Image via WikipediaSesame Street and its characters are some of the most beloved entities on television today. The program has taught millions of kids about spelling, counting, letters and other important information in a fun and interesting way. Most adults would recognize Bert and Ernie, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and other characters, but few would know the following facts about one of the most popular and respected children’s programs on TV today.
The Name of the Show
Have you ever wondered where the program’s title – Sesame Street – originated from? It’s actually the idea of one of the writers that began working on the show before it began. The word “sesame” refers to the old Arabian fable in which the phrase “Open Sesame” is repeated several times. The word “sesame” was a word that elicited excitement and the word “street” applied to the image of the urban street on which the show was set.
Different Character Colors
Over the years, there were many changes to the characters on Sesame Street. But during the first couple years, there were some dramatic changes. For one thing, Oscar used to be orange instead of the dirty green that we know him as today. Grover also changed from a brown color to the blue color that he is now.
Cookie Monster Existed before Sesame Street
Many fans of Sesame Street may think that the Cookie Monster originated on the kid’s TV program. But he actually started in a General Foods commercial and an IBM training film several years before Sesame Street began. He was also in a commercial for Munchos where he had the name “Arnold the Munching Monster.” However, Sesame Street softened up his image to be more appealing to kids by removing his big sharp teeth and other features that could potentially be frightening to them.
Muppets Weren’t Always Featured
Before Sesame Street was televised, the pilot was tested in a focus group comprised of families. The pilot only had one sketch featuring Muppets, which happened to be Bert and Ernie. This sketch was the only one that the focus group actually enjoyed. As a result, the entire show went through a transformation to focus heavily on the Muppets with human interactions occurring throughout each episode.
Barkley is one of the lesser used characters in Sesame Street, but he has a recognizable face. However, he wasn’t always known as Barkley. For the first few appearances, he was actually named Woof Woof.