Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Come And Play...

Sesame Street turned 40 this month and there are all sorts of interviews and news stories around that have stirred up for me all of my personal nostalgia for this show.  I was born in 1966 and Sesame Street came along in 1969.  As a three-year old for the debut, I consider myself a member of the first full generation of Sesame Street.  At that age, I was only allowed to watch Public Television.  A wise choice by my parents.  I watched Mister Rogers, Sesame Street and the Electric Company with delight!  As I grew a bit older, I missed The Partridge Family, but fell in love with Zoom.   Sesame Street, however, holds the strongest and fondest memories for me.  In fact, you may be impressed to learn, the card above is not any old postcard, but a card personally sent to me from Ernie and Bert.

Try not to be too jealous, but yes, I do consider them close personal friends.

I kept my Sesame Street 45 RPM records in a case similar to this one.  My own, however, was covered in pink faux fur and had eyes, similar to a muppet monster.  Of all the 45's my favorite, hands down, is "I Love Trash."  I must have played that over and over again, and, can still recite all the lyrics for you if you like.  Perhaps, however, you would like to hear it from the master?  If so, click below:

One story line from Sesame Street that always stuck with me, was the invisibility of Mr. Snuffleupagus to adults.  Week after week I would sit and watch Big Bird talking to his enormous friend, and, watch Mr. Snuffleupagus's tail whisk around the corner just at the moment that an adult came into the area.  EVERY TIME I would think "Ok, this is it!  They are going to see him."  And EVERY TIME I would feel so sympathetic for Big Bird.

Eventually, I became too old for Sesame Street, and, by the mid-1970's had moved on to other things.  Even my younger brother, born in 1970, was no longer watching by the 1980's.  It was with shock, SHOCK therefore that I recall a day about 8 years ago that I stood in the break room of the local Public Television station where I worked, making myself a coffee, and glanced up at the monitor to see MR. SNUFFLEUPAGUS TALKING TO ADULTS!   What the?  I immediately started asking people "When could adults start to see Mr. Snuffleupagus?"  They had no idea what I was talking about.  "They could always see him." They replied.  Was this a conspiracy?  No.  They simply were born a little later than I, or, had watched it with their children beginning in the 1980's.  Upon further research I learned that there was an episode that had aired at some point where the adults DID see Mr. Snuffleupagus for the first time.  I started asking my PBS colleagues at meetings and conferences "How can I see that episode, you know, the one where the adults see Mr. Snuffleupagus for the first time?"  I thought this was a normal question.  They thought I was insane.

The other day, I was grinning and listening to an interview with Gordon from the show, and, it suddenly dawned on me... YOU TUBE!  OMG, my heart was racing, I went to the computer, and,...oh my...there it was!  The episode.  Episode #2096.  The episode where Snuffy is revealed.  November 1985.  24 years ago. I got it set up and took a deep breath and pressed PLAY.  If you want to do the same click below:

Ok, I admit it.  I cried.  I literally cried.  I had been waiting for this moment since I was 5 years old!  Finally, finally, Big Bird was vindicated.   The adults actually APOLOGIZED to him. What a moment.  What a moment...




  1. Oh my god, you really do save everything!

  2. That video is SO AWESOME! I missed that one too. It was in between our groups of kids. (my stepchildren who watched Sesame St in the 1970s and our current batch, early to mid 1990s) That was really sweet.

    I have a similar postcard but from a wonderful 1950s show with puppets called "Kukla, Fran, and Ollie" I sent them something and they "wrote back." complete with signatures. Old scrapbooks FTW!

  3. I never saw the episode where they could finally see Mr. Snufflupagus. I knew that they could see him now because since 1985 I have had some sort of young 'un in the house. We must have just missed it in 1985. My husband and I still watch it sometimes even when the kids aren't around. Now with the birth of Troll #3 two years ago, we are again familiar with the current episodes. I wish sometimes that they would show the older ones, the ones we grew up with. Great post!!

  4. Priceless! I LOL'd at the part where you start asking your PBS colleagues "How can I see that episode, you know, the one where the adults see Mr. Snuffleupagus for the first time?" (ducking as I admit I STILL did not know they could see him... can ya tell I don't have kids??) Fun post.

  5. Correction!! Here I am trying to add 10 years to my life.. the kids didn't start coming until 1995!! Whew!

  6. What are you drinking at those conventions? Klingon juice? Kaplow!

  7. I'm teary eyed too, of course you are one year OLDER than me (LOL!) but we were tuned into the very same things~~which was basically all there was to watch anyway! (Remember the rainbow lines that would come on after a certain point at night? They used to freak me out!)
    I have to admit I didn't know the grown ups could see him either, and he was always my favorite! Those big eyelashes, he's so adorable. Thanks for the nostalgic trip to my childhood!

  8. You know I love your blogs, but this certainly brings back memories. Things were not close-captioned then so I wasn't privy to the dialogue so this was "news" to me. I also loved the Electric Company, Zoom, and Mr. Rogers as well as the Sunday night Disney specials.

  9. Just reread this. Can you believe the GOP wants to totally cut funding to PBS, which would mean the axe for wonderful shows like Sesame Street?

  10. Maybe the Democrats should rename it the "Kill Big Bird" Bill, although, I think I may not be far off from reality...


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