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Monday, November 09, 2009

Sunny Day, Chasing the Clouds Away

If you've gone to Google the past week or so, you could not help but to have noticed the visual tributes to Sesame Street. The program hits its 40th anniversary tomorrow, November 10. For someone past the targeted demographic - I was almost 17 when it first aired - there was a period in which I watched it a great deal, especially in college.

The recollection is now fuzzy, but the Muppets of Jim Henson would show up on a number of variety shows in the 1960s. Possibly the first character to make the transition from the Henson act to Sesame Street was Kermit the Frog. Kermit was green, as I am (of sorts) and early on sang a tune about the difficulty of that fact, something about blending in with so many other ordinary things, and people passing you "over 'cause you're not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water or stars in the sky." Boy, could I relate. Kermit was also often a bit exasperated, as I was.

Here's part of the first episode, before a slew of guest stars discovered that it was cool to appear on Sesame Street.

But it wasn't just the Muppets that appealed to me. Bob McGrath, who plays Bob, looked very familiar; perhaps I recognized him from Sing Along with Mitch (Miller)? I also liked Susan, played forever by Loretta Long. Don't know how long I was watching, but it was enough time that I remember both the old Gordon (Matt Robinson) and the "new" (1973) Gordon, Roscoe Orman, switched in a very Darrin Stephens way. I even went out and bought a soundtrack album in those first years, which unfortunately got lost or stolen. So when the 10th anniversary album came out in 1979, although I wasn't actively watching the show anymore, I purchased it. More than that, I played it quite often for a good decade.

Jaquandor has a bunch of Sesame Street YouTube links, including an early version of "Bein' Green" and the one the one about explaining death that manages to make me tear up every damn time.


1 comment:

Nik said...

It is one of my big sadnesses that Sesame Street doesn't seem to air in NZ -- it once did, as Avril remembers it as a kid, but not now, which means the boy is growing up without Sesame Street. Sigh.