Can you believe that Sesame Street turned 40 in 2009? I was lucky enough to see this revolutionary children’s educational series at the very beginning, when in my opinion it was the best show on TV. Ask any body else who was a kid under 5 at that time and they will tell you the same thing.

The muppets are some of the most enduring characters ever created. But it wasn’t just the muppets that made this show kiddie must see TV. The cast members were great. The kids on the show were just like me, some of them even looked like me. The cartoon shorts were engaging. The music was funky and upbeat. There were a lot of celebrity appearances and performances. The show was fun to watch, which made it easy to participate and learn. No wonder Sesame Street has been on TV as long as it has.

Sesame Street was not only the first show to use educational goals, curriculum and research as it’s basis for educating young children. It was groundbreaking in it’s incorporation of women and minorities on air and behind the scenes. It was a truly multi-cultural program from a cast and a content standpoint. As illustrated in my other Soul Of Sesame Street blogs entries, Soul Alphabet and Roosevelt Franklin, as well as another blog entry on the show’s cartoon segment Billy Jo Jive, Sesame Street was very HIP. Now I watched Captain Kangaroo and Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, and I liked these programs as well. But they did not even come close in hipness compared to Sesame Street.

Below I have put together a video montage of classic funky cartoons, cast moments and celebrities appearances from the early days of Sesame Street. You will see some really interesting performances by The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, a group that includes a young Luther Vandross, Cab Calloway, Smokey Robinson, Patti Labelle, Richie Havens, Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte, Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Little Richard, Jesse Jackson and The Harlem Globetrotters. Enjoy!

© 2017 Sesame Workshop

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