Television TV

Sesame Street

On 10 November 2009, Sesame Street celebrated 40 years on our televisions with the start of their latest series. Proof then, surely, that children still get enjoyment from TV programmes with an element of education in them (Blue Peter's another one that's still going strong).At the time of its launch, using TV in education like this was incredibly revolutionary, a recent study has now found that teens who watched Sesame Street in pre-school or nursery had gained higher school grades than those who had not. Founders Joan Ganz Cooney and Ralph Rogers should be pleased with themselves on that basis alone.

It doesn't matter that the series is wholly Americanised for the many British kids watching, and it doesn't matter that this fictional urban street is home to a motley crew of muppets, children and adults - indeed, that's what makes it fun for the five millions viewers who tune in every week to watch! What's more, without Sesame Street we may not have the likes of Jim Henson, who launched his talent here and later went on to create cult films Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. Sesame Street comes with a rich legacy, and prides itself in teaching children social skills, not just maths and spelling. That why topics such as death, divorce, hatred, pregnancy, and love have all been raised in the series, as well as an episode on the Noughties recession more recently, teaching families to stick together in hard times.

Of course, the really big topic that needs raising is: who's your favourite Sesame Street resident - Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Bert or Ernie? And who could forget that most comical of characters, the Count, a kind of vampire that would count "One, hah, hah, hah... two, hah, hah,hah" and so on! They all worked so well together, and at no point more so than when everyone banded together to deliver the Sesame Street alphabet song, led by Big Bird (who's been played by Carroll Spinney for the entire 40 years of production and is now aged 75!).

The programme is universally adored by adults and children alike, and as a result the stage show Avenue Q (a rather more risque production for grown-ups) is having huge success. Even US First Lady Michelle Obama got in on the action recently by planting a garden with a helping hand from Big Bird and Elmo.

As you'd expect, there was tons of merchandise to come from the Sesame Street TV show, including DVDs, Muppet Babies and Sesame Street Playmates... all adorable, bright and squidgy (apart from the DVDs, of course!).


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Do You Remember Sesame Street?

Do You Remember Sesame Street?

  • Anonymous user
    on
    Ah, memories... I used to watch "Sesame Street" whenever I was on school holidays or off sick, right up to age eleven! It was almost worth getting ill for! What do I recall? Those terrific Charlie's restaurant sketches with Grover as the waiter. "Round and tasty in a bun, chips and pickle. Yum yum yum..." "I DO NOT HAVE BEADY EYES!" Some of the gags were way over the heads of pre-school. Also "The Wonderful World of T-Shirts", a superlative and perfectly-constructed sketch well worth looking for on YouTube. "Don't get emotional, sir!" The Honkers. And Dinger. The endless saga of Maria's pregnancy... ooh, education. Yeah, but get back to the Muppets please. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10... 11, 12. Oscar the Grouch setting up a telephone switchboard outside his trash can in one episode so no one needed to talk to him. I'm getting like that. Throwing up once during the Subway Song, when I was off sick. Actually, there are maybe some memories we shouldn't share. It all started to go wrong after Jim Henson died. R&B theme tune and "social awareness". The street was repainted green about 1990ish and smartened up - you could always tell when they'd spliced an old sketch in because the street would change colour! Sad fact: The "Mom's tree is over there..." divorce newsflash/song was Jim Henson's last performance as the world's most famous frog.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    "12345....678910.. 11 12,. doooooooooooo...." I LOVED that pinball machine! I always wished i could get on of those! Children's programing was alot better then than it is now!
  • Anonymous user
    on
    good as a child..
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I remember there was a skit with a red cartoon typewriter that wheeled onto the screen going "noo-ni-noo-ni-noo" my Sister and I loved it!!!! I loved and still do Bert and Ernie..especially when?rnie sang about his rubber duckie playing the bugle and tap dancing sheep (sketch when Ernie couldn?t sleep) FUNNY!!!!
  • Anonymous user
    on
    A Sesame St. theme park along the lines of Disney World or Universal would draw visitors from all over the world, such is the affection for its characters - and educational too ! Best kids' TV show ever. Bar none.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I loved those skits. I liked the psychedelic pinball machine (I wanted to be that marble), that cherry that would go down these traps until it evenually got to the little girl's sundae, and when these kids were running around in a room with black lights while being counted. Also liked the day on the boardwalk skit. One skit that creeped me out was this man dressed in a black leotard who did these yoga positions, but maybe I'm just dreaming about that....