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What Does Sesame Street Mean to You? - A Muppet Mindset Article Question

Discussion in 'On the Web' started by theprawncracker, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Greetings Muppet Central! As you know, next week Sesame Street turns 40. We all love it and we have all been affected by it. What I want to know is this... What does Sesame Street mean to you? I want all of you to let me know the answer to that question by posting in this thread or e-mailing me at ryguy102390@gmail.com.

    I want to know why you love it, how you grew to love, what you love about it--whatever! I want you to wish Sesame Street a happy birthday, I want you to say whatever you feel like saying about the Happiest Street in the World!

    I will collect all of the comments (or parts of the comments) and format them into an article for The Muppet Mindset on Thursday, November 12th. So, come on Muppet fans, show the Street some love! :insatiable: :wisdom: :grouchy:
  2. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Being about three years younger than Sesame Street, i'm so excited seeing it just as strong and influential as ever (and a bit chagrined knowing that my own 40th birthday won't be too much longer!) Sesame was such a major part of my life as a child - and looking back it's clear just how much that influence stays with me almost four decades later.

    The first way it made a difference was giving me a headstart in reading. Thanks to my Sesame-obsession (as well as its sister show "The Electric Company") i was reading by age two. At first my parents thought i just had all my books memorized when i was reading them on my own...until they noticed me reading the daily paper's comics section on my own. This helped me going into school and always being able to attend accelerated classes and gifted child programs. This especially helped later in life since being economically challenged, it was my full President's Scholarship that enable me to attend college which i otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford.

    One of the biggest ways it made its mark on my life was cementing my Muppet obsession. As an infant my parents noticed how entranced i was by the Muppets and would go into huge laughing fits when Sesame Street was on. I grew up with all the toys, records, books, and hand puppets. This was particularly important since not only was it the beginning of my Muppet obsession, but also started me down the path of record collecting and most importantly, shaped my future ambitions. Through my hand puppets, i developed my love of puppetry and was considered a puppetry prodigy and worked professionally as a puppeteer as early as age ten. Puppetry in turn got me into acting and singing - even though i hadn't done puppetry since my teens, i continued to persue acting and singing work winning awards in both and (again drawing back to my Sesame/Henson roots) getting involved with many projects that combined performance with education or awareness of social issues.

    Finally, the value system modeled by Sesame (and Jim Henson's other projects) strongly instilled in me a sense of fairness, patience, tolerance, and respect for diversity. In my youth, seeing different races playing together allowed me to look at the world color-blind (maybe to an extreme since in my early years i though my always-well-tanned brother was black!) and having an African-American best friend in my preteen years. In adulthood, it's allowed me to hold on to my pride as a gay man despite having experienced nearly every type of discrimination/harassment ranging from job loss, vandalism of car and property, and being disowned by parts of my family and being kicked out of their home. Much of this past decade (and the last few years in particular) has been made up of incredible hardships and its mainly been the sense of humor and coping skills that the Muppet mentality had instilled in me that's kept me going and alive today. All in all, Sesame Street and the Muppets have shaped my life and personality tremendously and i thank the whole team for it.
  3. The Shoe Fairy

    The Shoe Fairy Well-Known Member

    For me, Sesame Street has influenced me as an artist, with the elaborate puppetry and always excellent music and animations; it has influenced much of my work. Half of my mixed media artworks get remarks claiming it reminds people of Sesame Street.

    The humour used on the show, has been instrumental in forming my own style of humour. Doing occasional standup and being a songwriter; Sesame Street's skit based visual humour and wordplay helped give me a healthy sense of humour. And as someone currently writing a musical; I find myself again and again refering back to "The Street" when inspiration runs flat.

    The location, and way "The Street" is portrayed has instilled a lifelong dream for me to live in New York City. This is something I've held since age 3, watching Sesame Street on the smallest television possible, way up on top of a cabinet in our living room.

