Happy 45th Anniversary, Sesame Street!


Ryan Dosier – There are very few things in this world that have had such a profound effect on childhood as Sesame Street. 45 years ago today, Sesame Street debuted on PBS stations across the United States. 45 years later, the show is still going just as strong as ever, keeping up with the times with a staggering social media presence, spot-on hilarious parodies of the biggest pop culture of the day, and coproductions airing in over 100 countries across the globe.

Nothing on television has had quiet the effect that Sesame Street has. For over four decades American children, and then children the world over, have been entertained and educated by a show no one thought would work. In 1969, there were no educational television programs for children. Thanks to the brilliance and dedication of Joan Ganz Cooney, Jim Henson, Jon Stone, Joe Raposo, and dozens of others, Sesame Street not only became a hit, but also ushered in the children’s television genre as a whole.

What the team of the Muppets and Children’s Television Workshop brought about is an institution. Sesame Street has become synonymous with entertainment for the whole family, because the whole family knows Sesame Street, having grown up on it. Parents remember Oscar, Grover, Bert and Ernie, while kids love Murray, Abby Cadabby, and Telly. Meanwhile, Big Bird, Elmo, and Cookie Monster have become genuine celebrities–I dare you to find a kid born in the United States without some sort of doll, bib, diaper, or toy adorned with one of these three characters.

I firmly believe that there is no finer example of entertainment than Sesame Street. It enthralls and educates, inspires and entertains, and has truly changed the lives of millions of children spanning generations. Above all, Sesame Street pumps an endless supply of good into the world. What more noble act is there than that? Today we celebrate the brilliance of Sesame Street‘s good over a staggering 45 years. Happiness, joy, and sunny days are what Sesame Street brings to the world. That it has been allowed to continue to sweep clouds away for 45 years is mind boggling.

The world without Sesame Street is a world without Big Bird. What kind of world is that? Sesame Street has made childhood in this world what it is. Sesame Street gives children sunshine and happiness from the get-go. it shows children that there is a bright world out there to discover; to fill with creativity and love and tickles and cookies and trash and bird seed milkshakes and superheroes and counting and spelling and magic.

Thank you, Sesame Street. Thank you to everyone ever involved with Sesame Street. We would love to thank you individually, but there are far too many of you to name. So instead we just say… Happy 45th Anniversary!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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