Who does not know Sesame Street? I think everyone has grown up with the television show. Sesame Street recently celebrated its 40 years and Google helped celebrate it.
The air is still sweet on Sesame Street as the world’s longest-running Children ‘s television program celebrates its 40th birthday. Launched in 1969, children in more than 140 countries now recognize the street’s famous residents – which include Kermit the Frog, Elmo, Oscar, Cookie Monster and Big Bird. Its makers say an understanding of pre-schoolers’ changing needs is behind the continued success of the show, which was a pioneer of educational programming.
Sesame Street has also maintained a focus on topical issues – caring for the environment features strongly, and the South African version of the show even has a HIV-positive muppet character. A testament to its ongoing relevance is the ‘Google doodle’ designed to mark the show’s birthday and the appearance of the First Lady Michelle Obama on a special anniversary episode.
As the program marks its milestone, actor Caroll Spinney – who provides the voice for both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch – has reflected on his role in the hugely popular series. “I was 35 when I got the job and I still have the job and my contracts for the future in hand and Im delighted because I really enjoy playing a six-year-old boy bird and his adventures,” he said. Spinney was chosen by Jim Henson, the Muppets’ creator, to play Big Bird from the very first season in 1969.
The character has since captured hearts of many young viewers. Spinney said: “I get wonderful letters from children. ‘Dear Big Bird, you’re my friend. Please come and play with me. How about next Thursday?’ That was a beauty.”
Actor Bob McGrath, one of the human ‘residents’ of Sesame Street, admitted that the cast had been overwhelmed by the show’s success. “None of us anticipated that it was going to have the impact around the world that it has had,” he said. “We didn’t have any long-term outlook. It was just a very joyous thing from the get-go.
“But I think we all had a good gut feeling after that first year that we were on to something special. SOURCE: The Protector1973