In the 1970's, Sesame Street wasn't the only educational puppet show in town. The Letter People was a literacy program and television series that taught phonics with an unusual bunch of 26 characters. Here's the entire 60 episode run. The production values improved a bit as the show went on, evolving from black backgrounds and simple sets to more elaborate ones. Every Letter Person had their own theme song, featured in their introductory episode; here's all twenty-six of those in alphabetical, and thus wildly anachronic, order. Absent from the show are the songs of Misters R, X and Q (the last three Letter People to debut in the show - they'd clearly gone through design changes by then, ESPECIALLY Mr. X). [more inside]
Why Your Children's Television Program Sucks: Jessie / Thomas and Friends / Super Why! / The Fresh Beat Band / Dora the Explorer / Chuggington / Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! / Max and Ruby
How we made Knightmare The creator and the dungeon master of the 1980s fantasy game show revisit dodgy technology and terrified children. The wikipedia entry explains more. Knightmare mentioned previously on mefi
Time for Teletubbies: Radical Utopian Fiction - how the BBC children's show reveals our posthuman future.
It's not uncommon for celebrities to get a cartoon. Billionaire Warren Buffett now joins their ranks with Secret Millionaire's Club, a cartoon about Warren Buffet giving a group of kids advice on investing, business and life. [more inside]
Jack Mulqueen presents Kiddie a-Go-Go. Check out the intro brought to you by Mickelberry's Plump & Juicy Franks and their fine variety of cold cuts. Hostess Pandora (played by Jack Mulqueen's wife Elaine) introduces the Stop and Go-Go dance, followed by a live performance from the New Colony Six in full Revolutionary War costumes. Unlike the Buddy Deane Show (which inspired the movie Hairspray), this later clip indicates that Kiddie A-Go-Go had racially integrated without incident. Other happenings inspired by the Kiddie A-Go-Go include a children's album, the public access TV show Chic-A-Go-Go, and San Francisco's Pip Squeak A-Go-Go (featuring go-go dance lessons from the Devil-Ettes).
Mr. Rogers Dead. Fred Rogers of "Mister Roger's Neighborhood" died of stomach cancer at age 74. To be honest, his was never my personal favorite PBS kid's show growing up (I preferred off-brand shows like "Zoom" and "3-2-1 Contact"). But my appreciation for him when I was an adult was pretty high. Anyway, it's a sad day in the neighborhood.