Revisiting Sesame Street

Remember this little ditty?

D, D, D, D
Daddy dear, oh daddy dear
Do dogs have dreams, do ducks have ears?
Do dragons dance, why do gophers dig holes?
Do gophers dress up in their dirty clothes?

If so, you may also be picturing the animated song that debuted on Sesame Street in 1972, with letter Ds flying by between images of dreaming dogs, daisies, doughnuts, and dandelions. The past month or so, I’ve been revisiting my Sesame Street days.

It all started innocently enough with reading Michael Davis’ book, Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street. Davis’ book gives an in depth view as to how the show’s initial conceptualization (an informal conversation at a dinner party circa 1966) made its way into production. Davis reveals from interviews with cast, crew, and peripheral parties how timing, talent, drive, and luck aligned, allowing creators to produce an innovative approach to educate, as well as entertain, young children. Along with chronicling the show’s road to success, Street Gang, also provides a surprising peek behind-the-scenes of the beloved children’s television show. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t always fun and games.)

While in the middle of reading Street Gang, I learned that MCL owns the DVD collection, Sesame Street: Old School, 1969-1974, which features a selection of entire episodes, as well as individual segments from the first five seasons. To rewatch Sesame Street through adult eyes, as well as from the knowledge gleaned from Davis’ book, is truly an experience.

There’s a special treat for those of you who prefer audiobooks. The book on CD, Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street, has Caroll Spinney (voice of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch) narrating Davis’ look at the world’s longest running children’s show. Additionally, the edition on CD includes an interview with Davis and Spinney.

-- This post was brought to you by the letter “D” and the number “3”,
Anna, Hopewell Branch


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