Monday, November 09, 2009

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

So all last week, Google had Sesame Street characters on their home page, in honor of the show's 40th anniversary, and it got me to thinking about my own Sesame Street-watching days.

I came to the show slightly late, in 1976 at age five-going-on-six, when we moved from Missouri to Ohio and could get a PBS station on our TV for the first time. I remember coming home from kindergarten and first grade and flopping down to watch SS with my brother and sister, who were toddlers.

My very favorite Sesame Street Muppets were Bert and Ernie. Or more specifically, Bert. He was slightly acerbic, slightly pessimistic. He enjoyed quiet pastimes like sorting his paper clips and watching pigeons. He was always foiled in these pursuits by goofy, gregarious Ernie. I loved them both, but I could
relate to Bert. Watching classic clips on Youtube as a grown-up, I'm now aware of Jim Henson and Frank Oz workng behind the scenes, who brought so much to those characters and played off each other so well.

Love this one: Bert Feels Cold. And this one: Ernie Tries to Remember. And: What Time Is It?Ernie's Note. These are like two-minute sitcoms for kids.

My other favorite was Grover, or "lovable, furry old Grover," as he referred to himself. I loved it when he would spaz out with his pipe-cleaner arms flying around. Frank Oz was responsible for Grover, too--he sure did some wonderful stuff for us kids of the 70s and 80s, didn't he? Here Grover demonstrates Near and he is a waiter: (love the waiter skits!) The Big Hamburger and A Fly in My Soup.

That is just good stuff.

The animated segments were great, too:

12 Pinball
M for Magic
The Ladybugs' Picnic (try getting this song out of your head...I've been trying for 30+ years.)
Jazzy Spies (I didn't know what this was but I sure recognized it once I clicked!)
A Loaf of Bread, a Container of Milk and a Stick of Butter (I still recite this to myself at the grocery store sometimes.)

And do you remember The Mad Painter? I bet you do.

Thanks, Sesame Street! The memories are so much fun.


wholarmor said...

We sometimes watch Sesame Street with our kids during lunch time. It's fun to see how much it has changed, and yet it still retains the same things from our childhood, too! I credit Sesame Street for my early reading skills.

I did a really mean impression of Grover's "Near/Far" routine when I was growing up, lol.

Heidi said...

I loved Sesame Street and always have had a sense of disappointment that my children only liked Elmo. And my son didn't even really care for him either.

Near, Far is one of my all time faves! And Oscar the grouch was the guy I loved best. ;) He liked his mess, his ways, and just wanted to be left alone about it!

Great post!

BeverlyD said...

I love Sesame Street (and all of the old-time PBS shows.) I totally attribute my learning and eagerness for learning to those shows because, Lord knows, my family did not exactly foster any sort of educational enrichment. I remember saying "agua" for water before I even knew it was a foreign word. :)
And who can forget the famous dance, "Doing the pigeon"?

scrapmom4 said...

We still call my younger brother "stinker brother" because he would recite "a loaf of bread..." before he could really talk, and it sounded like he was calling himself "stinker brother." Poor kid. :)

Truly my favorite animated one is the Ladybugs' Picnic. It's been stuck in my head since the first viewing, as well, I'm certain. Brilliant.

Thanks for the walk down a very funny and really happy memory lane!

scrapmom4 said...

My sister posted about this interesting article about how SS has been "cleaned up" for this generation. I think that may be why it's more boring to kids these days.