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Friday, November 12, 2010

My Sesame Street Adventure With Big Bird, Mr. Hooper, and Snuffleupagus


"The Great Sesame Street ABC Hunt" is a fun hardcover book that I've had for as long as I can remember. Maybe that's because the book debuted the year I was born. This book is quite the time capsule. Sesame Street has changed a great deal since its debut in 1969. For starters, Big Bird used to be the show's main character.


Mr. Hooper's Store was the happening place on Sesame Street. Big Bird frequently mispronounced Mr. Hooper's name. Actor Will Lee (Mr. Hooper) died in 1983. Rather than have the character recast or have him move to Peru, the cast of Sesame Street addressed the death of Mr. Hooper. This is one of the most memorable episodes of the series.

For many years, none of the adults on Sesame Street believed that Big Bird's friend Mr. Snuffleupagus was real.


This was addressed in 1985, when the adults finally saw Mr. Snuffleupagus, and apologized to Big Bird.

This book is "A Me Book." This may have been one of the first presents that I ever got. People rarely call me "Daniel." It seems kinda strange to see that over and over again.


My Grandparents loved getting these personalized books for me. I have a "Fox and the Hound" book and a "Jungle Book" one, too (they are thin, cheaper paperback books). This Sesame Street one is different because it is an actual hardcover book. I had actually forgotten it was "A Me Book" until I opened it up.


It looks like Snuffy is really good at this ABC Hunt. Big Bird has a secret advantage, though---me!!


Big Bird spouts off a lot of knowledge about me in this book. He knows my birthday, my address, and the name of our cat. It's pretty cool for a kid to be included in the story!


Mr. Snuffleupagus, have you really been to Alabama? Well, maybe with Sesame Street on Ice...

With my help, Big Bird does really well on the ABC Hunt!


Oh no, Big Bird! Something tells me Mr. Snuffleupagus is about to ditch you.


No, Snuffy, NOOOOO!!!!!

Mr. Hooper is such a nice guy.


Dig those funky threads the adults are wearing!

As usual, nobody believes Big Bird.


Once again, Snuffy hits the road before the adults can see him. Snuffy is sort of a fair-weather friend.


Yes, Big Bird, I did. Sometimes people only see what they want to see.


I hope you took something from your trip to old-school Sesame Street. I know I did. It was a place where most people dismissed you or didn't believe you. Your authority figures were right and you were silly and foolish for thinking otherwise or challenging them with something they could not understand or see. It's just like how the real world often operates. But YOU knew they were NOT right about everything, and Mr. Snuffleupagus WAS real!

13 comments:

  1. Fun. I don't remember these, but I had just about all the hard-cover books in Sesame Street Library. Remember those?

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  2. Hey Tom! Yes, I do remember those books (and I probably have at least one of them somewhere). There were some great Sesame Street books. I saw a vintage Twiddle Bug book for sale years ago that used stop-motion puppet style figures for the pictures---very cool!

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  3. I don't remember the books (they may have come along "after my time"), but my brother and I had a Sesame Street LP that included a booklet. The only songs I can remember from the LP were Big Bird singing the Alphabet Song and Ernie singing "Rubber Ducky." I know it still exists somewhere at my mom's. Maybe I should go over there and look for it!

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  4. TokyoMagic!: Yes, you may have a treasure there! I loved those book and record sets. I miss my record player...

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  5. Dan, the last comments from TokyoMagic reminded me of another album I had as a kid: the Sesame Disco album. Grover was on the cover in a JOhn Travolta pose. Did you have that record album?

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  6. Tom: I do remember that album (too funny!) but I did not have it (I DO remember some lucky friends that had it!). One that I still own is simply called "Sesame Street" (featuring "Roosevelt Franklin Counts."). This is from Wonderland Golden Records and I don't think it is an "official" product (the cover is Muppet-free and features a very 1970s illustration with smiley-faced kids on a city street). It has a bunch of kid songs mixed with Sesame Street songs like "I Love Trash" and "Goin' For A Ride." It doesn't have the original vocal talent, either (I really felt cheated whenever I got an album like this, which often happened purchasing CDs at discount stores). It's like buying a Beatles album and finding out that the songs are performed by "The Peter Pan Records Singers."

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  7. I used to love Sesame Street. Now I can't watch even a full episode. The only thing on the show that hasn't changed is "Elmo's World." BUT, the other day my mom checked out "The Sesame Street greatest hits" or something like that. It was the best cd ever! the songlist included the ABC-DEF-GHI song (the one with big bird) the original elmo's song, sing, the original theme song, rubber ducky, happy tappin with elmo, and, my favorite, doing the (coo-coo) pigeon. It was great.

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  8. Hey Auburn! Yes, Sesame Street has changed dramatically over the years. I don't think Elmo was even on Sesame Street when I watched (mid 1970s to early 1980s). They had some great music, too! I haven't seen the show in many years. I did see a great film on PBS a few years ago documenting the creation of the Bangladesh version of Sesame Street, which was very interesting.

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  9. Hi Dan, I just wanted to comment on Sesame Street again. I watched the program in the late 1970s all the way until the late 1980s. There was no sign of Elmo then. When Jim Henson died in 1990, that was a turning point for me, and I no longer watched the program. I may have tuned in once or twice to see how the voice of Ernie sounded, but they were still using the old clips, which they probably aren't using anymore. Incidentally, the new Jim Henson exhibit has come to Chicago; I plan to visit it within the next few weeks (it leaves in January) and hope to have a review on my blog soon (and pictures too - I just got a new camera)

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  10. Tom: Wow, that is awesome that you are visiting the Jim Henson exhibit in Chicago! I am very jealous, but hopefully you'll be sharing some great pictures.

    It took some time to get used to the new voices for the various Muppet performers that took over for Jim Henson and Richard Hunt after they passed away. And of course, Frank Oz is busy as a director, so his characters have been taken over by other performers, too.

    I think Elmo is on the cover of the "Follow That Bird" Sesame Street movie DVD, even though he was just a background character and did not even speak. :-O

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  11. Very intresting post. You know, I had a friend who had that book. I often wonder if she stil has it as I seem to find this one in second hand shops more than I do any other Me-Book. This woman (her name is Kylie, by the way) is on Facebook but never responds to my friend requests, for some reason.

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  12. Hi Dan - I know you wrote this post like seven years ago, but I just came across it while doing a Google Image search for this book. I had it too. I couldn't remember the name of it until I found a picture of the book cover online and recognized it instantly. I feel kind of cheated now that I know Big Bird and Snuffle-upagus were doing the alphabet hunt with other kids besides me...

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    1. Hey Jeff! I'm sorry that the truth is out there now.

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