Sunday, February 20, 2011

Media of the Week - Sesame Street

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It’s a little bit funny…I originally started off this week’s Media of the Week with merely wanting to show a clip I found on YouTube recently, starring Grover with the clever remake of an Old Spice commercial.

As I wrote my two sentences and prepared to publish, I thought about Sesame Street. I thought about watching it when I was a kid. I thought about you, and how we probably share this show in common. After all, most of us have grown up creating fond memories with Sesame Street along the way. And let’s be honest, who can’t resist tapping their foot and singing along with the words of the catchy opening tune, belting out along with it, “to where the air is free!”?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

I guess it really shouldn’t be surprising because Sesame Street is probably the longest-running children’s show in history – having been on the air since 1969, and has been broadcast in over 120 countries. I wasn’t surprised to discover that by 2009 the show had won 118 Emmy Awards – after all – this is the show that taught us about tolerance, informed us all about diversity, made us aware of what social skills were, showed us nonviolent ways to resolve conflict, and even reached out to us with real problems and events we faced in our lives.

Do you remember the day Mr. Hooper died?

I’ll never forget the moment I found out. Mr. Hooper wasn’t an actor, he was the man who ran the little store on the corner of Sesame Street; I felt like my own grandfather had died.

Even after I became too old to watch Sesame Street, it still morphed and changed over the years, finding ways in which to keep up with the times, while still remaining timeless and keeping hold to the idea that that, “If you can hold the attention of children, you can educate them.” (Malcolm Gladwell) And Sesame Street does just that as it “master[s] the addictive qualities of television and [does] something good with them.” Borgenicht, David (1998). Sesame Street Unpaved.

What child does not know about Sesame Street?

Don’t you just love how the show uses people in popular media culture and integrates them into the program? A few noteworthy appearances I’ve discovered recently (or not so recently) are those of Jack Black.

Neil Patrick Harris.

Jason Mraz.

Ben Stiller

Adam Sandler

The Goo Goo Dolls

Paul Simon

Billy Joel & Marlee Matlin

And though never aired on television because of the outfit she was wearing in the segment, Katy Perry.

This week, to celebrate this groundbreaking television program, I would like to share a few moments I've enjoyed over the years, those I've watched later in life, or those before my own time via the magic of the Internet.

Do you remember the big hamburger with Grover?

Who could not love this vintage clip of the rolling ball?

Were you surprised as much as I that Oscar loved trash?

Do you remember Monsterpiece Theatre?

You were probably always able to tell what thing was different from the others...

Did you ever catch the clip on the A Team?

If you wanted a brief summary of 35 years of Sesame Street, this would be a good way to do it…

I’d like to invite you to – in the comments – share a few of your favorite moments as well – with links to YouTube if they’re available.

Thanks, Sesame Street…and here’s to another 40+ years ahead.


Kalei's Best Friend said...

My 3 grew up with Sesame Street... My youngest learned basic Spanish from SS...I loved all the characters especially Elmo, he had my heart.. And yes, i so agree when Mr. Hooper passed it was a sad day... Funny how we think no one in tv should pass... like they had some magic power to stay alive forever...U are too young to know of Capt. Kangagroo and his crew as well as Engineer Bill... I definitely learned about 'green light, red light'.

Heidi (lilmommyfoofoo) said...

Haha. Oh nostalgia. I loved Sesame Street! I loved Grover the waiter, this was one of my favorites of those:

I also loved Super Grover!

And some people may have forgotten one of my favorites, (but that's okay, he has forgotten you too) Forgetful Jones. I loved that guy!

And of course my fave counting song, The Ladybug Picnic:

And the coolest pinball game ever:

Oh, thanks for the heartfelt childhood memories Jason! Love it!

Cherie said...

This brought back alot of memories. That old opening at the top was the one I watched as a little kid - Wow!!
Many of these moments I remember but it has been awhile since I've had little kids in the house so I never saw that Mr. Hooper died. So sad.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane and I hope that Sesame Street lasts for many more years also.

Rachel said...

Sigh...... yet one more area in my life where I am 'different'. :D I grew up without a tv. There fore, I grew up without Sesame Street. Which is probably why I can't spell!!!!!! ;)

Connie said...

I LOVE Sesame Street! I LOVE Grover! He's my favorite. I didn't know much about Sesame Street until my twins were born in '75. They and all my other children grew up on it.
I am sad when the TK kids don't know the characters from Sesame Street.

Love the clip with Paul Simon. That little girl totally upstaged him!

Today's Gift said...

Such fun videos! A few of my favorites are:

Teeny Little Super Guy:

Ten Terrible Terriers:

Redwood tree round:


Forgetful Jones and Clementine:

And of course, Super Grover and Ernie and his rubber ducky (

And for some reason this one with Bert and Ernie still sticks in my mind:

Thanks for the memories. :)

Gerb said...

