Saturday, July 08, 2006

Sesame Street On My Mind

I just finished doing a most enjoyable portrait shoot and the results are downloading.

Meanwhile, for no particular reason I'm thinking about "Sesame Street," a show from my childhood that was not so much popular as omnipresent. We watched it at home, we watched it in school. We had "Sesame Street" toys and sheets and bedroom slippers and books and tapes. I think there was also a breakfast cereal, but we were strictly a Rice Krispies and Cheerios household.

Do you non-American readers know "Sesame Street"? I'm thinking perhaps you do. I know Basil Brush and "Blue Peter" and Babar, so maybe Big Bird and the rest also have an international following.

"Sesame Street" was, in general, a brilliant educational show. Perhaps it still is, but of late I've not been watching. The aim was to teach basic reading and numbers skills, along with a smattering of ethics and manners. It taught me most of what I know about comic timing, and instilled in me a love of ridiculous lyrics and overblown production numbers that persists to this day. Rare is the morning when my line-up of shower songs does not include a heartfelt rendition of "C is for Cookie" or the club anthem of the National Association of W* Lovers.

Sadly though, some recurring segments didn't quite pack the same wallop. Two come to mind.

The first was a film montage of...something. Usually an animal. Let's say, a cow. There would be various shots of the cow in tight-close up, never revealing more than an ear, or a nostril, or half an udder. Over these shots would be played the extempore rantings of unseen schoolchildren, all trying to guess what the thing was, even though it was painfully obvious. "It's a dog," one would say. "No," another child would counter, "It's a centipede!" At last, after two minutes of this, there would be a full shot and a simultaneous, surprised shriek: "IT'S A COW!"

What a shocker. Hand me the smelling salts.

I always wondered where the hell these little geniuses were from. We lived in suburban Tucson, Arizona and my closest personal experience of a cow was the one in my Play-Skool farmyard set, and yet I could recognize an udder without undue strain.

And then there was the interminable perennial "One of These Things Is Not Like the Others." In case the title's not explicit enough, let me walk you through it.

You are watching a screen that has been split into four equal segments. In each segment is a child. Three of the children are doing the same thing, like sleeping. The fourth child is doing something else, like jumping up and down on a pogo stick or singing "Celeste Aïda."

Over this, the following ditty plays:
One of these things is not like the others.
Come on, can you tell which one?
Can you tell which kid is doing his own thing?
Now it's time to play our game,
It's time to play our ga-ame.
I'm not sure, but I think the lyric is by Ira Gershwin.

Then a voice-over would guide you slowly and carefully from one square to the next. See, this kid is sleeping. This kid is also sleeping. And this kid is...sleeping! But then this kid is making bobbin lace! He's not like the others!

Congratulations all around.

The creators of "Sesame Street" were known for being market-savvy and I can't imagine "One of These Things Is Not Like the Others" would have been repeated in every episode if it had not proven itself popular. But with whom? What person, even at age five, needs four minutes, a jingle, and personal coaching to be able to tell a kid playing ball from a kid eating ice cream?

It might have been interesting if they'd upped the ante. Say, three Sunnis and a Shiite. Or three genuine Rembrandts and a forgery. Or three Republican presidents and an elephant's butt. Never happened.

When either of these gems popped up on the screen, I took it as my cue to go to the kitchen for a glass of milk. I figured maybe they were aimed at the girl in my class who used to space out during storytime and eat her own boogers.

*The letter. Not the president.

62 comments:

kmkat said...

(I'm first. Ooooh, the pressure...)

Say what you will about the obviousness of "One of These Things," but once seen a few dozen times, it persists in one's memory. My youngest is 17, and our family still sings that dopey song when the occasion demands it. Most recently, it happened when we were 120 miles into our 2-week camping vacation and noticed, while stopped at a convenience store, that 3 tires on the van were fully inflated and one was... not. Picture the All-American family (heavily bearded father, ample mother, college-age son with hair down to the middle of his back, the previously-mentioned 17-yo with iPod buds sprouting from his ears, and 2 large dogs) all bursting into song. Brings tears to the eyes, no?

kmkat said...

