I watched the very first episode of Sesame Street when I was a teenager. My dad, Newton Minow, helped get the funding for the show in the late 1960’s and I remember how excited he was about transforming what children could learn from television. They would create catchy jingles and short, entertaining segments to help teach numbers, the alphabet, and more. I happened to be home from school with a bad cold the day it premiered, and I fell in love with it immediately, its fresh, insouciant, wildly imaginative, even more wildly funny, and utterly endearing sensibility. I still remember Wanda the Witch, who lived somewhere West of Washington and Wore a Wig. I loved watching it with my children. It was so much fun it was to see Smokey Robinson singing “U’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” with the letter U tugging on his leg and the day when everyone learned that Mr. Snuffleupagus was really real. I loved its gentle lessons about kindness and feelings. I especially remember one segment with violinist Itshak Perlman describing easy and hard with such simplicity and sweetness.
Forty years later, I still sneak a peek now and then. It’s just…ducky.
Rosenwald Aviva Kempner, the director of the acclaimed documentaries about baseball star Hank Greenberg and television pioneer Gertrude Berg, has a new film about early 20th century Chicago businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. Like the prior ...
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