Being a kid in the late 1970s all the way through the 1980s came with a lot of perks. Case in poiint: Sesame Street. Created by the true "Master of Puppets" Jim Henson. Nobody could relate to kids the way that Jim Henson could. Both the American and Canadian versions of Sesame Street were by and large the best children's shows.
The Main Characters
All of the main characters were there. Big Biird, Bert and Ernie, Grover, Hairy Monster, Cookie Monster, Mr Snuffluppagus, Allison Snuffluppagus, Telly etal. Let's not forget the human characters: Gordon, Susan, Olivia, David, Maria, Luis, Bob, Linda, Mr Hooper.
Elmo didn't become a main character until Kevin Clash took over the role. He was a silly one-dimensional character in a "Me" skit.
The Counting and Reading Animation Clips.
This is what made Sesame Street what it was. Donniie Bud and his Toucan Two-Step, a Bud Luckey Original, taught kids how to count and the Typewriter Guy, another Bud Luckey Original, taught kids how to spell using simple 3 and 4 letter wordsl.
All and all Sesame Street was just an all around fantastic show.
Deaths In The Sesame Street Family
Will Lee. (08/06/1908-12/07/1982)
This was the stunner for me being only about 6 or 7 when Mr Hooper died. Mr Hooper was the most lovable and notworthy person in the cast of Sesame Street.
Will Lee died of a heartattack at the age of 78.
Northern J Calloway. (No photo available) (01/22/1947-01/09/1990)
Played David Robinson from 1972 until 1989. After his retirement in 1989 he collapsed and went into a comma. According to the IMDB he surccumbed to stomach cancer in 1990 at the age of 42. No mention of Northern's death was ever made public on Sesame Street.
Matt Robinson. (01/01/1937-08/05/2002)
The original Gordon from 1969-1972 died of complications relating to Parkinson's disease at the age of 65. His daughter actress Holly Robinson Peete founded the HollyRod Foundation with her husband Rodney Peete to help those who have been afflicted with Parkinson's Disease.
Michael Jeter. (08/26/1952-03/30/2003)
Michael Jeter is best known for his role as Herman Stiles on Evening Shade but toddlers everywhere know him as the lovable, but dimwitted, brother of Mr Noodle Mr Noodle. He died of A.I.D.S. at the age of 50.
The Day That Sesame Street Deteriorated.
Jim Henson died on May 16, 1990 of bacterial pneumonia at the age of 53 and with him a little piece of my childhood died too. The Chlidren's Television Workshop, now named Sesame Workshop, cobbled together clips from previous shows. This is when Sesame Street started to deteriorate.
Even the children have changed over the past 30 some odd years that Sesame Street has been on the air. John John, a little boy of about 2 or 3 years old at the time of his skits with Hairy Monster and Grover, is probably close to 35-40 years old now and probably has a real job.
Yes Sesame Street, as I and the rest of the kids of my generation have known it, is dead and gone. Now what the kids of today have to look forward to is, what I think is, the longest running clip show in history.
Let's face it people; Sesame Street hasn't been the same since Jim Henson died and it never will be the same.