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.
The Goo Goo Dolls
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.