What Are Your Favorite Sesame Street Memories?
My mother SWEARS I was about one and a half years old when I learned the letter R. The way she tells it:
“It was the early 70’s and Sesame Street had just started their programming and we used to let you watch it when it was on. There was an episode where the letter of the day was “R” and so the whole episode they would say things that started with the letter R, robot for example- ‘This is a robot. What letter does robot start with?” And of course they would emphasize the sound of the R- so every time, ‘Rrrrrr’ was the answer. Then they continued with another word and another question:
‘What letter does rabbit start with? Rrrrrr‘
‘What letter does railroad start with? Rrrrrr‘
But the key was that you were too young to really know the first letter of every word, but you knew the answer to the stem question: ‘What letter does _______ start with?’ And because of watching the Sesame Street episode, you would answer Rrrrrr– every time. We could have asked you what letter “cookie” started with and you would have said Rrrrrr.”
So as the story goes, my parents take me to my Tía’s house and they want to show me off like the way parents want to show off their darling one and a half year olds, and my mother sits me across the table from my Tía. My mother turns to me and says,
“Show Tía how smart you are.”
“What letter does Rosalie start with?“
And little you, on cue, says, of course, “Rrrrrr.”
“And Rosalie was SO shocked that you could have possibly known that, and of course we didn’t tell her.”
My mother loves that story. I know because she’s told it to me no less than a 1000 times over my lifetime.
Sesame Street not only had a direct impact on my mother’s storytelling, I, as a child of the 70’s grew up on it. I know I wasn’t the only one. According to Wikipedia: A 1996 survey found that 95% of all American preschoolers had watched the show by the time they were three years old. In 2008, it was estimated that 77 million Americans had watched the series as children.
Sesame Street was (and still is) synonymous with childhood learning, and my parents, both school teachers at the time, saw the importance in the educational programming for my siblings and I. My mother even saved the Sesame Street book she says was my favorite, “The Monster At The End Of This Book.”
I asked her to send it to me for this post and it clearly shows the wear and tear of deeply loved story time book. The pages are scribbled on, yellowed and curled. The cover, that maybe was at one time re-attached with masking tape, is now lost with time. The back page shows an extremely talented young artist’s (ahem..wink wink) crayon interpretation of her hero Grover. But my mother kept it all these years, perhaps because the lap time story reading memories are too attached to let it go. I know she reads the same Grover tale to my son and my niece at story time and bed time when they go to see their abuela.
Sharing Sesame Street with my own little one has created even more special memories for me. Like the time The Little Made Man learned how to draw Cookie Monster on the sidewalk with Sesame Street Character Artist/Illustrator, Barry Goldberg. Amazing.
Sesame Street Debuts On HBO January 16th
HBO and Sesame Street have joined forces to air all new episodes as well as classic episodes from the last five seasons of the iconic series on HBO and HBO Latino.
Current and past Sesame Street seasons will also air daily on HBO Family at 9 a.m. ET/ 8 a.m. CT, while five years of past episodes will be available to stream on HBO Now, HBO Go and HBO On Demand. The new season will also include Sesame Street’s usual line-up of celeb guest stars including: Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Alan Cumming and Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez.
Tell me one of your favorite Sesame Street memories! Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Do you have a favorite episode? Which Sesame Street Character do your kids love?
Also check out the HBO Kids Website to find out more about the upcoming Sesame Street season and the amazing, ad free, worry free HBO Kids programming.