Children and adults across the world have loved watching Muppets teaching life lessons for almost 50 years. The award-winning Sesame Street has bagged Emmys and Grammys, and everyone has their own favourite Muppet.
Big Bird and Kermit the Frog, Elmo to The Count, Sesame Street has brought a world of fun and inspiration to millions. To celebrate Sesame Street Day (10 November) we bring you the best facts, because f is for Fun Fact Friday.
- Jim Henson created the iconic character of Kermit the Frog and after his death in 1990 Kermit the Frog disappeared from Sesame Street. He only reappeared in new segments in 1998.
- Kermit the Frog was actually never even considered a regular. According to Jim Henson, he was merely Sesame Street’s number one guest star.
- Cookie Monster was actually on the scene way back in 1966 after Jim Henson designed the character for a cracker commercial.
- He isn’t the oldest character in Sesame Street – the Count’s birthday is October 9, 1,830,653 B.C.
- Everyone knows about the Sesame Street Muppets but did you know it is the longest running children’s programme in the US? This is well and truly a show that has passed the test of time.
- Sesame Street was going to be called 1 2 3 Avenue B but it was rejected as a street in New York was named the same. Producers also wanted the show to resonate with kids outside of New York.
- Writer Virginia Schone proposed the word Sesame as it is used in the Arabian Nights tale. The idea was Sesame made the show feel like it was immersed in adventure and being set on an urban street, Sesame Street clicked.
- Snuffleupagus was originally meant to be Big Bird’s imaginary friend. Until 1985 the adults on Sesame Street thought Snuffy wasn’t real but all this changed when high-profile cases of paedophilia came into play. Writers didn’t want children to think adults wouldn’t believe them and the show’s executive producer at the time, Dulcy Singer said: “We didn’t want to do anything to discourage children from going to their parents.”
- Big Bird is certainly tall coming in at eight foot two inches. We imagine flying might be problematic.
- Elmo is the only non-human to venture to Capitol Hill and testify before Congress – according to Sesame Workshop. He was lobbying for more music education funding so that “when Elmo goes to school, there will be instruments to play.” This is something we can all get behind.
Still looking for some Friday motivation? Take the lead from Big Bird: “Bad days happen to everyone, but when one happens to you, just keep doing your best and never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself.”