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Just A Street Gang: Happy 40th Birthday, Sesame Street

Sesamestreet I never knew that Sesame Street was part of the Great Society Initiative, created by President Lyndon B Johnson to help educate inner city youth who were largely left behind in school. I know now, of course, because I've been voraciously reading reviews of Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street, and put it on the top of my list of books I absolutely have to read.

Sesame Street was and continues to be a vital part of early childhood. From the Muppets to Mr. Hooper's store, to the cartoons we still hum every time someone counts to twelve (One two thee FOUR five...) Sesame Street IS childhood. So in honor of the show's 40th birthday, let's find out some fun facts about where everyone comes to play.

Do you remember when Mr. Snuffelupagus was thought to be Big Bird's imaginary friend? Well, the writers changed their minds and revealed him to the rest of Sesame Street because they were concerned that kids would think that if they told a grownup something that only the child saw, the adult wouldn't believe them.

When Gordon became a teacher in 2001, he was finally given a last name (Robinson, after the first actor who played him.)

Will Lee was the name of the actor who played Mr. Hooper. When the actor died, a grieving cast taught kids (yours truly included) about death.

Linda was the first Deaf character to be featured on American television.

Oscar The Grouch was originally orange.

The show has won over 100 Emmy Awards, the most of any American television show.

After Jim Henson's death in 1990, Kermit was retired from new sketches until 1998.

Bert and Ernie did not share a room originally.

The Count was born on October 6, 1,830,635 BC.


Happy Birthday, Sesame Street. 40 looks good on ya.

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Comments

Alyssa

I laugh my head off every time this episode comes on... which is a lot.

Eliza

Excuse me while I quickly click over to Zappos...

inkypop

This totes filled my day with happy. Many thanks!

Renee

Nothing better than a muppet. Thanks!

Monica

What can't NPH do??

Vickie

I loved Sesame Street Unpaved--the book that celebrated the show's 30th anniversary! Lots of great photos, great background stories. I learned from that book that Oscar was originally orange and Big Bird wasn't the gloriously-plumed bird he became by season 2.

Am looking forward to the new season--Michelle Obama taped a segment!!

Fraulein Furioso

I loved Sesame Street and still watch old clips on YouTube to this day. It's like comfort food - makes me so happy!




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