Sorry, a slight exaggeration above. The dogs did NOT burst into song. They just wagged their little tails and sniffed the tires.

QoE said...

I do know that Sesame Street has changed a bit. 30 years ago I was watching it with my kids and now I get to watch it with my grandkidlets. I haven't seen the "One of these thing" segment and now the numbers of the day go all the way up to 20.
I have also heard that the show is 'exported', but when they do that, they change the characters. I think they said that there would be no frogs in the French version. *grin*
Love, Cathy in MN

Darci said...

My soon to be 15 yo daughter - total Sesame nut...I still have an Bert and Ernie set of mugs that we would dring our morning beverage from while watching all the was Sesame Street. And yes should would yell at the screen when the mystery picture came...Now my 12 yo daughter, not so much...she was a Barney girl, but even then not a TV child. Now she uses it as a "relaxer" and that is about it.

All the Way With Knitting said...

Terrible snorts and a laugh like a hyena has alerted Holly to ask "What is it Mum?" ."Only Franklin dear" ...quite oft. said in our household.Yes we are very familiar with Seasame Street and adored it .That said you make excellent points.There was a quiz show for kids on here with fun and games that asked 10 year olds to identify obvious things like a carrot ,a piano etc .Holly would sit there at the age of six rolling around at athe stupidity.I ain't a bright sparkie ,Holly is brighter but we kinda thought we were normal folks until we saw this.It is no surprise that buying a courgette here can get you into serious trouble with check-out staff who ask "What is thsi" ..it's become standard fodder for comedians.

Jacquie said...

Sesame Street was brought to us by the letter A and the number 7(and probably still is, but I am not there)in the UK. Not when I was a kid - it was Andy Pandy, The Flowerpot Men, and the Woodentops (with the biggest Spotty Dog you ever saw!) in my day. But it was very popular with my children, oldest nearly 22, along with SuperTed and "Bananas in Pyjamas" (an Australian program). They still watch the videos occasionally when feeling nostalgic for their youth.

All the Way With Knitting said...

Just noticed the postscript..thank God for that .Aside from the foresight as when we watched it I am pretty sure The President was Thomas J. Horse ( President Clinton..Holly's name for President Kennedy in fact ..we didn't know that ...poor kid had seen all my book covers and at 3ish thought he was President) .So if asked who is President of America would have said Thomas J. Horse and so impressed she was by him she named her hot-water bottle cover after him.We could not have even imagined the horror of Dubyah .

Laura A. said...

I'd never heard of the W song before. But, though the wonders of the internet, you can watch it online!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeLANOwHfmQ

The Mana Mana song is still the Muppet song that gets sung the most often at our house though (closely followed by C is for Cookie).

Somewhere Else said...

ok - I guess I am now officially old as I can remember watching SeSt in '71 while babysitting the child across the street. I was told it came out of Project Headstart and was used to help bring "urban disadvantaged" children up to snuff before they started school. The segments were waaaaay longer initially 9up to 5 minutes) and then, for some reason, became shorter and shorter. I have spoken with "old" primary teachers who had noticed that children's normally fairly long attention span seemed to be getting shorter and shorter - about to the length of an SeSt clip. Gives one pause, eh????

Erin said...

I say we should start an "I Despise W* Club"... Who's with me?

*the president, not the letter

Melissa said...

Growing up in Seoul (early 80's), I watched Sesame Street every single day. When we moved to the States about the time I was 3 years old, I recall being startled and a bit delighted that my favorite show was also available. It took me just a little bit of time to adjust to the part where everyone was now speaking English instead of Korean.

The Count was my favorite :-)

Jenn said...

Now I feel old - we had Sesame Street songs, like "Rubber Ducky" on 45s. I was born the year it started, so I feel a bit of attachment. My favorite segment was rare - when the red ball would run through some crazy metal track with loops and drops and flags and stuff.

