Celebrating 40 Years of Sesame Street

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by: Lindsay Hutton
According to the Sesame Street Workshop, Sesame Street was the number one show recalled by mothers of children ages 6 months to 11 years when asked to name any children's program. It's no wonder this incredibly popular and educational program has stayed on the air for 40 years! In honor of Sesame Street's milestone birthday, we've put together a list of fun facts and trivia that even the most die-hard Sesame Street fan might not know.
Grover,SesameStreet
Grover Wasn't Always Blue
In the very first season of Sesame Street, Grover, the cuddly blue creature everyone loves, was actually brown. In addition, Oscar made his debut as an orange grouch, not the green grump we know him as today.
CookieMonster,SesameStreet
Cookie Monster Had Another Job
Speaking of lovable blue creatures, Cookie Monster wasn't an amateur when he joined the Sesame Street cast. In fact, he'd started his acting career almost three years prior, starring as "The Wheel Stealer" in an unaired General Foods commercial. He then went on to appear in an IBM training film and a Munchos commercial.

Cookie Monster is also the only Muppet character who has five fingers. Everyone else has four.

Rosita,SesameStreet
What Exactly is Rosita?
Most people know Rosita as the only Hispanic Muppet on Sesame Street, but few know what she actually is. Are you curious? Rosita is a fruit bat.
SesameStreetCharacters,Muppets
Sesame Street Has Won Emmys Galore
To date, this children's series has won 118 Emmy Awards -- that's more than any other show in television history. Around 8 million people tune in every week. Sesame Street has aired in over 120 countries since its inception, making it the most widely viewed children's series in the world.
Ernie,RubberDucky,SesameStreet
Ernie Has a Hit Song
Ernie's song "Rubber Ducky" was released as a single in 1970, and made it to #16 on the Billboard chart.

Ernie is also the only Sesame Street Muppet to have a built in smile. His rubber ducky sure makes him happy!

SesameStreetCharacters,Muppets
Sesame Street Has Had Its Share of Visiting Celebrities
In the 4,212 episodes that have aired over the past 40 years, over 440 celebrities have visited Sesame Street, including four first ladies: Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. James Earl Jones was the first celebrity to make an appearance.
Muppet,SesameStreet
Where did Sesame Street Get Its Name?
The search for a catchy name was long and arduous, until one of the show's writers suggested Sesame Street. The word "sesame" was meant to invoke a sense of excitement and mystery, as in the old Arabian Nights saying, "Open Sesame!" The word "street" was used because of the show's urban setting - Sesame Street was the ideal combination of these two words.
BigBird,SesameStreet
Big Bird Is No Canary
Most people think Big Bird is a giant yellow canary. Au contraire - he's actually an 8'2 golden condor.
Elmo,SesameStreet
Elmo Was Behind the Scenes
Elmo, a kids' favorite, didn't debut until 1984, but if you look closely, you'll see he's worked as a background Anything Muppet since the early 1970s. He is also the only Muppet in history to have testified before Congress. Twenty-five years after he appeared on the scene, Elmo is still only 3 ½ years old.
Snuffleupagus,SesameStreet,Muppets
Snuffleupagus Was Imaginary
From 1971 to 1985, Snuffleupagus was Big Bird's imaginary friend. It wasn't until 1985 that he became a character on the show that everyone could see. Because nobody believed Big Bird about Snuffleupagus, and parents tended not to believe their children about imaginary friends, producers were afraid that this disbelief would lead to children being afraid to speak out about sexual abuse.

And if you're curious about type of animal Snuffleupagus is, he's a Pachyderm.

BigBird,Elmo,SesameStreet
Birdseed Milkshakes Are Expensive
Big Bird's favorite snack cost a mere 20 cents at Hooper's Store back in 1969. Today, these frothy creations go for a whopping $2.99.