John Cooney, Evelyn Davis, New York City discussed on Forum


Joan had brilliantly simple notion. Children were watching a tremendous amount of television. If they're gonna watch that much television, why not one? Find out what it is? They like to watch to find out what would be good for them to watch. And then you put the two together, and that's the show. You're hearing some clips from a new documentary about Sesame Street called Street Gang, How he Got to Sesame Street. I'm joined by the director, Maryland, a gorilla who's also the director of the documentary Mad Hot Ballroom and a feature film and invisible sign, and we asked you our listeners to tell us which you remembered about Sesame Street, your favorite characters. Segments or why you think it endures and let me go to Janie and Santa Cruz hygienic? Hey, Hey, Marina. So I wanted to share with you guys. I'm 42 years old, but I still consider Maria Louise and Gordon close friends of the stem and a song that I was just singing today Was me and my llama me my about going to the dentist, and that is just Stuck with me. I sing it to my kids who had just fixes it interest on Saturday and they don't know what the heck I'm talking about. So I got a YouTube that or get me some HBO today. Think that's true. I mean, now. The newest episodes air on HBO. And But But why Maryland? A gorilla? Do you think Sesame Street has endured for so long? You know, I think what Sesame Street did was president. This magical, wonderful place that Will want. It's live in. And it made kids yearn to, uh, be a part of this. Group of Monsters and puppets and Muppets and humans and, um, and I think it just gave everybody this. Joy and decades later, when we see an old clip from a classic episode or When we see this documentary, which has put a lot of those moments together, I think it just takes us all back. To this idealize world that we all wanted to be part of. Well, Savannah rates Top two for me, probably meaning Sesame Street segments. The animated pinball segment said to the Pointer Sisters singing numbers 1 to 12 in the man with the hat who came alive off of a glass in someone's kitchen, iconic. And Jim Tweets. I like their contemporary crossover shorts like they're parody of HBO's Westworld as respected world They really did have this ability Marijuana Grillo to be modern, and it's interesting as I'm talking to you. There is this wonderful nostalgia to see this documentary and to hear our listeners sharing with us the songs and the segments that meant so much I have to say there was also a little bit of sadness that in many ways we're still demanding and trying to show so many of the ideals that that they were demanding and trying to show in the seventies. Did you have that reaction as you looked at this at all? Yes, I mean, Sure. Uh, that was such a tumultuous time and So many things needed to be addressed and as we were making this movie and particularly in the last year When you see all the Uh, protests happening again with black lives matter and all these other things. You just It didn't make me a little sad to consider that the needle happens. It moved as far as we thought. We're talking about the radical origin story of Sesame Street with Maryland. A Grell Oh, director of Street Gang, how we got the Sesame Street And you Our listeners are joining us. What do you remember about Sesame Street? What? Your favorite segments are characters from the show. What did you learn from it? That has stayed with you. You can give us a call at 8667336786 again. 8667336786. You can also get in touch on Twitter or Facebook at KQED Forum and you can email us your questions to forum at kqed dot org's You're listening to forum. I mean, a Kim. And let me go now to collar Hannah in San Francisco. Hi, Hannah. Hi. I'm calling in because recently we had our first child, though it's not so recent. I guess he's almost a year and a half. And we named him Oscar in no small part because we knew when he'd be grumpy. Someday we'd get make Oscar the grouch references and it would make it easier to deal with the ground chief Cutler Uh, thanks for sharing that can you talk a little bit about the Oscar? The grouch character, Marilyn, a Grell Owen and why it was included because it was very deliberate. It was very deliberate, so There was a there was a real desire to present two kids, not only this idealize version of the world, but To present that the fact that not everyone that you encounter in life is gonna be pleasant or sweet or nice, and you will have people that cause trouble people that are nasty people that are difficulty. And so the idea for Oscar the Grouch came from some of the producers who used to eat at a restaurant. Right. Okay. Uh, our engineer wants to play. I love trash, and we'll hear that for a second said Look, get a flavor. Love trash pits on more rotten Stop. I had stayed. Very little gorilla. Do go want in terms of the idea? Yeah. So the idea was to have this this Muppet who reflected things that are not nice things that Children are taught. They should not do. And Oscar is actually one of my favorite characters because he kind of says it like it is and you know he's got a heart of gold underneath. But it was really fascinating to consider the educational thought and planning that went behind every decision. Of Sesame Street. It was all very thought out to educate as well as entertain kids. Well, let me go to Jessica in San Francisco. Next I Jessica. Good morning. I just want to say I was born in 69 73. We moved to Japan. Um, we spoke primarily Chinese at home, and then obviously out about we were picking up Japanese. Sesame Street was the on Lee show in English and the few other kids who lived in our apartment building and I would sit in the lobby because none of us had televisions and we would sit there and watch it and it didn't matter that none of us spoke the same language and it was fantastic, you know, and I still remember sitting there in the apartment so for watching it with a Spanish speaker and the Japanese speaker, an attorney speaker Wow, Jessica. Thanks for sharing that memory. Have you could've ended Marine. Next I've been Hi. What do you? Um Yeah, I I was just saying First of all, you know, I grew up in New York City and set me straight, You know, obviously has a connection to New York. So it's been a big part of my life. Now that I'm here in Marin case, of course, love such mistreat and one thing my daughter being of Middle Eastern descent, she's You don't have a brown skin complexion. And you know we live. We live among people that don't necessarily all have that, as she told me one mortgage that daddy, I love the skin on me. And I said, Where did you learn that? And she said from Sesame Street, And so that stuck with me. I wanted to share that, Ben. Thank you for sharing that story, and it really does go right to the heart of Maryland. A Grell o of of what the original creators wanted. I remember also a moment. And John Cooney was saying, Look, if this doesn't reach Children of color, it is hardly worth doing. But she knew that she could probably draw the middle the middle class kids as she put it, but the real goal was to reach Children. Who may be different may have different skin color may have different ideas about who they live with and live around. It really wasp their goal, and they started with the help of this amazing woman named Evelyn Davis. They did a very vast and thorough like community outreach to really make sure that kids in the inner city and kids and underserved neighborhoods and kids of color were able to access Sesame Street. And it succeeded spectacularly. In fact, one of the frustrations that the people behind Sesame Street always had was. It was very hard for them to gauge the level of success they were having. Because they could never find a control group that was not watching Sesame Street. All kids watched her. Um, it was really It was really quite something that's quite a problem to have. Let me go to Stacey in Oakland for a last thought. I Stacy. Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for this. I was born in 1977 in San Francisco and Sesame Street. My mom's white..

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