Sesame Street is turning 47 this year. In the past 47 years, it has been awarded 123 Emmys and still remains one of the most educational shows on national and international television. You have probably watched it at least once, so keep reading—there are many interesting facts to discuss about Sesame Street! And stay tuned for part two, coming soon.
Number Fifteen: Dealing With Death
When actor Will Lee, who played Mr.Harold Hooper, passed away in 1982, producers decided to not replace him. Instead, they created an episode dealing with loss and death.
Number Fourteen: The Cookie Monster Existed Before the Show
The Cookie Monster can be seen on a cracker commercial from 1966. Jim Henson, puppeteer and director for the show, designed the character at the time.
Number Thirteen: The Gay Rumors Are Very Old
It feels like the internet was responsible for the gay rumors surrounding Bert and Ernie but, in fact, it dates back to 1980. American author Kurt Andersen was the first person to (at least publicly) question the characters’ sexuality in The Real Thing, one of his non-fiction books.
Number Twelve: The Cookie Monster Has a Name
His name is Sid. In 2004, the monster explained that he “believes” that was his real name before he tried a cookie for the first time. However, he has never been addressed by that name.
Number Eleven: Sesame Street Was Once Sued
1990, Christopher Cerf, the show’s sonwriter, told an interviewer that they were once sued for $5.5 million for copyright infringement of a song. The song was “Letter B,” a parody of “Let it Be” by the Beatles. It was Michael Jackson’s music library that took them to court. Eventually, the show only had to pay $500.
Number Ten: One of Ernie’s Song Made it Into Billboard’s Top 100
Ernie’s signature song in the ‘70s, ‘Rubber Duckie’, became so popular it actually reached number six in Billboard’s hot 100. It was even nominated for the Best Recording for Children Grammy in 1971.
Number Nine: Ernie and Bert’s Clothes Are Deliberate
Ernie’s t-shirt has horizontal lines, while Bert’s has vertical ones. This was a calculated choice by the costume department of the show, which intended for Ernie to look calm, and for Bert to look concerned.
Number Eight: Kermit the Frog Disappeared After Jim Henson Died
Kermit the Frog was erased from Sesame Street in 1990, after Jim Henson’s death. Even though Henson developed most of the characters in the story, Kermit was his most famed and most beloved puppet. The frog was re-introduced into the show in 1998, although not on a regular basis. Stay tuned for part two, coming really soon!