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.