Remember Sesame Street Before Elmo Ruined It?

Illustration for article titled Remember iSesame Street/i Before Elmo Ruined It?

We're late to learn this horrifying news, but the Children's Television Workshop has deemed the "Sesame Street" you grew up knowing and loving unsuitable for the modern toddler. The producers cite an array of reasons including but not nearly limited to Cookie Monster, who was not only a pathological binge eater but also the Muppet who played the character Alistair Cookie, who, explains the New York Times Magazine "used to appear with a pipe, which he later gobbled. According to Parente, 'That modeled the wrong behavior' — smoking, eating pipes — 'so we reshot those scenes without the pipe, and then we dropped the parody altogether.'" Seriously, as fun as it is to reminisce, stream-of-consciousness style, about the brilliant variety show targeted at black inner-city four-year-olds that won its way into 80% of American households — Urban llamas...crayon factories...how I was totally convinced that David sang The Cornelius Brothers' "Too Late To Turn Back Now," one two three FOUR FIVE, six seven eight NINE ten... — this is serious shit.

The Sesame Street of our youths, the Sesame Street that made us want to move to New York City in the midst of a crippling financial crisis so we could meet Maria and Luis and Susan and Gordon and see animals in the street, the Sesame Street wherein the most coveted luxury good was a 64-pack of Crayolas, that embedded special jokes for when our parents were around and gave us a batch of turtleneck-wearing multilingual role models of all ethnicities for when they weren't, that Sesame Street was a better place. That America was a better place.

I only wish that $100-a-barrel oil prices and a Before real estate meltdown were enough to bring it back.

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Not The Same Street [New York Times]

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DISCUSSION

OK - First of all, I don't know how Moe could've forgotten Bob? I think he still appears a couple of times a season, but the last time that I saw him, he wasn't looking very well. (I was watching in '69 and now my two year old watches, but it's not his favorite show and he absolutely hates Elmo)

As for a lot of those other "do you remembers?"; They were still making an episode a year of Reading Rainbow, up until last year, but I heard from my older kid's teacher that Scholastic bought it and were planning to reformulate it. Though, the regular old reruns still play on my local PBS.

The "new" Zoom also quit in the past couple of years and as others have said, you can buy Electric Company and Schoolhouse Rock on DVD.

And, I might actually win the oldest commenter prize, if there was such a thing because not only was I watching SS in '69 and I remember both Captain Kangaroo and Romper Room, but my first crush was on "Emmy Jo" from the New Zoo Revue. (Of course, I also remember watch Dinah Shore, Merv and Mike Douglas during the day, but that's another genre)