Today marks the birth date of a childhood classic.
On this day in 1969, the now-classic Sesame Street made its debut on the Public Broadcasting Service. The brainchild of producer Joan Ganz Cooney, featuring the celebrated puppets of Jim Henson (1936 – 1990), Sesame Street is now the longest-running children’s television show ever – its universal appeal permeating the kid consciousness of the cosmos.
For the past 39 years, children all over the world have enjoyed Sesame Street – televised in more than 120 countries and in 25 different international versions. It would be difficult to find a more globally recognized or beloved program. Generations of children have learned numbers, letters, counting and reading from such iconic characters as Big Bird, Count von Count, Grover, and, of course, perennial "straight man" Kermit the Frog.
But more than that, children have also learned the importance of compromise from Bert and Ernie, the dangers of excess from the Cookie Monster, the benefits of good-natured tolerance from the neighborhood’s acceptance of Oscar the Grouch, and the nature of diversity from the multi-cultural cast and colorful assortment of loveable Muppets.
Certainly one reason for its enduring appeal is the Children Television’s Workshop’s dedication to ongoing research. Always striving to understand and meet their viewers’ needs, the workshop’s Education and Research Department reviews and tests the content for suitability, resulting in an evolving standard that continues to be relevant and engaging to viewers over the years.
Sesame Street is a true representation of what The Diff is all about: quality, care, commitment to continual improvement, and lasting, universal relevance.
In grateful recognition for making a difference to millions of children – across time and borders – here’s to many more years of providing inspiration and guidance for children around the globe. Thanks, Sesame Street… We love you!