As someone who spends a good deal of time thinking about communication, culture and ministry, as well as frequently taking in a new episode of Sesame Street with the kids, I found the following post on a blog hosted by Bombay Creative.
Culture has certainly changed over the past 40 years. The New York Times reports that DVD Volumes 1 & 2 of “Sesame Street’s” original episodes come with the following warning:
These early “Sesame Street” episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.
Why? According to Executive Producer Carol-Lynn Parente, Cookie Monster smokes and eats a pipe during “Monsterpiece Theater.” And other characters may seem too grouchy, depressed, slow, or drugged. The NY Times also notes:
On the very first episode, which aired on PBS Nov. 10, 1969 — a pretty, lonely girl like Sally might find herself befriended by an older male stranger who held her hand and took her home. Granted, Gordon just wanted Sally to meet his wife and have some milk and cookies, but . . . well, he could have wanted anything.
The DVD warning is a reminder that our culture has become much more politically correct over the years and our streets have become much more dangerous for children.
From a ministry perspective, what worked 40 years ago certainly seems out of place today.
1969 Sesame Street Intro
Compare that to a Recent Sesame Street Intro