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November 4, 2009

'Sesame Street's' been swept, but the magic of show remains

Posted: 04:57 PM ET



When "Sesame Street" premiered, Oscar the Grouch was much grouchier than he is today.

By Katie McLaughlin, CNN

(CNN) - In the early days of "Sesame Street" - that is, B.E. (Before Elmo) - Sesame Street was a pretty grimy place.

The brownstone at 123 Sesame Street looked like it needed a serious power washing, the storefront of Mr. Hooper's shop was intentionally dingy and the Fix-It Shop's window was cluttered with toasters. It was gritty, but gritty in a magical way.

When the show started in 1969 ("Sesame Street" will celebrate its 40th anniversary on November 10), the concept of educational television programming was nothing short of revolutionary. "Sesame Street" was originally intended as a learning tool for inner-city children - not only as a supplement to their lessons in math and the ABCs but to teach them to be good people and show them that learning can be fun

Those early years are now available on DVD; and the discs contain a disclaimer that essentially states that they are intended for nostalgia purposes only. The warning reads as follows:

"These early 'Sesame Street' episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today's preschool child."

Say what!? Never did I ever think I'd see "Sesame Street" and "intended for grown-ups" in the same sentence. iReport: What letter of the alphabet would you like to pay tribute to?

On the DVDs, Cookie Monster can be seen as his character of Alistair Cookie in his "Monsterpiece Theatre" segment (a spoof of Alistair Cooke's "Masterpiece Theatre") smoking a pipe.

Yep, Cookie Monster smoked.

(Read More)

Filed under: Larry King Live


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