Sunday, June 24, 2007

CrankCast Vid Picks: Sticking on Sesame Street

I've finally gotten back around to reading Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, the ideologue's socio-cultural apriorism on the pathologies of ideas. I just finished reading his chapter on stickiness and the importance of making an idea sticky. To illustrate his point, Gladwell discusses the academic minds behind the designing (and re-designing) of one of the stickiest television shows of all time - Sesame Street.

Gladwell discusses the successes (like young James Earl Jones reciting the alphabet) and failures of various Sesame Street skits as the show's writers, creators, and researchers grew to understand child psychology in amazing ways.

This reminded me a conversation I had with two of my fellow post-modern roommates about our own glory days watching Sesame Street. We each had our favorite Sesame Street bits and, amazingly, we all remembered each others favorites. A testament to how truly sticky those Muppets were, we all shared these nuggets of cultural collective memory. Through the beauty of YouTube, you too can bask in the nostalgia. Don't take our word for it, check them out below and please leave comments with your own favorite Sesame Street memories. I'm sure they're posted out there somewhere on this series of tubes.

Burt and Ernie Fishing - "Here Fishy Fishy"

This is my favorite Sesame Street clip of all time. My mom remembers me just laughing and laughing when this came on. I still say "here fishy fishy fishy" when I go fishing. I don't go fishing very much.

Hungry Cat Cartoon

"I've never seen stroganoff look quite like that." What an amazing line.

How Crayons Are Made

A beautiful documentary short. I love that the Children's Television Workshop was a venue for all sorts of filmmakers, like the animator who made the previous cat short and the filmmaker who made this one on crayons.

Smokey Robinson Singing "U Really Got a Hold On Me"

This segment has made me deathly afraid of the letter "U." Years of Scrabble playing have yet to shake this vowel-phobia.

Eleven Twelve

A psychedelic journey through the first dozen natural numbers, this catchy tune takes the idea of rhythm and repetition to an extreme as it teaches kids to count.

If you live in the Bay Area I highly recommend checking out "Muppets, Music, & Magic" a Henson retrospective hosted at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the Mission. It started June 21 and runs through July 1.

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