Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Shouldn't some developer have built a strip mall there by now?

SamuraiFrog points out that today is the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street. Wow. That means that the show was only a few years old when I was a part of its core audience. My memory of that period of my life is admittedly vague, but I recall being distinctly upset when it seemed like most of the day was gone and Sesame Street was still a few hours away from being on teevee. (I think it was on at 4:00 or something like that.) My era was, of course, pre-Elmo. I had no idea who Elmo even was until The Daughter came of the age to watch the show, and I remember thinking, "What the hell is 'Elmo's World' all about? Did somebody drop some bad acid or something when they came up with this character?" There's a lot in Sesame Street for adults to find enjoyable while the kids eat it up, but really, Elmo ain't one of them.

But anyway, here are some clips from the show over the years. Here's Nathan Lane, singing what may be the show's signature song, called "Sing":

Lots of other celebrities have shown up on the show to do musical numbers with the various Muppets in attendance. Here's Gloria Estefan doing the same song, partly in Spanish (and looking very cute in overalls!):

REM came on to do this take on one of their own signature tunes:

One of the coolest guys in history came on the show, Johnny Cash:

I suppose it's typical that all of my favorite Sesame Street moments involve music. Here's the earliest appearance on the show of "Mahna Mahna":

Of course, the definitive rendition of "Mahna Mahna" would later be done by The Muppet Show, but this is pretty cool too.

Here's classic Kermit the Frog:

And hey, what is the name of that song, anyway?

Sesame Street's sense of humor was a lot stranger back in the day, when they'd use trippy animations to teach lessons about sneezing:

Or when they'd demonstrate subtraction using cream pies:

And, of course, one of the most famous clips in the show's history, when the producers had to figure out how to address death:

Happy anniversary, Sesame Street, and thanks for the memories.


Thee Earl of Obvious said...

I have a 5 and a 2 year old and no cable, so I watch a lot of PBS. Public Television has some fantastic kids shows on the air today: Word Girl, Between the Lions, World World and The Electric Company are but a few.

Sesame Street however, is not well received in the land of obvious.

* They introduced the character Abby Cadabre with much fanfare. This character makes Caillou's voice seem normal. Then it was announced that Abby was needed because she was a girl and Elmo is a boy. In other words it was a marketing ploy.

*Cookie Monster is atrocious. He demonstrates gluttony and little else. I mean, how can I have the nerve to tell my kid to eat right and share when I allow them to watch behavior like his?

*Ernie is so passive aggressive towards Burt you just want to kick his ass. I mean he constantly wakes him up for some silly reason only to fall soundly asleep after engaging Burt in heated conversation.

*Oscar's depression seems to have improved insofar that he is now a parent. He treats his adopted child slimy well but that is where it ends. He is still glorifying angst toward his fellow man. Again how do justify telling your kids to be polite after allowing them to see that?

* Big Bird and Snuffalopupus are lazy as hell. I saw an episode where they pleaded with friends to be invited on their hike only to then insist on stopping every 3 feet. They then abruptly parted ways with the hikers after it was too late to continue.

Then you have all these stars using the show as vehicle to promote themselves. Yuk.

Build the strip mall.

Kerry said...

A shout-out to my neighbor Peter Buck! That REM clip is my all-time favorite "Sesame Street" song.

To Earl: Relax. Although I have to agree that "Between the Lions" is a great show and that Caillou is by far the most annoying character on kids' TV, followed closely by Dora and her CONSTANT SHOUTING.

Thee Earl of Obvious said...

If it were not for his voice Caillou would be a great show.

I like between the Lions but I am paying attention to any hidden agenda they may be trying to sneak through.