Special Report

25 Ways ‘Sesame Street’ Has Changed in Its 50 Years on TV

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11. One of the first children with Down syndrome on TV

One of “Sesame Street” writers, Emily Kingsley, had a son with Down syndrome. Since four decades ago the condition was not as well understood, she suggested that her son, Jason, be on the show. He appeared in more than 50 episodes and was one of the first people with Down syndrome to appear on TV — ever. He is credited with playing an important part in changing people’s perceptions of Down syndrome.

Source: Courtesy of Robert Fuhring and Sesame Workshop

12. It is aired in over 150 countries

“Sesame Street” is a show with fun characters who teach the alphabet and counting, as well as valuable lessons about healthy habits, empathy, and friendship. So it’s no surprise that the series has gone global — over the years, more than 150 countries have adapted the show.

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13. Visits to the White House

Sesame Street has visited the White House many times over the last 50 years, sometimes multiple times a year. In the past multiple Muppets have showed up at events. This was not the case in 2017 when the puppets were invited to the annual Easter Egg Roll. Only one costumed character appeared. This may be due to the fact that the Trump administration had proposed a few days earlier to end all funding for the show.

Source: Chris Hondros / Getty Images

14. Bilingual puppets are introduced

The first bilingual character on the show was a grouch — Osvaldo or Oswald. His character made its debut in the series’ 11th season. The second, and possibly more popular, bilingual character is Rosita, played by Carmen Osbahr. Her debut was in 1991, 12 years after Osvaldo. She speaks both English and Spanish. She has a segment called the Spanish Word of the Day. A third Spanish-speaking character — Armando, who was a writer — was introduced in 2013.

Source: TARIK KIZILKAYA / Getty Images

15. Specific content for online viewing

TV is not the only place the world’s longest street’s residents can be seen. Sesame Street publishes new video on YouTube every week. The videos are centered around one theme and are usually between three and five minutes long.