Tuesday, November 10, 2009

warning: this will get stuck in your head

Thoughts upon seeing this old school Sesame Street video (thanks, Max, for posting it on Facebook!):

  • God, those faces are so familiar. I had Fisher Price Little People action figures of them. If you can call a small plastic person with no arms and no legs an “action figure.”
  • Damn, they’re young. I thought they were my parents’ age. Oh, wait, I guess my parents were young then too.
  • Sesame Street practically invented diversity on TV. Thanks to Sesame Street, I understood multicultural harmony on some gut level long before I actually experienced it (which, since I grew up in Manhattan Beach, was when I went away to college).
  • I guess Mr. Hooper was Jewish?
  • Do you think Bob was gay?
  • I was talking to a girl at a party a few nights ago who said that her parents never let her watch any TV besides Sesame Street when she was a kid. When she was old enough to stay home alone, she would binge on TV and then ice down the set, which her parents would touch when they got home to see if it was hot from use. She said, “My sole mission in life was to defy my mother.” When my parents told me to do something, I always listened. I think this is why said girl is much more successful professionally than I am now. Whenever I see one of those bumper stickers that says, “Well-behaved women rarely make history,” I sigh sadly.
Then again, do you really need much more than Sesame Street? Happy 40th, Sesame!


Claire said...


I loved Sesame Street when I was little and on the stray occasions I've seen it as an adult. Their website has lots of video clips, many of them vintage:

Two very handy to know Spanish words (especially when I lived in LA) I learned from Sesame Street: abierto and cerrado.

Happy birthday, Sesame Street!

Max said...

I'm so glad you liked the clip. Mr. Hooper was in fact Jewish, or at least Will Lee (who played him) was not only Jewish but blacklisted for many years, so his fame on Sesame Street is extra-deserved, in my eyes. Youtube the clip where he goes surfing in Hawaii -- it's precious.

Also notice Maria and David's body language in this clip -- they were dating off-screen and trying to subversively bring some of that energy on-screen.

Bob is super-married in real life, not that this tells us anything. I like to think his character on Sesame Street is gay, but they keep trying to set him up with women like Linda and Ruth Buzzi.

I love how it's David alone at the end. The actor who played him died tragically from medical mistreatment, according to some sources, and he has a special place in my heart.

Thanks for letting me nerd out, Cheryl!

Ms. Q said...

I have it on good authority that Bert and Ernie were supposed to be the gay couple.

Cheryl said...

C: I totally remember the abierto/cerrado video. I loved those little forays off the street--especially the trip to the crayon factory, and the girl who took her llama to the dentist. For years I tried to convince my parents that it was feasible to have a llama in the city.

M: Wow, you are like the Page Six of Sesame Street! I love it. Maria and David make a great couple.

Ms. Q: Have you heard the Avenue Q take on this concept? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL7kcFdGGPM

CC said...

The Count had such happenin' facial hair back in the day! When did they make him shave?

msedano said...

I was in the Army reading Newsweek's story about this new television series for kids, "Sesame Street." Aug1970 I returned from Korea and among the first things I did was turn on a teevee to watch the delightful program. I said lah dee dah deedah... you probably have no idea how refreshing and affirming that program seemed then. Indeed, happy birthday Sesame Street.


Cheryl said...

What a great story! I'm sure Big Bird and crew are happy to know they brighten more than little kids' days.

Peter Varvel said...

Yes, by the time I became a young adult, Bob definitely beeped on the gaydar.
I think the writers may be holding back from officially bringing him together with Alan, the new proprietor of Hooper's.
I still sniffle when I think about Big Bird being sad and confused over his death.