As much as I try to avoid turning on the TV in our house, you can be assured that PBS is on for a least a few shows a day. The same held true at my house when I was growing up in the 70s. The amazing thing about Sesame Street is that I think you could say that it has touched almost every American's life in some way since it began on November 10th, 1969. Even Google is giving a shout out to Big Bird and the gang today.
One of the most incredible things about the show for me is how it has adapted to each new generation without losing its identity. Wish I could say the same thing for the Electric Company. Anyone see that show lately? Yikes. Bill Cosby and Morgan Freeman wouldn't be caught dead on that piece of garbage. Thanks to my sister, I at least have all the original shows on DVD for my kids to enjoy—and they love 'em.
What has made Sesame Street so magical? Needless to say, the genius of Jim Henson had lots to do with it. I can't imagine that the show would've been half as successful if Oscar and the Count had been marionettes. Add to it the beautiful way that learning was snuck into the show without the kids even realizing that they were watching something educational, and you've got the longest running children's program on US television.
Congrats to creators Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morisett for giving children something fun and educational to watch, and giving parents 40 years of 30 minute breaks.