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Kids Took To The Street 50 Years Ago.. ‘Sesame Street,’ That Is

Sesame Street characters pose under a
Sesame Street characters pose under a "123 Sesame Street" sign.
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

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The first episode of the beloved television show “Sesame Street” aired 50 years ago this Sunday. 

The show projected iconic characters like Big Bird, Elmo and Cookie Monster into kids’ living rooms and the media landscape was forever changed. It’s known for its educational, diverse and inclusive programming. It’s brought tough topics to the forefront, including the introductions of characters that experience homelessness and issues surrounding addiction. “Sesame Street” found its home with PBS, but new episodes began appearing first on HBO about five years ago. And according to the New York Times, episodes will start running on HBO Max, which debuts next year. Episodes will still become available on PBS with about a nine-month delay.

Today on AirTalk, we dive into the significance of one of the most famous streets in the country and discuss how the series altered TV for kids. Do you have memories of how “Sesame Street” impacted you or your children? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.


Robert Thompson, trustee professor and director of the Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture at Syracuse University