Did you know that when Mr. Hooper died, they waited to address it on the show until Thanksgiving Day so that parents would be home to take care of the grief-stricken children?

When I turned it one day while in college and everyone knew Snuffalupagus, I knew a lot had changed. They owed Big Bird one big apology, and I wish I'd seen it. I always thought that Maria would end up with David, not Luis. Am I the only one? And seeing their daughter REALLY makes me feel old.

My family was just talking on the 4th about all the shows we watched: Electric Company (I wonder how much they paid Lily Tomlin), Villa Allegra, 3-2-1 Contact.... They'll probably all be out on DVD someday. You can download all of the Schoolhouse Rock videos on itunes now.

Thanks for the memories, Franklin!

EvaLux said...

Yep we had it here too. That is how I learned German. It would be on just before our bed time and so we (bro & I) learned German by watching it. To this day people get a kick out of the fact that I learned German watching Sesamstrasse hahaha.
I can not remember anything but the Cookie Monster, Bert & Ernie though. I think the Big Bird thing only came a couple of years later when I didn't watch anymore.
Cheers Eva

Jessica said...

In defense of the more obvious segments of Sesame Street, one of the goals of the show has always been to give children a sense of mastery. To do that for a three year old you sometimes have to lob the ball to them.

I did just learn, while watching the new box set of The Electric Company (it will blow your mind), that the Children's Television Workshop used Laugh In as the model for the pacing of SS and The Carol Burnett Show for the pacing of TEC.

silverarrowknits said...

Do you remember Grover? I LOVED Grover. Even now I think he is a great character, because he would be scared of certain things (just like kids), but then he would turn into Super Grover and he could do anything! Now Sesame Street markets that annoying Elmo.

Tactless Wonder said...

2 cents in:

Yeah, Sesame St. was marketed for 2-4 yr olds. If older than that when you watched (speaking as a former teacher) I would hope we'd all roll our eyes and walk away during the obvious segments.

I can't find it just now, but google "Grover is bitter" for a great 'VH1 behind the music'style Grovermentery.

Judith in Ottawa said...

I know exactly why you've been thinking of Sesame Street. Someone we've been worried about has finally posted again:

http://www.fuzzylogicknits.com/blog/

And I guess seeing some distant corners of the world already represented, it's no surprise that we had SS here in Canada, too. I loved the bits when they would have tiny kids talking to Kermit and you couldn't tell which would be the straight man.

Taphophile said...

Oh yes, we have Sesame Street in Australia.

I think it started the year I started school, 1970, or maybe the summer before. I remember my father coming home from a night shift as I was getting up and turning the television on so we could watch it together. This was an event so special is remains with me. Either it was special that Dad sit down to television with me or that he turned the television on before 6pm. He did not (and does not) approve of watching television during the day, and that included morning and after-school timeslots.

It had such an effect that for the kindergarten fancy dress that year, Mum made me a Big Bird costume by hand sewing endless ribbons of bright yellow crepe paper to a white shirt and trousers. I was a very short, very round Big Bird with a cardboard beak and ringlets and Mum never could get the yellow out of the shirt from where I spilt lemonade on it.

I have been know to sing "C is for Cookie" at morning tea if someone's done some baking and Bert's "L Song", particularly when I get "lumps in my oatmeal" or am changning a "la la la la lightbulb". I also sing the "One of These Things" theme at appropriate times and can count to 10 in Spanish - a language I have never studied.

We also had the "Humphrey B. Bear Show" - a bloke in a bear skin on one of the commercial networks and "Play School" on our public broadcaster. My mother has still not forgiven the Australian Broadcasting Commission for televising the moon landing in 1969 instead of "Play School".

Carol said...

Originally Sesame Street was marketed for older kids, but now its age cohort has become younger. At the same time, they are now expanding the things they teach: numbers now include double digits, they teach Spanish more, etc.

