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‘Sesame Street’ Pitch Reel From The 60s Reveals It Was Kermit Who Named The Show

by rrollins, July 22, 2021

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via Open Food Facts (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Sesame Street has been shaping childhoods for generations, and its influence is evidenced even through new Amazon warehouse robots named ‘Bert’ and ‘Ernie’. With this kind of international hold, it’s easy to think that the Muppet-starring educational program has been around forever, but in truth, it only hit television screens in 1969. The rest, they say, is history.

The show’s sales pitch reel, presumably from 1968, can actually be viewed online, telling everyone how they got to Sesame Street. The Children’s Television Workshop, today’s Sesame Workshop, was looking to fund and distribute a show called Sesame Street, and felt it apt to use Muppets to pitch the program.

“When the workshop goes on the air, the puppets you’ll see in the film will be joined by real people who will set each segment into the proper learning context,” introduced television writer Joan Ganz Cooney, who is now 91.

Things get interesting at the 22:17 mark, where a group of Muppets is shown having a business meeting and brainstorming names for this new show.

After much vexing, which includes some rather preposterous ideas, Kermit the frog casually coins the name “Sesame Street” as a spin on “open sesame,” explaining that it “kind of gives you an idea of a street where neat stuff happens.” He makes the rainbow connection with the “Street” bit after Rowlf discloses that the show would take place “on a street on the front steps of a house.”

Even into adulthood, Sesame Street never fails to be interesting.

[via Boing Boing and r/ObscureMedia, cover image via Open Food Facts (CC BY-SA 3.0)]

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