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Biography Close-Up: Sesame Street

Biography Close-Up: Sesame Street. Do youself a favor and catch this episode when A & E repeats it — I’ve spent the past two hours reliving my childhood, grinning from ear to ear — except for the few tears that swelled up when they talked about the death of Mr. Hooper. It sounds silly to say that, but Sesame Street really did affect me in a lot of ways when I was growing up.

But is Sesame Street still relevant to today’s youth? While Sesame Street is preparing for a extended plotline dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane on the street, children across the country are dying at the hands of other kids with guns. How do you teach kids about school violence?

I credit Sesame Street with being progressive from the very beginning, but I wish that they would tackle the issue of sexual orientation the same way they’ve dealt with race and ethnicity — by simply displaying the diversity present in everyday life. Putting a gay muppet on the show could do so much to help with the next generation’s acceptance of GLBT people (maybe they could take a hint from Avenue Q).

Still, as an educator, I was fascinated to find out about all the research and audience testing that went into the creation of the Sesame Street. Now that I’m older and can appreciate all the hard work that the CTW put into the show, I’d like to find out more about its history, but unfortunately Sesame Street Unpaved, a behind the scenes look at the series, is out of print — maybe I can find a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

3 responses so far (Respond)

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That link to Avenue Q was great… I thought the “If you were gay…” song was a riot. Everyone here at work wants to know where they can catch Avenue Q on TV. Is it even aired? or is it a road show…

Vis10n | 20 Mar 2001
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I think it’s just a stage show that’s been workshopped in NY. It’d be fun to do a production of it — I wonder if they’re open to licensing it…

Matt | 20 Mar 2001
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“Avenue Q” is a stage show headed Off-Broadway sometime next year. The recordings posted on the website are just our composer’s-demos. You should hear the puppets sing!! Glad ya liked our work. Come see it in NYC when we open. Details/updates will be posted periodically at http://www.AVENUEQ.com/

Jeff & Bobby (the creators of Avenue Q) | 20 Mar 2001