The thing I think is silly and funny about "One of these things" is that back in my day, the lyrics said "One of these kids just doesn't belong" and now it's "One of these kids is doin' his own thing." Mustn't stigmatize the one who's not bowing to peer pressure.

By the way, I loathe Rosita, Zoe and some of the other new generation Muppets. If you search You Tube (youtube.com), you can see some wonderful sketches of old Sesame Streets and foreign ones.

Fidget said...

I still love the Rubber Ducky song!

Anonymous said...

Franklin, you grownup-with-no-children, you. Generally speaking kids love repetition, they love solving puzzles, they love it when things are waaaay obvious because of course they assume that others can't figure the problem out but THEY can.

You will note, by the way, that I am assuming Dolores is not a child, though some of her antics are shockingly child-like.

How's about posting more of those great pix of your trip? Some more of the Dardanelles would be nifty.

Anne said...

I saw La Calle Sesame in Chile a few times, too.

I've had the 'one of these things' song stuck in my head lately and couldn't figure out where it came from. Love the Rubber Ducky song though.

Surely I'm not the only one partial to Oscar?

Margot said...

Great flashback, thanks. Of course, now I have 'One of these things...' stuck in my head!

This part though: Or three Republican presidents and an elephant's butt. I don't get it. Explain, please. Which one is different?

Renee said...

We see Sesame Street in Canada too. Of course, we get a lot of it via American TV but when I was a kid there was also a Canadian version. We all got to learn a wee bit of French instead of Spanish. They even had some different muppets. I remember Louis and Basil (an otter and a polar bear I think). We had segments that said "zed" instead of "zee" and one really catchy song about Canadian currency ("a quarter has a caribou on it, on it"). I still occasionally sing "Ladybug's Picnic" to myself.

--Deb said...

I loved Sesame Street when I was a kid (and Electric Company, too). SS came out JUST at the right time for me to learn to read, and I remember my sister and I would run into the kitchen every day after the show and Mom would ask, "What did you learn today?" "We learned 8 and the letter E!" We both loved it. I always adored the Count, and I loved Big Bird's not-quite invisible friend the Snufflelufagus, that all of US knew was real, but everyone on the show thought was pretend. I was crushed, watching this with my niece 14 years or so ago, when I found out that everyone could see him now, because "they" thought it was a Bad Thing to encourage invisible friends. That's nonsense, I think--invisible friends can empower a child, at least for a while. (Heck, in grade school, after reading the Hobbit, I had Gandalf as an invisible friend--during tests, he'd walk up to the teacher's desk, look at the answers, and then come back to tell me. He was VERY helpful.)

Cheryl said...

When my son was about 2-1/2 we took him to see SESAME STREET LIVE. He was adorable; smiling, clapping; and when ELMO came out on the stage --you would have thought he had seen GOD. It's a look I will never forget. (it is now 7 years later)

Ruth said...

We watch a lot of Sesame Street around here, and the "25 Years of Sesame Street" CDs are our current favorites (yes, the music I listen to these days is dictated by my 4 year old).

When we first started watching the Street with the kids, I couldn't understand who the red Grover was. Stupid Elmo. He's too chipper by half.

Here's a link to "Grover is Bitter": http://www.zeroboutique.com/grover/grover1.htm, although Alice at Finslippy would argue that Elmo is preferable to Ernie (http://finslippy.typepad.com/finslippy/2004/10/ernie_loves_onl.html).

Anonymous said...

I was 13 when SS began.

didn't watch during high school years, but in college it was the 'in' thing to do (that and soap operas).

my favorite song is "somebody come and play". I also like "I don't wanna live on the moon".

favorite character is kermit - I can still see him and lena horne singing "it's not easy being green".

PS - I agree with erin on the W* club; you rock, girl!

anne marie in philly

FiberQat said...

Anne, you're not the only Oscar "Oh I love trash!" the Grouch fan. I'd make up my own lyrics to that song.

SS came out when I was too old for it, but I fell in love with the songs, the cartoons, and the vignettes. It taught me how to count in Spanish and showed me kids growing up in New York City, which for this kid was like a foreign country.

