Friday, 9 May 2014

Flashback Friday - Sesame Street

Sunny Day
Sweepin' the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet

Can you tell me how to get,
How to get to Sesame Street

I have a memory, of watching this when i was tiny and as I got older ... it's probably the longest running children's TV show I can think of. My memories of it (as a UK resident) are of it being on Channel 4 very early in the morning. After a bit of researching my memories served correctly it was on Channel 4 (showing at the same time as The Hoobs - another secret love of mine - is now which is around 6am).

I did mourn the loss of Sesame Street when Ben came along as it was a TV show I would have loved for him to grow up with, but sadly it stopped airing in the UK in 2001. I searched high and low for repeats to no avail..... that is until the lovely Virgin Media people installed our TV on Wednesday .... they have a channel called Tiddlers TV and .... on demand .... for my every waking minutes please....... 5 series of Sesame Street.

Sitting Ben down on the sofa we forfeited story time for a glimpse into mummy's childhood...... and he LOVED it just as much as I did.

Cookie Monster, Little Bear and Telly the characters came flooding back to me, Oscar the Grouch, Big Bird and Grover they were all still there (this series was aired in 2005, 20 years after I would have seen the originals) and who could forget the lovely Snuffy or the numbers from The Count. Of course Ben recognised Bert and Ernie from their spin off show. Then you had the humans, as soon as I heard the voices of Bob and Maria I knew (and IMDB has confirmed) are still played by the same people as all those years ago. In fact Bob McGrath (Bob) and Sonia Manzano (Maria) have been with the show since the early days of 1969/ 1971.

Background/ History

Sesame Street is a long-running American children's television series, aimed at pre-schoolers created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett. The program has educational content, and images being "brought to you by the number/s ? and ? and the letter/s ? and ?" and usually at least 1 shape represented in every episode. The show is mainly communicated through the use of Jim Henson's Muppets, animation but does have a few humans including the use of children to interact with the puppets.

The series premiered on November 10, 1969 and still going .... that's a 44 year series with over 4,300 episodes .... not many would be able to beat that and still keep the high viewing figures.

Sesame Street is an hour long, which may seem a lot for young children when regular programmes are a maximum of 15 minutes in length. However Sesame Street is so well made up of segmented features it is like a lot of mini programmes in one.

Never one to shy from real life during the 1980s, the show incorporated the real-life experiences of the shows cast and crew, including the death of Will Lee (Mr. Hooper) and the pregnancy of Sonia Manzano (Maria) whose daughter, Gabi grew up 'on the street'.. In later seasons, Sesame Street would address real-life disasters such as the September 11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina.

Sesame Street also had it's far share of celebrities appear, generally as themselves. Buzz Aldrin came to talk to Cookie Monster about the Moon, the Backstreet Boys appeared to sing with Elmo, Robert De Niro explained what an 'actor' is to Elmo, Will.I.Am performed a song with a few characters, Robin Williams has appeared 6 times altogether, even Ricky Gervais has appeared.... and we all remember James Blunt's appearance and his song about Triangles.... don't we

Come and play
Everything's A-OK
Friendly neighbours there
That's where we meet

Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street

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