“Sesame Street” Is Turning 50 – Here Are Some Fun Facts About Every Kid’s Favorite Street

Image Credit: Pixabay

Sesame Street is a children’s viewing staple, and they’ve made it a point to move seamlessly along with the times, incorporating different types of families, kids with disabilities, the changing challenges of the world, and so on.

In short, fifty years later, Sesame Street is still a show that parents everywhere feel comfortable showing impressionable little minds.

To celebrate their birthday – and their continued awesomeness – here are some fun facts you might not have known until now.

18. Carol Burnett appeared on the very first episode.

She talked about it with The Hollywood Reporter:

“I didn’t know anything about Sesame Street when they asked me to be on. All I knew was that Jim Henson was involved and I thought he was a genius – I’d have gone skydiving with him if he’d asked. But it was a marvelous show. I kept going back for more. I think one time I was an asparagus.”

17. Ralph Nader put in a totally on-brand appearance.

In 1988, he sang a tune that included the lyric “a consumer advocate is a person in your neighborhood.”

16. There’s a Sesame Garden in Afghanistan.


Baghch-e-Simsim made its debut in 2011.

15. But Oscar and the Count don’t have starring roles.

“Due to cultural taboos against trash and vampirism,” their roles have been minimized.

14. Kermit the Frog was an original cast member.

Before he starred on The Muppet Show, Kermit was a main character on Sesame Street.

Bonus fact: most people assume Kermit the Frog is Jim Henson’s alter ego.

13. The whole show was created from one simple question – can television teach us anything?

The original idea for the show happened at a 1966 dinner party hosted by Joan Ganz Cooney, a NYC producer. An experimental educator at the Carnegie Corporation, Lloyd Morrisett, asked the question that got the ball rolling.

12. Oscar the Grouch used to be orange.

When he turned green for season 2, Oscar explained his changed hue by claiming a vacation to the very damp Swamp Mushy Muddy turned him green overnight.

11. Ernie has hit the Billboard charts.

In 1970, “Rubber Duckie” reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

10. Big Bird definitely lives up to his name.

He’s 8’2.

9. And it takes a lot of feathers to cover that much real estate.

It takes around 4000 features to craft his iconic yellow suit.

8. The show almost had a totally different name.

The working title was 123 Avenue B, but they wanted it to be less specific to NYC.

7. Cookie Monster isn’t his real name.

In 2004, he revealed that, before he started eating cookies all the time, he was called Sid.

6. Mr. Snuffleupagus also has a real name.

A first name, I mean – it’s Aloysius.

5. Cookie Monster has a British cousin.

His name is, of course, Biscuit Monster.

4. In South Africa, an HIV-positive character lives on Sesame Street.

Her name is Kami, and she joined the cast in 2002.

3. Kami is not welcome in America.

Six Republicans on the House Commerce Committee wrote a letter Pat Mitchell, the PBS president, reminding him that their committee controlled PBS’s funding, and including a warning that Kami was not appropriate for American children.

2. Star Wars cast members have visited Sesame Street.

In 1980, C-3PO and R2-D2 played games, sang songs, and R2-D2 fell in love with a fire hydrant.

1. The Count has a Countess.

He has a lady friend, Countess von Backwards, also loves to count…backwards.

I can’t wait to introduce my own kids to the show in short order.

Do you love Sesame Street? Do your kids? Let us know why in the comments!