Today is the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street which debuted on November 10, 1969. I’m dedicating my posts for the rest of this week in tribute to this pioneering children’s show that is one of my all time favorite television programs of any genre. I was part of the first generation to watch Sesame Street back in the 70’s and now I’m watching it again with my son. The show has changed much over 40 years as has the way we watch it. Peter & I have never watched an actual full episode together but rely on clips from the Sesame Street website and YouTube as well as Sesame Street DVD’s.
Here are some clips of Sesame Street’s finest moments:
An early opening with the famous theme song shows some distinctly urban scenes. At a time when cities were falling to ruin and thought to be scary it was nice to see how fun they still were:
The Muppets are the stars of the show and some of the best segments are when they interact with ordinary kids. Here is Herry Monster counting with John John:
Of course, the Muppets were great all on their own. Grover teaches us the difference between near and far in this famous skit:
Sesame Street also is the source of many a memorable song. My son & I sing Ernie’s “Rubber Duckie” pretty much every night at bath time:
When actor Will Lee died in 1983, Sesame Street acknowledged the death of his character Mr. Hooper in what may be the saddest six minutes in children’s television history:
Kids who grew up in my generation were endlessly frustrated that the adult characters on the show would never believe Big Bird when he talked about Mr. Snuffleupagus. Snuffy was finally revealed in 1985 at a time when Elmo was first becoming a prominent character:
Speaking of Elmo, Big Bird, and Mr. Snuffleupagus, my son loves this song. I admit it’s rather catchy:
More posts and more memories to come this weekend.
Alternate coverage on the Sesame Street anniversary:
- Christian Science Monitor: Sesame Street at 40: Our favorite clips
- Paste Magazine: Sesame Street Celebrates 40th Anniversary With a Makeover
- Isak: 1-2-3 Sesame Street is Where I Want to Be
- WBUR Here & Now: The Man Behind the Bird (an interview with Waltham’s own Carol Spinney)