Saturday, March 14, 2015

Yeah, Baby! Thoughts about Elmo and Seasame Street

Growing up, I really enjoyed Sesame Street.  I don't ever really thinking I should be learning from it. It was a fin mix of muppets, songs,  surreal cartoons, and songs. I definitely enjoyed it more than The Electric Company


Possibly the  most important moment from Sesame Street  was the passing of Mr. Hooper.  This taught us 80's kids a very deep lesson in sadness. My mother says I was very distraught. 

Of course,  I outgrew the show. My much younger brothers watched it but was a baby show and I lost all interest.  That is until one day. I heard a very familiar song and it evoked memories of listening to my Sesame Street record as a  young child. The tune that I heard was "Thats Big Bird's Song" but when I went closer to the television, it became apparent it was not. It was being sung by Elmo.  I felt let down by a childhood favorite that day.

I never really thought about Sesame Street again until I was in my late 20s. Most of my friends had small children, but I did not have any children at the time.  When they came to visit I had very little to keep their children entertained.  One day at Walmart, I happened to find a dvd of the first seasons of Sesame Street.
This was great. I had found the perfect dvd. Shortly after I bought it, a friend came to visit with his small son. I put on the dvd and we started talking. We were not paying much attention when a cartoon man came out and informed us this was for adult entertainment purposes only and not to be viewed by children.  I sat there stunned. I did not remember buying a porn parody of Sesame Street. We both examined the box and it clearly stated it was a Jim Henson production. We watched the first episode and other than a very hypnotic segment that made us want milk quite desperately, there was nothing I found to be inappropriate, nor did he. He actually remembered watching the episode as a child.


When my son was about a year old, I decided that television in small portions would be acceptable. My youngest brother was 24 at the time and the last time I had any exposure to children's television was when he was little, so it has been some time.  I was upset to hear the Mr. Roger's is not being shown in reruns. Then I found out Sesame Street is very much still on the air on PBS.  

I am not very uptight when it comes to entertainment, but everytime Elmo came on the screen, I wanted to break something.  It took me a while to realize it, but I don't think Elmo is very toddler appropriate. Every other sentence is "Yeah, Baby!" which is not a phrase I like. Maybe because of "Yeah, Buddy!" which is what I think when I hear it.

Then there is this:
Notice what is said around the 2:34 mark.

It is not just Elmo.  There is this Wizard of Oz parody : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ2taTzhwrI.  A well known adult movie is titled "Behind the Green Door". I did not really like the connection at all.

Maybe I am overthinking this. Afterall, doesn't Pixar have many "in-jokes" that adults snicker at over their children's heads?

My son still watches Sesame Street, I think overall its a fine show.  I must say, I love how diverse the cast is. Leela makes a fine addition, even though she was not written as being Indian when first cast. Maria and Luis along with Gordon and Susan are still on the show. Alan who runs Hooper's store is of  Japanese descent.  The songs still do a good job of teaching ABCs and 123s. I do change the channel when something I don't like comes on.

What do you think? Am I overthinking? What children's shows do you feel have controversial tones?

I do want to state, this is a blog. This is my opinion. I think that in the last few years people feel their opinions are facts, but they really aren't. I am not looking to start an opinion war, these are just random thoughts I had.