That is one middle aged frog

Happy Birthday Sesame Street! Today you are officially 40. As turning the big 4-0 myself recently, I can happily celebrate the fact that you and I grew up together…literally.

That is my birthday wish to that venerable institution that introduced a nation to the lovable Muppets. It is a show that I lived by in my youth, and later the Muppet Show in my teen years … and adult years. Anyone that knows me well can tell that the Muppets had an incredible, if not somewhat disturbing effect on me. One doesn’t have to go much further than my YouTube video of me singing the Rainbow Connection to see what an impact Mr. Henson had on me. (yeah, a shameless plug to get my video more hits)

Not the long ago I happened to be home during the day for some reason and I happened across an episode of Sesame Street. Much had changed on the good old street since I had last visited. It was the same, but somehow had changed. It looked smaller for one. I am sure it was the same effect you experience when you go back to visit your old grade school. Of course everything is smaller … you are bigger! There were also a lot of new characters that I didn’t recognize or knew of slightly because of my love of Muppets.

Since I was a Sesame Street watcher in the early days, I was one of the children that grew up watching kid’s shows before the era of “political correctness”. I remember when 2 male Muppets living together didn’t mean anything other than they shared the apartment to save on rent. (Although the family guy episode with Bert and Ernie was HILARIOUS) I remember when Cookie Monster ate only cookies and smoked a pipe … which he also ate. Cookies were not a “sometimes food”. I remember when Aloysius Snuffleupagus was still only able to be seen by Big Bird. I also stopped watching long before the beloved Mr. Looper … Scooper … Hooper died.

I was surprised to see some of the original people that I grew up watching were still on the show. Gordon, Maria, Luis. It was nice. Of course in 40 years you expect to see some changes in the old hood. Children today need to be coddled much more than they did when I grew up. For some reason kids today are more fragile. They aren’t allowed to have toys that fire real missiles (loved my Battlestar Galactica Cylon ship) and have to wear 100 pounds of protective gear to climb on a jungle gym … if they can find a park that has one anymore. Once again I digress. (I shall save that rant for another blog)

Where was I? Oh yeah. Some things, of course, have changed, but one thing pretty much remains the same … Sesame Street is still around. The whole anniversary got me to thinking this last week of other shows I used to watch that were meant to educate and entertain. All of the shows are gone now. I think my favorite as I moved a little past Sesame Street was The Electric Company. HEY YOU GUYYYYYYYYYYYS! A show that had big name stars such as Rita Moreno, Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers, Zero Mostel … and these were just a handful of RECURRING characters.

Big Blue Marble and Zoom were some others. I also watched Zoom recently and it was NOTHING like I remembered. Some things are just better to keep the memories.

None of those shows had as big an impact though. I do not go around singing the Easy Reader theme … very often … I do appreciate the references to those classics on other shows parodying them. (Mostly Family Guy). What I do however is I talk with a LOT of  cartoon type voices. My best and most requested at birthdays and Bar Mitzvahs, are the Muppet voices. I can remember, whether it is accurate or not, starting doing Muppet voices by singing “Rubber Ducky”. It wasn’t a stretch to go from that to Kermit (basically the same voice with subtle differences) and then learned to do many of the other voices. Once I got Muppets down I started moving to other cartoon voices. What did all this get me? It got me a video on YouTube but that is it so far. I think, no, I know my dream job would to be a cartoon voice. Better yet, to be a Muppeteer. I believe it is never too late in life to follow your dreams, so one day, when the economy stabilizes, and I can build myself a Muppet to practice with and learn, I may make that video of me and my Muppet and send it to Henson Studios and hope for the best.

Sesame Street shaped me into the person I am today … tall, round, and furry with many voices in my head. I know that when I have kids, I will be buying the DVDs of Sesame Street that are “for adults only” so that they can hopefully turn out as well as I did. Until next time …

 

Look! Up in the sky … It’s an egg plant …

It’s a meatball …

grover

IT’S SUPER GROVER!!!

 

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2 Responses to “That is one middle aged frog”

  1. Oh Bob I love your blog. Yes Sesame Street has changed. But I still can’t get enough of those muppets. I enjoy your visualization you gave me. I will now think of you as a muppet – hee hee hee… Oh and have you watched the Electric Company? It is still on. They still yell HEY YOU GUUUYYYYSSS.. other than that I am SO lost. Try it. Its weird.

    Love ya neighbor.. O and I LOVE the picture at the top of your blog 🙂

    • Might have to check out the new Electric Company so I cna ruin my memories of the old one lol. Although, whenever I look back on old shows I sit there and think to myself “We thought this was good television?”

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