It was entertaining, educational, adorable, innocent, playful, and fun. It was Sesame Street, the groundbreaking show in children’s television programming. It debuted on PBS on November 10th, 1969, and this week Sesame Street is commemorating its 40th anniversary. I LOVED Sesame Street. My brother and I were regular viewers. Our parents loved it too!
Maybe because its been around for so long, we forget what a wonderful show Sesame Street is in terms of message and substance. Along with the smiles, jokes, laughter, and memorable Muppet characters sprung from the brilliant creative mind of Jim Henson, Sesame Street consistently promoted lessons of tolerance, compassion, and acceptance. The show has had its detractors over the years, mostly ultra-conservatives who have accused the show of having a “liberal agenda”. (Oh god, someone make it stop)
I think we’ve gone way too far with scrutiny in our culture. Legitimate criticism is one thing, nitpicking is another. In this crass, snarky, cynical age of Family Guy and South Park, it seems rather petty to criticize an uplifiting show like Sesame Street for depicting a character riding a bike without a helmet 🙄 Let’s get some perspective here folks.
Sesame Street was, and always will be, a cultural icon. The program’s fundamental goal was to encourage children to learn, to be the best citizens they can be, to strive for a better world, and to value friendship and community. Those are the lessons I remember. Happy Anniversary Sesame Street!
The Chawed Rosin has a great post honoring Sesame Street’s 40th with animation and audio. Definitely check it out.
Laughing and learning is a terrific combination. Here’s a vintage Sesame Street clip of the Cookie Monster singing “C is for Cookie”. C is also for “Claudia”, but nevermind 🙂
Have a great weekend everyone!!