Well who knew there was a day dedicated to Sesame Street? I just recently found out and I have to say, it’s a great thing. Sesame Street Day was first established in 2009 to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of its original broadcast. While the special day was initiated in New York, it is now recognized by thousands of individuals from around the world. In fact, the number of followers continues to grow each year. Sesame Street debuted on November 10, 1969 and went on to become the most widely viewed children’s program in the world. I remember watching Sesame Street when I was 5 years old and of course it feels like yesterday that my teen daughter was watching Elmo and Zoe dancing on the screen. She loved that show so much, it was the theme for her second birthday party.
Here are some fun facts about the show that you may not know:
- Big Bird’s height is 8’2.”
- The Count’s birthday is October 9, 1,830,653 B.C.
- In 1970, Ernie reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the timeless hit “Rubber Duckie.”
- Ernie wears horizontal stripes on his sweater to make him appear more relaxed; while Bert wears vertical stripes on his sweater to make him appear more uptight.
- Oscar the Grouch was originally orange, Grover was originally brown.
- Big Bird’s teddy bear is named Radar, a nod to the character on MASH who always slept with a teddy bear.
- James Earl Jones was the first ever guest star, he recited the alphabet.
- All of the Sesame Street Muppets have four fingers, except Cookie Monster, who has five.
- The episode with Mr. Hooper’s funeral aired on Thanksgiving Day in 1983. That date was chosen because families were more likely to be together at that time, in case kids had questions or needed emotional support.
- In a 2004 episode, Cookie Monster revealed that back before he ate his first cookie, his name used to be “Sid”.
- Most people know Rosita as the only Hispanic Muppet on Sesame Street, but few know what she actually is, a fruit bat.
- The main focus of Sesame Street is a 3 apartment brownstone building (Bert and Ernie live in the basement). The show itself is filmed in Astoria, Queens, but the actual location of Sesame Street has been under debate for years (intended to be a neighborhood in Manhattan).
- And perhaps one fact that I found very interesting was that Snuffleupagus, spent fourteen years as Big Bird’s “imaginary” friend. Whenever adults would appear, Snuffy would vanish by way of coincidence, and the grownups would disbelieve Big Bird that he ever existed. Because nobody believed Big Bird about Snuffleupagus, and parents tended not to believe their children about imaginary friends, producers were afraid that this disbelief would lead to children being afraid to speak out about sexual abuse.
I’m sure we all know someone who has learned their colors and/or letters by watching this show. So, who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Mine and my daughter’s is still Zoe (and Elmo too!)