Nowadays, when someone in a group I'm with says "One of these things is not like the other", it's a rare bird that doesn't get the reference.

Bonnita said...

It's been a very long day. C is for Cookie has been running full tilt in my head all day. I mean cripes, I was humming it at bingo tonight.

Vintageme said...

I loved Sesame Street ,Mum or Dad always watched it with me .My favourite song was "Rubber Ducky" and I liked Luis and Maria and Mum thought having Spanish was great as America should be bi-lingual English and Spanish .I am sure there was this adorable baby called "Flo" possibly whose Dad left her with Maria and she'd crawl off ? Mum mentioned that I got into trouble for pronouncing "Zed" as "Zee" at school .I am not sure why because Mum read alphabet books too but I was so in love with the whole Sesame Street World I thought they were right .Mum laughed at the reference to "The Woodentops" as she loved them along with "Andy Pandy " and "Tales of the Riverbank" .We talked about the cow thing last night and there were other kids shows here notably "Postman Pat" for me with cows,sheep,horses etc .I also think the mosy invaluable books I ever had were Janet and Allan Ahlberg .THe Babie's catalogue of toys,animals,etc was read over and over to me so I also got into trouble for wanting to fast forward to more interesting books at school because I had read so many at home .Now you know why Mum took me out of school at eight .Aside from racial bullying and the most unimaginative teachers in the World I had always had a better education at home with more access to art materials ,books ,and above all Mum's dedication.

Rosie said...

We certainly got Sesame Street screened here in the UK and it was the inspiration behind one of my all-time favourite cartoons in "Private Eye" (satirical mag). It was the "second summer of love" and the newspapers were full of diapproving articles about rave culture and young people high on ecstacy (or "E"). The cartoon? Big Bird hand cuffed and pushed up against a cop car, with a caption that read "Big Bird is busted for dealing E's".

Classic!

Sister Sue said...

I was singing Ernie's "L" song JUST last night as we walked through Portland after Julie's wedding (we walked by some LAMPOSTS!). I love the W song. Maybe we'll sing it together next week! Too bad that letter has such bad associations right now.

Remember when I taped a segment of Sesame Street so I could show it to you later? I was in high school and you were in college. It was the segment about "Burt's Blanket" and I believe part of it's charm was the singing and dancing SHEEP! Must have been a sign...

Norskybear said...

Sesame Street really must be universal, although our remembered experiences are definitely unique.

In Canada, we had French segments. To this day, I still like to spell out the word "autobus" all in one breath:

(a-oo-tay-o-bay-oo-s)

My favorite jingle was the pinball segment: 1-2-3-4-5, 6-7-8-9-10, 11, 12.

Bert and Ernie taught me all I needed to know to be in a committed and loving gay relationship.

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roggey said...

Say, three Sunnis and a Shiite.

omyhell! I love you for that line alone (& all my friends are going to get a note with a link to this entry).

Ted said...

Bobbin lace?

Celeste Aïda?

Your Sesame Street was different to mine, and not just about the "Zed" and "Zee" gig.

Laustin said...

When I was about 5 (1970ish) my mom and I were at the local Safeway grocery and the checkout clerk put an insert into our grocery bag announcing the coming of a new kids show on PBS. My mom took note and sat me down a few days later to watch the very first inaugural broadcast of Sesame Street. Or, at least, the first broadcast on the Dallas area PBS station. I have no idea if the premier was simultaneous nationwide.

Will Pillage For Yarn said...

One of the things I enjoyed most about working as a nanny and then having kids of my own in my late teens/early 20's was the opportunity to watch Sesame Street again.

I will confess that there are several selections in my ipod, such as, the Lambaabaa (and I count them!) and Put Down The Duckie. You'd be surprised, but they're really great workout songs. And nothing clears a path to the treadmill faster than a woman yelling, "PUT DOWN THE DUCKIE, yeah you've GOTTA leave the duck ALONE!" and doing a little dance in the gym.

