Three cheers for Sesame Street

Fiona's passport photoIn my third three months of life, I’ve been introduced to a new genre: Sesame Street sketches on YouTube. I must say, those folks on Sesame Street may look strange, but they sure can sing. Take “Captain Vegetable,” which apparently is one of my parents’ favorites. Andy and Eddie don’t look like most people I’ve met, and Captain Vegetable himself looks like … well, a weirdo. But that chorus they sing is just so rousing. I’m already looking forward to eating crunchy vegetables.

Another real winner is “Ladybugs’ Picnic.” I haven’t learned all the numbers yet, but with such a catchy tune and twelve little ladybugs that magically pop into place as they’re counted, I’m sure I’ll learn pretty quickly. That picnic really seems like fun, too. Running sack races in their twelve sacks, jumping rope until the rope broke, telling knock-knock jokes—those ladybugs sure know how to have a good time. I’m not so keen on the idea of knocking my head against someone else’s while telling a knock-knock joke, but maybe ladybug heads aren’t as hard as I think they are.

Fiona’s favorite Sesame Street sketches.

I will say, though, that both “Captain Vegetable” and “Ladybugs’ Picnic” have newer versions that are just not as good. The originals are, I’m told, at least 25 years old, whatever that means. Although the animation is simpler and Captain Vegetable is a weird-looking creature instead of a person in a shiny green suit, I find the classic versions much more satisfying to watch. Those computer ladybugs are kind of creepy, and the green-suited guy is not a very convincing actor.

One recent sketch that is quite good is “Counting to Four,” with a singer named Feist. She has such unexpected things to count. I suppose monsters walking across the floor are not that unusual on Sesame Street, but it’s such a surprise to see those penguins standing by the door, and the chickens just back from the shore really bring a smile to my face. Feist really has some good choreography, too. Every time I see her bopping around with those chickens I’m amazed at how well she blends in.

I’m sure there are many more videos waiting for me on YouTube, but those are the ones that have become my favorites for now. For the most part, it seems like you just can’t go wrong with Sesame Street.

This article appeared on page 15 of Issue 2 | April 2011.

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