Thursday, October 04, 2007

Vintage Sesame Street

The other day, the following three circumstances occurred at the same time:

1. Miriam and I were both home at 9 o'clock in the morning.
2. I remembered that I wanted to turn on Sesame Street for Miriam.
3. I remembered what channel Sesame Street was on, at what time, and that it was that time.

These three things rarely happen at once.

So I turned it on, very excited for some fun childhood memories to come back. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. In fact, Lisa said it best when she remarked, "Itchy and Scratchy seem to have lost their edge..."

Folks, I think Sesame Street has lost its edge.

I remember pre-Elmo (and Zoey or whatever the heck her name is) Sesame Street, where there was no threat of a "Vegetable Monster," Bert & Ernie were not rumored to be gay, there were lots of alphabet and number vignettes that were clearly inspired by psychedelia (that, quite frankly, freaked me out at times), and a man named Jim Henson taught us that nothing is too clever or intelligent, even for an audience of children.

But now it's all politically correct and non-terror-inspiring. And "Elmo's World" takes up a full third of the program, even though after about two minutes, his voice startes to grate on my eardrums like so much aural steel wool.

Fortunately, there is a growing availability (via YouTube and, apparently, a new DVD set) of "vintage" Sesame Street. Lately, Miriam and I have enjoyed Sesame Street as I remember it while she sits on my lap in front of the computer screen.

Behold the genius of Jim Henson as it was:

They just don't make them like that anymore.


Mikael said...

I love the nerdiness of the good old times. I think that all cartoons and programs took out the nerdiness and added too much "realness" to it. YAY for good old times-
my little ponies, rainbow bright, Smurfs and all the fun nerds!

Jen said...

I HAD THIS EXACT COMPLAINT ABOUT SESAME STREET just the other day. It was the first time I'd turned it on for Ian (I DESPERATELY needed a shower), and to be honest, I didn't KNOW it was Sesame Street on the screen. Shame on them.


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