Things I Learned from Children’s Television

in response to this fascinating article about the first two seasons of sesame street in the sunday magazine (which I check out while she looks at Arts & Leisure), a few thoughts on things that i’ve learned from children’s television.

1) i remember thinking it was a bit weird that no one else could see snuffleufugus except big bird. but around that same time that snuffleufugus was suddenly visible to the rest of the world, the gummi bears premiered on the disney afternoon. a group of product placed candies who save each other from harm by drinking “magic juice” that suddenly makes them all powerful and crap? i was six years old being all like “i’ll buy the blue people with marshmellows for heads” but these gummi bears are crazy.

2) cookie monster being some kind of strung out, cookies-are-my-meth-type addict never bothered me much, probably because at that age the idea of eating nothing but cookies did not seem unusual to me (it seemed desirable, in fact). is this bad? would i eat more vegetables had i watched vanessa the vegan teach me the benefit of living on a raw food diet starting at age 4? for the sake of entertainment, i hope not.

3) speaking of great children’s programming, this reminds me of the fact that the muppets actually premiered on saturday night live and were only redeveloped into children’s characters because no one wanted them on the show. michael o’donoghue was quoted in miller and shales’ “live from new york,” as saying “i don’t write for felt.” what a great line.

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