with Baby Bear was at times a little uncomfortable.


Natalie Portman didn't have the best material to work with, but that was also the case in her previous skit that she nailed. Not being at her physical best was also a clear challenge that Portman had to work around. But at the end of the day the Natalie Portman's Sesame Street performance as Natalie was a B- at best.


What Do You Think About Natalie Portman's Sesame Street Performance?

Was Natalie Portman's raspy voice a little too sultry for the skit? Did the writing hold the performance back? You be the critic!


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