Heather said...

Ha! I started singing "One of these things" with my mom the other day about something. Then we both had it stuck in our heads for the rest of the day. Neither of us could remember all the words, though, so I got home and looked it up:

http://members.tripod.com/tiny_dancer/one.html

There are indeed several versions. Thanks for the time-warp!

Lucia said...

I miss the old-style SS, where they would show a sequence of shots of some number of trees, tennis balls, chairs, etc., and finally a waiter would come out with a tray of n exceptionally gooey and whipped-creamy things and fall down the stairs and get it all over himself. They would have nature montages with music, no words -- one of them was a late-winter stream flowing to the slow movement of Vivaldi's lute concerto. Elmo, Zoe and Rosita didn't exist yet, and Kermit was a regular. Oh, and they didn't have the regimented format they have now, where you know exactly. what. you. will. get. every. single. time. and there's no spontaneity whatsoever. Yes, I know little kids love routine, so sue me. Bring back Grover and the mail segment and the fire segment ("The fire's out." "The fire's out!" "The fire's out." They're goin' baaack to the fiiiirehouse...) and the water/music machine (a later entry, but one of the few good ones). And Kermit. Please.

Beth S. said...

I heard an interview with Bob McGrath over the weekend, THE Bob, and he commented on "One of These Things", that the adults thought that the answers were obvious, but the kids made different connections. He said that after a couple years it was changed to "Some of These Things"

When my kids were watching, in the early '90's, there was a series of poorly animated, voiced by an adult (think Edith Ann) segments that I absolutely despised. And they started turning away from realistic colors in the animation (don't talk to me about the Muppets-I OWNED an Anything Muppet!) And Zoe was at that time such a worrywart-she may have changed now, but I still don't like her. "But what if...?"

We (my younger siblings) had the 45's-with the book with the words!-and I loved the ones that Oscar did!

Also, when I was an AFS student in Israel, they had a locally produced version there.

Adele said...

Sesame St has been showing in Australia for at least 30 yrs. There were a few British kids' shows when I was a toddler (early 70s) eg Basil Brush and Flowerpot Men, but they were far more obscure and short-lived.

I wish I'd seen the episode where Snuffalufagus is outed; I always felt bad for Big Bird that no one believed him.

A few years ago I was watching it and saw Little Richard performing Rubber Ducky, complete with his typically red-hot piano!

Linda said...

We defused one of our family intergenerational arguments here, in Australia, last week by reminding our teenager that she was an Ernie and her Dad was a Bert - instant understanding. I loved the earlier comment by the person who sang One of these things..when the tyre was flat. We do the same thing at completely inappropriate moments in life, including Gay Right issues.

deltabluesman said...

Hi Franklin ,thanks for all the joy you bring to angie ( knittingandrfk) .I am seven years younger than her so was an early viewer .Oscar is my favourite.

Natalie Servant said...

I don't think I watched much Sesame Street, but in reading your piece I suddenly remembered Kermit and his News Flash segments interviewing nursery story characters. Oh, and I loved the Count too.

Mama Lu said...

I remember reading about a woman in Detroit who was convinced that her daughter was reliving a past life because she was speaking French, even though she had never been exposed to it. It turned out that the child had picked up a few words from watching Canadian Sesame Street on the Windsor station.

My daughter is 21 now, but every year she and I watch the Christmas on Sesame Street episode--the one where Oscar asks Big Bird how Santa gets down that skinny chimney, and Ernie and Bert do a "Gift of the Magi" thing involving Rubber Ducky and Bert's paperclip collection.

Mary K. in Rockport said...

