Happy 45th Anniversary!
For as long as I can remember, after coming home from school, I would always watch Sesame Street every weekday at 4 o'clock on television... It was one of my favourite shows from childhood, and it still is today. I am always learning many things from Sesame Street, and I honestly believe that without the master puppeteer, Jim Henson, and his 5-star studio, they wouldn't be any Ernie, Bert, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, Count Von Count, Elmo, Big Bird... for all of us to enjoy, respect, and cherish.
Sesame Street was conceived originally in 1966, during discussions between television producer Joan Ganz Cooney and Carnegie Foundation's vice president, Lloyd Morrisett. Their goal was to create a great children's television show to help all little ones enjoy and understand education a lot better, giving them a wonderful learning experience! With the many combined grants from many educational organizations, and after two years of research the newly formed Children's Television Workshop (CTW) created and produced the show, and it debuted on November 10, 1969, on the NET from (1969 – 1970). It was the first preschool educational television program, and besides the high ratings, it had some controversy.
The show's primary goal was preparing very young children for school, especially those from low-income families... to enhance a detailed and comprehensive educational curriculum to capture children's attention. It also encouraged and enticed the older children, their parents, and other adults(nonparents) alike to watch the show by including more sophisticated humor, cultural references, trending events, and many famous celebrity guest appearances. By its 40th anniversary in 2009, Sesame Street was now airing on the great PBS (PBS Kids) (1970 – present), is broadcast in over 120 countries, and 20 international versions... I must admit that this children's show is even very popular with millions of adults as well. To help educate and teach children about reality, the show incorporated real-life experiences such as the death of Will Lee (Mr. Hooper) and the pregnancy of Sonia Manzano (Maria)... and later on addressed the real-life disasters such as the September 11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina.
However, in recent years, Sesame Street has faced several challenges, including changes in viewing habits of young children, and a drop in ratings due to competition from other shows. So, after the turn of the 21st century, Sesame Street made major changes... starting in 2002, its format became more narrative and included ongoing storylines. After its 30th anniversary in 1999, the popularity of the Muppet named Elmo developed into the creation of a very popular segment known as "Elmo's World" esculated huge TV ratings. Upon its 40th anniversary in 2009, the show received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy at the 36th Daytime Emmy Awards. Sesame Street is still the long-running American children's television series in history! Yeah!
Sesame Street's Original Human Cast!
Mr. Hooper (The original proprietor of Hooper's Store, who was loved by everyone and popularly known as the gruff grocer with the warmest of hearts).
Maria Rodriguez (She first appeared as abteenager, and she dated David for a while). Olivia Robinson (Gordon's younger sister and a professional photographer).
Susan Robinson (She is the wife of Gordon, adoptive mother of Miles, and surrogate mother to Big Bird and the neighborhood kids).
Linda (The neighborhood librarian and Bob's girlfriend. Linda is the longest-running Deaf character on television).
Gordon Robinson (Gordon is a science teacher who owns the brownstone "123 Sesame Street" building with his wife, Susan).
Bob Johnson (Bob is Sesame Street's resident music teacher, who lives in an apartment above Hooper's Store).
Luis Rodriguez (Luis is "the Mr. Fix-It" of Sesame Street, and was the first human addition to the original cast).
David (David worked for Mr. Hooper at Hooper's Store, and he lived in an apartment above the store. He later became proprietor of Hooper's Store following Mr. Hooper's death. He also daed Maria for a while).
Sesame Street's Present Human Cast!
Maria Rodriguez (Maria is now married to Luis, and they live in a second-floor apartment in the Brownstone "123 Sesame Street" building. Maria is also Gabi's mother, and she co-owns the Fix-It Shop with her husband Luis Rodriguez).
Susan Robinson (She is still the wife of Gordon, adoptive mother of Miles, and surrogate mother to Big Bird and the neighborhood kids).
Gabi Rodriguez (Daughter of Luis and Maria Rodriguez. She is also good friends with Miles, who is the adopted son of Gordon and Susan Robinson).
Leela (Leela runs the laundromat next to Hooper's Store. She is the show's first Indian-American character).
Gina (She first appeared as a teenager who worked in Hooper's Store. She ran a day-care center, then later became a veterinarian, and adopted a baby named Marco from Guatemala).
Gordon Robinson (Gordon is a science teacher, who still owns the Brownstone "123 Sesame Street" building with his wife, Susan. He is known as a steady provider, a well-liked and respected figure in the neighborhood).
Bob Johnson (Bob is still Sesame Street's resident music teacher, and still lives in an apartment above Hooper's Store after all these years).
Luis Rodriguez ("Mr. Fix-It" the Mexican-American repairman, who is Maria's husband and Gabi's father).
Chris (Chris is a student, who works part-time at Hooper's Store. He is the nephew of Gordon and Susan).
Alan (The current proprietor of Hooper's Store).