Monday, November 9, 2009

Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away

This week marks a major TV milestone: Sesame Street turns 40! That's right....what is now one of the most famous (and beloved) children's show of all time, premiered way back on November 10, 1969. I was informed of this momentous occasion by Google, when one of my search attempts was greeted with this:

I abandoned whatever my original inquiry was (probably "interesting blog posts for people running out of ideas") in order to find out more about the anniversary. I found an fun article about the history of the show, including puppeteer Caroll Spinney, who has "played" Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since the show's beginning. It's amazing to me that someone would devote their entire career to embodying a giant 6 year old bird, but I'm grateful that a show like this is still on the air.

I have countless memories of Sesame Street as a kid. I would park myself on the floor at my grandparent's house to watch, or enjoy an episode while I ate my morning cereal. I knew (and loved) all the characters, sang along with the songs, and soaked up all the reading, counting, and matching exercises I could. I remember even as a young kid, feeling involved in the show. It wasn't a passive way to pass the time....I felt like I was a part of Sesame Street, and the character's world was connected to mine. It inspired confidence in who I was and what I could do....oh, and it made me laugh. A lot.

That's one thing I love about the show- that it doesn't attempt to trick kids into learning- hiding some lessons in candy cartoon coating....they celebrate learning, and encourage kids to be curious, thoughtful, and inventive (not to mention tolerant, loving, and civic-minded). Plus they manage to cram in all this learning and stay wildly entertaining to children and parents alike.

It's nearly impossible to choose a favorite part of the show, as there are so many things I loved. Some highlights:
  • Super Grover (like Grover, only even more hilarious)
  • The Yips ("Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yip uh-huh, uh-huh")
  • Two headed monster (my mom's favorite)
  • Snuffleupagus (I loved his eyelashes, and his sister Alice)
  • The “One of these things is not like the other” game (I still sing this song if something doesn't look right in a window at work)
  • Bert and Ernie (my best friend and I dressed up like them for Halloween one year. She had to be Bert because she was taller.)
  • The Count (ah, ah, ahhhh)
  • Luis (I don't remember much about him, except for that when my step-dad shaved his beard we teased him mercilessly telling him he looked like Luis. In hindsight, he didn't really....)
  • Guy Smiley (Does anyone remember when he went on a safari and kept scaring the animals with his loud voice? hilarious)
  • Mumford the Magician ( "A-la-peanut-butter-sandwiches!")

I know I'm leaving out a million things (Cookie Monster hosting Muppetpiece theater!..ok I'll stop) What about you guys? Did you watch the show as a kid (or have children that loved it)? What are your most memorable Sesame moments? Favorite characters?

Oh- and if you're longing for more, check out the DVD special- 40 Years of Sunny Days or the special edition book Sesame Street: A Celebration of 40 Years of Life on the Street. Or, log on to a special section of wikipedia, known as Muppet Wiki (and no...I'm not being compensated by Sesame Workshop...I just really love the show!)


  1. Sesame Street was always my fave! I can't count to twelve without singing it - one, two, three, FOUR, five, six, seven, eight, NINE, ten... eleven, twelve - I'll sing it for you sometime if you don't know what I mean.

    Just felt like I should comment since I've been loving this posting everyday business. Ya know, it ain't fair to be reading your blog everyday like a creeper (like I have been) without saying hello - so hello! :) See you Bowdens this Tuesday hopefully!

  2. I would like to meet the person who doesn't love Sesame Street. I mean, there someone out there that doesn't love it?

    I love Wormy and Barkley and Stinky! I love all the "real" people, too. As a kid I loved Linda, Barkley's Deaf owner.

    I can also remember being really sad when Mr. Hooper died!

    Love it when they have guest celebrities on to sing or whatever. Very funny to watch people interact with puppets!