"La, la, la - linoleum!" It was fun to have kids so I could watch S.S. Could still watch, I guess, if I want to. Loved that there were so many sly bits that were funny to adults that kids didn't get. Yes there is an Israeli S.S., "Rehov Shumshum," (literally Sesame Street.) Get this - once in the 80's, we were able to visit the S.S. set. We waited in the little dark lobby for a moment, then were let in to the set. It was like the part in "Wizard of Oz" where the movie turns from black and white to color - overwhelming light, color and bustle. It was fabulous. Also interesting to see how the puppeteers scoot around on their backs on trolleys. Everyone there on the set was nice and seemed to just like kids (mine were 1 and 4 at the time.) We had one unsettling moment where we spied Carroll Spinney standing around with Big Bird's legs on held up by suspenders while Big Bird's torso lay beak down on the floor beside him........

Jon said...

Oh come on...I think you are being a little rough. I mean, look what the kiddies have now..Teletubbies? Are you kidding me? Sure to rot the child's brain by the time it's 2.

Jax said...

Yes, yes, the older SS, with a different pace and less predictability, was wonderful.

And Elmo is evil.

But there is one glorious moment for me in the newer episodes: REM singing "Shiny Happy Monsters." Michael Stipe actually looks sorta cheerful.

David said...

As tiresome as you might think I would have found the sequences, I never tired of Jim Henson capping off the tribute to a particular number by toppling down a staircase with a tray full of some manner of pie.

I believe I was the original Sesame Street generation. Not sure what that says about the effectiveness of the program. At least I'm not in jail.

Lia said...

Love, love, love Sesame Street. What about "Aligator King" and "Ladybug Picnic"? Those were two of my favorite songs. Did you know that in an effort to combat childhood obesity Cookie Monster's name has been changed to "Eating Monster"???? WTF??? Even to this day, whenever someone in our family makes cookies, everyone lets out a good throaty "cooooooo-kieeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!"

Nerdy Knitter said...

Aah, Sesame Street...a major part of my childhood, too. I loved Kermit "thee" frog as a detective; the temperamental composer/pianist; Bert & Ernie (especially the pigeon song); and Grover ("And I'm cute, too!"). Sigh.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

PuppyMomma said...

When I was in high school I spent one summer in Saratoga Springs at a dance program. One of our 'counsellors' was a cast member of Sesame Street. He had double-duty. He was the ass-end of Snuffleupagus, and also the voice of The Count. We teased him mercilessly. Especially since apparently no on except for Big Bird could see him.....

Stephanie said...

I remember thinking that these two were brilliant.

The twiddlebugs try to go to the zoo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5cucPPxaQU&mode=related&search=

And this one. My all time favourite:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVjNX73l858&search=sesame

Turns out I miss Sesame Street.

BrooklynMom said...

And the Ladybugs came...to the ladybug picnic. One, two, three..four, five, six... My all-time favorite!

Never commented before, just wanted to say hello. I dearly love your blog.

nadine said...

We had sesame street in singapore(along with electric company and lassie and flipper - but not mr rogers). I also watched it in Germany when I visited my grandmother. I hated the animal vignettes. I never saw the point and they seemed interminable. One of these things was not wildly exciting but at least you could predict when it ended.

CatR said...

The variety of animation styles and music was fantastic. I'm sure this is many people's first exposure to the sound of a saxophone.

Claire said...

"One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just isn't the same.
Can you tell which thing is not like the others?
Now it's time - to pla-ay our game!"

Which is the CURRENT version of the OLD song, which follows:

"One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong.
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish this song?"

I'm sure they changed it because if you're different, it's not that you don't belong, just that you're - well, DIFFERENT. :-)

Yea, yea, I know - the fact that I know these two different songs - and that while listening with my daughter I said, "That's not the song I used to sing...!" says something about me. I'm not sure what.

However - I will say this proudly:

Cookie Monster is my Hero.

JoVE said...

One of the evils of Sesame Street, which has been brought to my attention by my brother (and elementary school teacher) is that the format is in short segments with 'ads'. Not real ads but ads for the letter 'M' or the number '8'. thus it also taught us the format of commercial TV and presented everything in the required short attention span segments while appearing to be commercial free. Very clever.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is remember when Barkley was 8ft tall and stuffed???

www.crearpaginaweb.com said...

For my part one and all ought to look at it.