I remember back in the ’70s, my Mum used to step out every other morning to visit a friend down the road or to go to the store for groceries, leaving me at home alone with the television as company and surrogate ‘protector’ of sorts. It’s as though she assumed burglars wouldn’t enter the house where someone is watching television with the volume high.
Indeed, these were the days when a kid could be left at home without supervision, way before today’s overbearing helicopter style of parenting, and threat of freaks on the streets.
Anyway, I’d be preoccupied with the surreal world of Sesame Street, the educational series which premiered in 1969 (a year before my birth) that cleverly combined live-action, animation, and of course puppetry.
How I loved equally the goody-goody likes of Big Bird, Elmo, Bert and Ernie, as well as the cheekier puppets like Oscar the Grouch, the Count and Cookie Monster, learning stacks of things as these make-believe folk got up to all sorts of strife.
I even went to see ‘Sesame Street on Ice’ once and, let me tell you, it was like seeing superstars in the flesh. Well, in the fur…
This year, Sesame Street is up to its 51st season. Airing on ABC Kids, the new season will feature a host of celebrity guests including Billy Porter (of Pose fame), NBL star Stephen Curry and actress partner Ayesha Curry, Issa Rae, Kelsea Ballerini, and Maggie Rogers.
The new season marks the beginning of a two-year curriculum focused on playful problem-solving, designed to build critical thinking skills in young children and better equip them to handle challenges in school and beyond.
Sesame Street Muppets, human cast members, and guest stars will face obstacles – be it while building a castle, staging a circus, or fixing the inner workings of a grandfather clock – approaching these tasks with curiosity, creativity, and perseverance. What viewers will be hearing a lot of are questions such as I wonder…? (pointer finger to temple), What if…? (pointer to chin); and Let’s try! (finger in the air).
“We’re proud to announce our newest episodes of Sesame Street, designed to entertain and educate kids as we help them build curiosity, creativity, and persistence – an especially crucial focus as families continue to face unprecedented challenges,” said Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, Senior Vice President, Curriculum and Content of Sesame Workshop.
Sesame Workshop is the non-profit educational organisation behind a half century of award-winning children’s television. Originally known as the Children’s Television Workshop (CTW), Sesame Workshop continues to have a strong presence on television but has also branched out into film, making music and creating multimedia.
Here’s hoping the Workshop brings back those muppets on ice and I’ll be there – front row, centre!
Sesame Street’s 51st season airs on ABC Kids, with episodes running every weekday morning at 9.30am, and also on ABC iview and the ABC Kids app.