My mom would turn the TV on during breakfast each morning for my little brother and I. This is (honestly!) how we learned to speak. Our favorites, which we still sing to this day, are:

I Get Mad goat:

Ladybug Picnic:

Yip-Yip Martians:

C is for Cookie:

And also some obscure skit that ended with a girl saying, "That's not an ant, that's a girl!"

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Oilfield Trash said...

My favorite Sesame Street was I think the 25th anniversary vhs tape. I watched that tape so many times with my kids when they were young.

Heidi (lilmommyfoofoo) said...

How could I forget this song! I still sing it in the shower! Hahaha!

cari said...

This was a fun trip down memory lane! (My favorite is Grover to this day!)

It's pretty cool that Gordon, Bob, Luis, and Maria are all still on the program! That's pretty amazing to me!

mep said...

I love Sesame Street! My favorites (no time right now to find links, if they exist) are these sequences: a little boy gets help making a stool out of a piece of a tree, kids make fruit salad, and some claymation type figures play outside after it rains.

Within the last couple of years a book has been published that tells the history of the show. I've been meaning to read it.

I love that my kids and I can both enjoy this tradition.

Carrie Stuart said...

That's so funny that you would choose a walk down Sesame Street memory lane for your media of the week! I posted this clip to my facebook last year...after becoming absolutely giddy that I was able to think of the words to describe it to find it on YouTube, so that I could share it with my kids. The only thing I remembered about it was that it was a counting song and that the chef fell down with whatever the featured number of desserts at the end. It really is my favorite Sesame clip of all time. I hope you like it too!

tammy said...

This brought back a lot of great memories! I always loved Bert and Ernie. I loved how frustrated Bert got at Ernie. Cookie Monster and Grover were also my faves. I remember when Mr. Hooper died, too. And I think my Mom still has the Fisher Price Sesame Street building in her toy closet in the basement. I kind of feel like digging it out now.

Richard & Natalie said...

Dude! This should count as Media of the Month! Look at all of those clips...awesome.

You have a great memory, TF. I couldn't remember an exact clip, but many of the ones you posted jogged my memory and became familiar again.

My mom used to lay out my favorite blanket in front of the TV with a bowl of apple and orange slices so that I could watch Sesame Street and The Polk-a-Dot Door. I can't describe the feeling that gave sounds silly, but it is one of my childhood memories that made me want to be a stay at home mom and provide those same feelings for my own kids. And Sesame Street was all a part of it.

I do remember that Snuffallupagus(?sp) was my favorite character and it was where I learned to count in Spanish.

Sand Castles and Snow Forts said...

My four year son thinks Jason Mraz singing with Elmo is just about the coolest thing ever! haha. I loved growing up with all these memories and being able to watch SS with my kids. Thanks for posting!

T said...

I used to always be SO annoyed with the "can you guess before our song is done... andnowoursongisdone" bit... not because I couldn't figure out which one wasn't like the other, but I was waiting politely for the break in the song to answer... and then they rushed the ending!

regardless - I loved SS - and youTube (and now you) are feeding that joy!

(seriously though - I named my son after listening to Kermit frog interviewing all of Peter Piper's family on the Pickled Pepper Patch... and no, his name isn't Kermit or Peter)

Katie said...

This brought back a flood of memories. Some of my favorites were
How crayons were made:
Me and my llama:
And Doing the Pigeon:
I was actually at a Pink Martini concert at the Hollywood Bowl last summer and as their special guest the entire live cast of Sesame Street came out. It was a dream come true to see all of my childhood heroes on stage singing some of my favorite songs.

Teachinfourth said...

Thanks for the great links, guys! I've checked out several of them already. There are several that I had totally forgotten about until I saw your links.

Much thanks...

Bee said...

Love it!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Oh thank you! It was so fun to go back and think of these! My favorite times were watching Sesame Street, followed by Mr. Roger's!

leish said...

Ahh, memory lane. Here's a few that every now and again pop into my head:

the typewrite thingy:

who are the people...:

loaf of bread:

And while we're reminiscing about PBS, do you happen to remember the name of that show where there was a guy who would illustrate in craypas or oil pastels as someone was narrating the story?

M-Cat said...

Coming to comment and say thanks for the memories. Just today, I walked into my bedroom and Sesame Street happened to be on (it's hard to find these days) and even with no Sissy in the room, I didnt change the channel.

Now clickin "keep unread" so I can remember to come back and watch all these with Sissy

Make Do and Mend said...

Oooh, Sesame Street. Yep, good times. I am certainly dating myself here, but I loved it when the crew visited Puerto Rico. Oh and - the Ladybug Picnic.

Karen Peterson said...

I had completely forgotten Mr. Hooper ever existed until your video.

Ah, Sesame Street. So many memories. It was one of the only kids' shows my mom let us watch. She hated Mr. Rogers and only sometimes turned on The Great Space Coaster.

Fun times!

Valerie said...

Can't wait to watch all these clips! I love all the Classic Bert and Ernie "Dance myself to sleep" "Here Fishy, Fishy," "You're it," etc..

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