"Sesame Street" has been around for over 45 years, and has had quite the influence on generations of children. And even if you didn't grow up with the show, it's hard not to love it (especially if you've ever been to Sesame Place waterpark). Here are just some of the reasons, no matter how much praise it gets, "Sesame Street" will still always be underrated.
1. It changed the meaning of children's television... and continues to do so.
When "Sesame Street" first aired, most children's programming was focused on mindless, slapstick entertainment. Aside from its focus on education, "Sesame Street" took place in a realistic urban setting rather than in a magical place, or a house like Mr. Rogers'. According to an NPR interview with co-creator Joan Ganz Cooney, the show was aimed at "intercity youngsters," who the creators believed would benefit most from educational programming.
2. Research shows it really does prepare kids for schools.
Researchers at the University of Maryland and Wellesley College found that, while it doesn't replace the benefits of pre-school, "Sesame Street" does have an especially positive impact on kids coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. In fact, they saw a 14 percent drop in the likelihood of being held back in school if a child had access to the program.
3. In 2002, Elmo testified before Congress on the importance of music education.
Teach them, Elmo. Teach them.
4. They get the best cameos.
5. They're excellent with numbers.
6. They're fighting HIV stigmas...
South Africa's version, "Takalani Sesame," includes a character named Kami who is HIV-positive and lost her mother to the disease.
7. ...and teach people in affected areas about malaria.
Like in this PSA from Tanzania's Kilimani Sesame crew, reminding parents of the importance of mosquito nets.
8. "Sesame Street" keeps it super real in the U.S. too.
They have an entire initiative dedicated to kids whose parents are incarcerated.
9. Their puns are phenomenal.
The video is worth watching, if only for Princess Leia's Oreo hair buns.
10. Seriously, what genius is coming up with these parodies?
11. Cookie Monster got rid of his horrifying teeth.
Looks like sugar rots your teeth after all. You can see the Cookie Monster of your nightmares at work in this IBM commercial.
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