Seseme Street, the longest running children's television program in the US, celebrated 40 years on November 10th, 2009! The anniversary episode featured First Lady Michelle Obama, who helped Elmo and kids plant a garden (video link). Also, check out this 40th anniversary news brief video, courtesy of Seseme Workshop.
I remember singing along with Ernie about rubber duckies, and counting apples with Count von Count. But while some things have remained the same, it seems that Seseme Street has changed its messages to promote health in American youth. This is awesome!
According to a recent The New York Times article by Alessandra Stanley, "Mrs. Obama’s message on the anniversary episode isn’t an exhortation to future soldiers, scientists and presidents to be all that they can be, but to tiny consumers to eat the freshest food they can find. “Veggies taste so good when they come fresh from the garden, don’t they?” Mrs. Obama tells a rainbow coalition of children gathered around a soil tray, an echo of her White House kitchen garden. “If you eat all these healthy foods, you are going to grow up to be big and strong,” Mrs. Obama says, flexing her fists. “Just like me.”
Cookie Monster’s palate was refined during Season 36 as part of the show’s “healthy habits for life” campaign. He now also gobbles fruits and vegetables, which are labeled by the show as “anytime” foods while cookies are held in reserve as “sometime” food. And almost every episode has a subliminal message about exercise and nutrition, along with a fruit bowl."