O Me of Little Faith

As you probably have realized upon visiting Google the last few days, today marks the 40th birthday of Sesame Street, a show I loved and feared during my early childhood (see more below).

And loved during my late teens (I discovered an old “Songs from Sesame Street” cassette tape and played the life out of it in my car for most of my 18th year).

And loved it as an adult, too, once my kids began watching some of the old videos.

In honor of its birthday, here are seven things I have learned from Sesame Street:

1. If you want to play the saxophone, it’s best to first put down your rubber ducky. This should go without saying, but had it gone without saying we wouldn’t have had this wonderful song. Do you always get a silly squeak when you try to play the blues? Might be the duck. You gotta leave the duck alone, man.

2. The alphabet is more beautiful than you think, especially when sung by Kermit the Frog and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. (And even when sung by Big Bird.)

3. You don’t need actual words to create an enthralling song. Ma nah ma nah! (Doot do duh doo-doot!) I also learned this, to a lesser extent, from Hanson.

4. REM is awesome. (I knew this before, but it was confirmed upon seeing this for the first time. This was the first and only time, I believe, I have seen Michael Stipe sort of smile.)

5. It’s good to eat cookies, even though we have since become aware that “cookies are a sometimes food.” (If you drop as many crumbs as Cookie Monster did, you don’t get all those calories anyhow.)

6. Sometimes people fall down, but they’re usually OK. I couldn’t find it on YouTube, but that scene where the waiter falls down the stairs while carrying a tray of pies? It terrified me as a child. I used to have to hide behind the couch every time it came on. (Which was often.) But he always got back up.

7. I’ve learned that Mr. Hooper isn’t coming back, and when that happens, it’s OK to be sad.


What about you? What have you learned from Sesame Street?

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