Friday, July 01, 2011

Open Sesame

As older son is reaching appropriate viewing age recently (he's just about 2 and 1/2 now) my wife and I have ever so slowly been introducing him to the some of the finer television programs out there. However since me and my wife both work in and around media all day we're pretty wary of overexposure, so at least for now are doing our best to limit both time and content.

The first program I introduced was Fraggle Rock. As many of you may know I am a HUGE Jim Henson fan and the Fraggles have always had a really special place in my heart. A few years back when I bought the show on dvd I was delighted to read the wonderful liner notes accompanying the discs. Among the notes is a very sweet letter written by Lisa Henson explaining how her father had a vision to bring peace on earth through song, communication, and like-minded fraternity between all creatures. And his vehicle for this world changing harmony was to be the Fraggles, with the children as disciples. The letter is so genuine it made me honestly fall in love with Henson and the muppets all over again. My son has been enjoying the Fraggles for a couple of months now, but while he likes the songs, the stories are a bit too complex for him to follow.

So this of course led us to Sesame Street. Who out there doesn't love Sesame Street? The show is great, and while it has correctly evolved with the changing times, there's something almost magical about some of the older Sesame sketches. The were more than influential to me, they were defining. They taught so much more than the ABCs and counting, Sesame Street is a show about the entire world around you and figuring out who you are as a person. I recently picked up the first volume of the Sesame Street Old School series (which highlights the first 5 years of the shows broadcast) and have been really loving sharing it with my son.

So in honor of all things Sesame Street, here are some of my favorite classic clips from the show:

Bert and Ernie - Fish Call

I Can Remember

We All Sing the Same Song

African Alphabet

I Am Somebody

Now if that Jesse Jackson speech isn't empowering I don't know what is. For me that was always one of my favorite and I think probably the most important quality to Sesame Street: it never ever talked down to kids. Most children's programming needs to adpot that attitude.

If you enjoyed that here are a few other favorites of mine:
Bert and Ernie in a Pyramid, Kermit Rapunzel, Alphabet Soup, Golden AN, Lost Boy Remembers, Teeny Little Super Guy, Pinball, King of 8, Alligator King, Echo Song, Ladybug Picnic, Doin the Pigeon, John John counts, Cookie Monster Alphabet, Fiest - 1, 2, 3, 4, I Love my Hair, Smell Like a Monster, - What I Am


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