“When we started out I didn’t know that it would appeal to all these countries. I thought of it as a quintessentially American show,” “Sesame Street” creator Joan Ganz Cooney told Reuters.
“It was sort of hip and cool and late-60s and The Muppets seemed to me very American, so I was stunned when foreign countries started asking us … but I loved it … if we would do Sesame Streets in their country.”
Other nations quickly adopted it, and eventually “Sesame Street” would stretch from Bangladesh to Brazil, India to Israel, Japan to Jordan and Egypt too.
A key part of the winning formula for the popular show is the puppet-like characters the Muppets. “They each have one emotion everybody has and I think that’s why they’re so popular,” said Sonia Manzano, who plays Maria on the show. “Sesame Street” has outlasted other top television shows of every generation, from “Happy Days” and “Mash” to “Magnum P.I.” and “Friends”.
“I think the thing that helped our longevity is the fact that we’re willing to grow and change,” said Loretta Long, who plays Susan on the show and has a doctorate in education. “We didn’t come up with just one set format and ride it off into the sunset like most TV shows do.”
Despite the hoopla, not everyone was pleased. “I’m a grouch, am I supposed to be happy? Well, actually if I get happy it makes me miserable but I love to be miserable so that makes me happy,” Oscar the Grouch told reporters. Not even meeting Michelle Obama could take the edge off the famously unhygienic grouch. “She said, ‘Take a bath’,” Oscar said. “I’ve never done that .. Have a rotten day!”
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