Hey you guys! The classic 1970’s show The Electric Company taught a generation of kids how to take the letters they learned on “Sesame Street” and turn them into words and sentences. The superstar cast included Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno, and Bill Cosby. Zero Mostel, Joan Rivers and Gene Wilder worked with animation pioneers John and Faith Hubley on the “Letterman” segments.
Now endearingly retro, the original disco-era series is available on DVD. And it has just been updated with a whole new series featuring beat-boxers, hip-hoppers, and record-scratchers, but still teaching kids about the power of the “silent e.” It also has some very good lessons about problem-solving and asking questions to discover the truth. In this version, The Electric Company is a group of people with special word skills who work together to foil a group of mischief-makers called the Pranksters. No Broadway or television stars in the cast, but it does have some Tony-award talent behind the scenes and some guest appearances by kid-friendly celebrities like Tiki Barber. It’s aimed at children from 6-9 and its bright, bouncy, and colorful characters and situations will keep them entertained and inspired about the power of words. And they still yell, “Hey, you GUUUUYYYYS!”
Listen to People's Lives: David Plotz's Working Podcast Former Slate editor David Plotz, now at Atlas Obscura, says that he is a big fan of Studs Terkel's classic book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. He has paid tribute to that great work in the best possible way, by updating it with his podcast seri
New Additions to the National Film Registry: 2014 The Library of Congress has announced this year's additions to the National Film Registry. 25 “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant titles are added each year, under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act. The films must be at least 10 years old. The Librarian makes
Black Reel Awards Nominations 2014 One of the great pleasures of this time of year is voting for so many of my favorite filmmakers as a part of the Black Reel Awards. Thanks, as ever, to Tim Gordon for allowing me to participate. I think it is fair to say we had more and better choices this year than we ever have before. Here are
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