    And as always, the slightly cliche notion of Sesame Street encouraging co-operation and diversity, acceptance. As a bisexual youth; and a member of various sub-cultures I have suffered discrimination for me being slightly "darker" and effeminate. I will try not to sound pretentious here, but I have even encountered discrimination for being intelligent. Sesame Street helped me understand people are different, and that living in harmony is something everyone should strive for.
  4. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Sesame Street gave my imagination a kickstart. Before I could even speak full sentences I used to make my teddies 'talk' to each other saying "Doobie doobie doo". I've always seen pictures, faces and living objects in the world around me. I'm obsessed with colours and see the world from a different perspective to people around me. I hold Sesame Street responsible for this, despite the fact I can only remember a few sketches from the show as a child. My parents have told me the show always kept my enraptured for an hour a day as a kid, and I think it subconsciously changed my perceptions of the world around me. The world is SUCH an amazing place.
  5. redBoobergurl

    redBoobergurl Well-Known Member

    Sesame Street for me means so many things I almost can't put into words. It's almost like a home or a family - you turn on the TV and your friends are always there for you. I owe so much to Sesame Street. I learned my ABC's but I also learned about life by watching them each day. I'm so grateful to have grown up in a time period that included it and hope to someday share it with my future children.
  6. Gelfling Girl

    Gelfling Girl Well-Known Member

    To me, Sesame Street was more than just a TV show. I remember watching hours of just that show as a child, and I even still watch it now from time to time. The show managed to teach kids in a way they enjoy it using cute puppets and sweet catchy songs, rather than just lecturing them in a classroom. The show not only taught children things like numbers and the alphabet but also deep meaningful values. For example, we all know how cute and fun the songs "It's Not Easy Being Green" and "I'm Proud to be a Cow" are, but they also teach the important lesson of being proud of yourself for who you are. Sesame Street has been an important part of several children's lives for 40 years now, and I am proud to admit that I was and still am one of them.
  7. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Sesame Street means almost everything to me. I can't remember when I first watched it, but among the first words I can remember being able to spell are Ernie, Kermit, and Muppet. I had a lot of Sesame Street books, I have some albums, and I have many Sesame Street videos and DVDs. I've seen a handful of Sesame Street Live shows. I visit sesamestreet.org almost every day. Sesame Street is probably the only show where I can remember the original broadcast date (november 10, 1969) off-hand without checking (the other show is The Jim Henson Hour, which aired on April 14, 1989).

    Among my favorite characters are Ernie, Kermit, Biff, Sully, Grover, Herry, Cookie Monster, Sam the Robot, Bruno, Lefty, and Oscar the Grouch. Among my favorite songs are Rubber Duckie, C is for Cookie, I Love Trash, Fuzzy and Blue, I Love My Elbows, A Song from Kermit, Things That I Remember, Monster in the Mirror, Danger, Born to Add, In the Trash Can, This Frog, Do De Rubber Duck, and many others. Some of my favorite individual moments include Ernie and Bert's trips to egypt and the jungle, the Monsterpeice Theater segments "Chariots of Fur", "The Taming of the Shoe", "Gone with the Wind", and "ABCD Blue", Kermit's lecture on the letter W, Grover serving a giant hamburger, Cookie Monster on "Beat the Time", Grover asking his friends why 2 is their favorite number, Henson #1, The Two-Headed Monster demonstrating "same" and "different" with a cardboard cut-out, and about a thousand others.

    Thanks, Sesame Street, to 40 wonderful years and still counting.
  8. ohtherain

    ohtherain Well-Known Member

    My life was changed a lot by Sesame Street. Sure, there were other programs out there that could possibly compare to Sesame, but once I first saw it at age 3 I knew that it was truly the best children's show out there. I watched the show during the 1998-2000 period, from age 3-5. I adored most of the characters, but my favorites were Oscar, Grover, Kermit, and "Blue Guy" (who I later learned was Mr. Johnson). I have many fond memories of the show, including the many days that I watched those classic Bert and Ernie sketches with my father and he laughed more than I, or all of those instances where my grandmother would just break into "C is for Cookie" while I was at her house. On another note, once when I went to a SST Live show and I was escorted backstage to look at all of the props and such. I loved it so much because of all of the humor, the happiness on the street, and eventually I respected it for what it taught me about life and how to accept all people, no matter. I started watching it again in 2007 at age 12 and I still adore it to this day.

