Cultura y Literatura
LIFE Sesame Street at 50

LIFE Sesame Street at 50

LIFE Sesame Street at 50

For half a century, Sesame Street and its famous fuzzy friends, Bert and Ernie, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo, and others have been teaching kids not just their ABCs, numbers, new words, and math skills but also about their emotions and complicated experiences. Now, this special edition takes you back to the beginning and behind the scenes of the beloved show. From its early days, Sesame Street not only raised kids' test scores but also taught its young viewers about equality and shaped the international dialogue around education, parenting, childhood development, and cultural diversity. Find out how Sesame Street came to be. Trace its social consciousness and its powerful influence calming children's fears. Revisit the many stars (Michelle Obama, Lauren Bacall, David Beckham, Jimmy Fallon, and more) who dropped by the special street. Learn how Sesame Ventures has expanded its mission-aligned work to education and technology workshops. This is your chance to collect the pure charm and delight that has made Sesame Street an important must-watch for children of all ages.

País:
United States
Idioma:
English
Editor:
Meredith Corporation
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3 min.
how do you get there?

IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST TUMULTUOUS summers in American history, with Vietnam, the moon landing, Chappaquiddick, the Manson murders, and Woodstock inducing a kind of national whiplash. But in the fall after that summer of 1969, Sesame Street came into American homes, bringing with it an innocent joy—a sunny day, sweeping the clouds away. Sesame Street was a one-hour experiment in educating children through television, and from the very start it looked and sounded like nothing that came before it: It was racially diverse; it mixed live actors and puppets; it was recorded in a studio but also had filmed remote segments; and everything was done with domestic warmth and slapstick humor and a kindness devoid of treacle. The 8'2" canary and trench-coated frog were offset by a misanthropic green…

12 min.
sesame seeds

AT A DINNER PARTY IN 1966 IN THE Manhattan apartment of Joan Ganz Cooney—a television producer at WNDT (now WNET), New York City’s educational station—Lloyd Morrisett of the philanthropic Carnegie Corporation told Cooney a story: On a recent Sunday morning, he had found his three-year-old daughter, Sarah, sitting mesmerized in front of the TV, gazing at a test pattern, waiting for the cartoons to come on. Children’s shows, at the time, were unlikely to teach Sarah much of anything, Morrisett knew, beyond novel acts of cartoon mayhem. In the weeks and years to follow, Cooney—with funding from the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education—set about creating a show for children that would also appeal to their parents, that would never condescend to preschoolers, and that would…

21 min.
a man and his muppets

ONE PERSON MORE THAN ANY OTHER gave Sesame Street its revolutionary felt-and-foam palette, its vaudevillian sense of humor and old-school showbiz sensibility, to say nothing of the vast majority of the show’s characters. Jim Henson was born in Mississippi in 1936. When he was in fifth grade, his family moved to Maryland, where he fell under the spell of a new medium, television. He was particularly bewitched by an early TV hit, Kukla, Fran, and Ollie, in which human performer Fran Allison ad-libbed with a cast of puppets. “Fran was a bridge character between the audience and the puppet characters,” Henson would later recall. The show “was my major influence in terms of puppetry.” In high school, Henson was already performing his own Saturday morning puppet show on TV. As a…

4 min.
elmo’s world

HE BEGAN LIFE AS A LARGELY anonymous Sesame extra, a red Muppet background artist without a distinctive personality. It wasn’t until a young puppeteer named Kevin Clash picked him up and breathed life into him that Elmo emerged, in 1985, as a Sesame Street superstar, so beloved by children (to say nothing of marketers) that he would eventually get his own show within the show. A crayon-wielding three-year-old monster Muppet who refers to himself in the third person, Elmo is a friend to Zoe, the caretaker of a stoic goldfish named Dorothy, and an occasional counselor to the bumbling Mr. Noodle and his sisters, Ms. Noodle and Miss Noodle, and brother, another Mr. Noodle. The Noodles are played by a rotating ensemble of skilled comic actors such as Michael Jeter and…

7 min.
love is love is love is love…

ON THE 41ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE PEARL Harbor attack—December 7, 1982—World War II veteran Will Lee died of a heart attack at the age of 74. As Sesame Street shopkeeper Mr. Hooper, in his signature bow tie and suspenders, Lee had won universal acclaim among preschoolers and their parents for his wisdom and compassion in and around Hooper’s Store on Sesame Street. Upon Lee’s death, the Associated Press noted, “Children would approach and ask, ‘How did you get out of the television set?’ or whisper, ‘I love you.’” Rather than recast his role with a new Mr. Hooper, Sesame Street’s producers decided to use Lee’s passing as a milestone on the show. And so Mr. Hooper the character passed away, too. In an episode that aired on Thanksgiving Day of 1983,…

6 min.
the stars shine on sesame street

IN THE VERY FIRST SEASON OF SESAME Street, Jackie Robinson—who had broken the color barrier in Major League Baseball 23 years earlier—appeared impeccably dressed in a suit and tie and gave a straight, somewhat stilted recitation of the alphabet. Less than a decade later, the comedian Richard Pryor, in a bucket hat and leisure suit, recited the same alphabet as a raucous nightclub act: “That’s a A … ain’t nobody interested in D … and here come K, walkin’ in the place along with L … S come steppin’ up, right? T was meano—he didn’t take no U…” From staid to standout, Sesame Street has hosted every manner of performance in the last 50 years, and every manner of nonperformer, including consumer advocate Ralph Nader, author of Unsafe at Any Speed,…