Happy 43rd Anniversary, 'Sesame Street': 43 Things You Didn't Know About the 'Street'
Do You Know Which Member of the Street Gang Was a Billboard Pop Star, For Example?
Most of us don't remember a time when Sesame Street wasn't a part of our pop culture lives, and it's more than a little comforting to know that the seminal kids' show rolls on, premiering its 43rd season this week.
Celebrities who'll visit Big Bird, Oscar, Elmo, Zoey and the rest of the Sesame gang this year include Jon Hamm, Melissa McCarthy, Charlize Theron, Halle Berry, Timothy Olyphant, Don Cheadle, Steve Carell, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Maya Rudolph, Eric Stonestreet, Zac Efron, NBA star Blake Griffin, NFL star Troy Polamalu, Wendy Williams, Train, and in honor of the new season, TheAtlantic.com has compiled a list of 43 fun facts you might not know about Sesame Street.
Some of our favorites:
-- Oscar the Grouch was originally orange, but was made green for season two (the color suits him better, right?). The color switch was explained by saying Oscar went on vacation to a muddy swamp that left him green;
-- Count von Count has a friend named Countess von Backwards, and like the name suggests, she likes to count backwards;
-- Big Bird is one tall drink of water: he's 8-foot, 2-inches tall;
-- Elmo is the only non-human who has testified before Congress;
-- When Mr. Hooper died in 1983, his funeral was aired on Thanksgiving Day, so that families would be more likely to be together and help young viewers understand and deal with his passing;
-- In the Nigerian version of Sesame Street, Cookie Monster is obsessed with yams, and goes around saying, "Me want yams!";
-- Cookie Monster's real name: Sid;
-- Ernie's response to rumors that he and roommate Bert are gay: "It's not true. We're both very happy, but we're not gay";
-- Crabby Bert's response to the rumors: "No, no. In fact, sometimes we are not even friends; he can be a pain in the neck";
-- Ernie, pain in the neck as he may be to Bert, is also a real pop star: in 1970, he reached number 16 on the Billboard music chart with his hit tune "Rubber Duckie."
Check out Sesame Street this season for pop culture spoofs like Birdwalk Empire and Upside Downton Abbey, and check out TheAtlantic.com for the full list of 43 fun facts about one of the greatest children's shows ever.