    As many Muppet fans can agree to, Sesame Street began my Muppet-obsessed life and I can't wait until the season premiere tomorrow!
  9. Scooterthegofer

    Scooterthegofer Well-Known Member

    Sesame Street... It's a great program. No question about that. Kids can learn, and have fun too. And it was successful! Sesame Street is part of the fabric of our culture, and so many other countries'. I hardly ever watched it when I was younger, but now, when I look at clips from it, I see just how great of an idea it was. Take the "The Triangle Is Right" sketch. Adults and older children will laugh at the pointless game show, and younger kids will love to see some of the Street's familiar castmemembers--Guy Smiley and Prarie Dawn--and they'll learn about triangles. Sesame Street appeals to all age groups, and that is what you need with a children's program - not repetitiveness that makes anyone older than 6 want to get out of the room. This is what Sesame Street means to me.

    -Henry "Scooterthegofer"​
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Here's something for your article...

    Sure, we can say all we want about about how funny Ernie and Bert are, how much we love Pinball Number Count and hate Elmo, but that's not what Sesame Street means to me at all. There has never been a greater cultural phenomenon as big as Sesame Street. Not fleetingly popular stuff like Pokemon or Dora or anything like that. Not even long lasting shows like the Simpsons and Saturday Night Live that had a major cultural impact. No. This show built an empire. A Children's television empire that no one has been able to emulate since the first show in 1969. We saw the amazing collaboration between a start up company and Jim Henson, as well as so many others. Even the famous animator, John Hubley. The people who worked on the show in it's 40 year history (and even its prehistory) give a list that's far more than impressive. And look at the show's reach. All those great co-productions for other countries so their kids can grow up not thinking about their country's problems. A puppet character teaching kids about HIV, and all with a smile on its face, acting like a normal person? Ha! I'd like to see Romper Room or Blue Clues reach their hands out that far to comfort the world's children.

    Sure, Sesame Street means a lot to my childhood.... and yours, and yours and yours... but it goes beyond that. Sesame Street IS the magic and wonder of childhood. Not just for us, not just for our children, for people we never even know exist! it's more than just some cartoon, or kid's show. It's a global outreach that employs artists. The characters are part of who we are... even the tiny obscure ones.
  11. APRena

    APRena Well-Known Member

    It's so hard to sum up Sesame Street either generally or personally without writing an entire book about it all. Yes, how it's impacted millions of kids around the world and taught everything from numbers to tolerance to what not to do if there is a monster in your mirror.

    To me it's something that serves as a sort of connector for people, a way of understanding, of bringing the universe together using these shared experiences. Okay, maybe that's just corny, but if you didn't speak a word of Japanese **side: but you probably DO, thanks to Sesame Street! Please is toto, yes is hai, sayonara means goodbye... see my train of thought? Sesame Street infiltrates itself pretty much on a daily basis.**, someone over there would probably recognize a reference to Kermit the Frog.

    On a personal level Sesame Street serves as a method of communication in a much less far-fetched way:

    Both my parents grew up on SS, so did my brother and I. This has allowed for numerous references, perfected impressions, a lot of singing, and a surefire way to cheer anyone up-- POKE POKE POKE POKE POKE! My brother also has autism and LOVES Sesame Street. As much as this has shown me the show's great influence on autistic kids and provided a common interest between us, it's also shown me that no one outgrows Sesame Street. It's impossible to forget or grow tired of, whether it's just nostalgia or something life-shaping; no one outgrows their need for Sesame Street-- the need to laugh and learn and sometimes just be a kid and EAT COOKIES! No one ever really leaves Sesame Street, what's sad are the people who try to leave.
  12. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Hey gang! Remember, this is the last day to get in your answer! We've got some truly great ones so far! :D
  13. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

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