Count on it.
June 15, 2007 11:17 PM   Subscribe

The song for "12" was done by The Pointer Sisters, by the way.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:22 PM on June 15, 2007

posted by taosbat at 11:28 PM on June 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Sesame Street saved my emotional life as a child... Anything Sesame Street related get a favorite from me.
posted by amyms at 11:29 PM on June 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

posted by amyms at 11:30 PM on June 15, 2007

That funky pinball thing was my favorite thing about Sesame Street.

Somewhat related, here is Stevie Wonder in some Epic Sesame Action (ESA):
posted by parallax7d at 11:35 PM on June 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Awesome. That was a good flashback.
posted by spiderskull at 11:38 PM on June 15, 2007

Good stuff.
posted by puke & cry at 11:38 PM on June 15, 2007

Parallax7d, thank you for that. My bookmark of that video died some time ago, and I haven't come across it again 'till now. That Superstition performance is amazing.
posted by carsonb at 11:54 PM on June 15, 2007

parallax7d: That funky pinball thing was my favorite thing about Sesame Street.

I also was a fan of the pinball song. I'm a little dismayed, however, that there doesn't seem to be any actual correlation between the pictures and animations and the random numbers that they yell at you during the song. It just seems completely random, aside from the counting up to twelve. Unless, I suppose, they were trying to get us to recognize the written number in association to the name they yell out. But is a split second really enough for a youngster? Haha..oh well, it's still cool.
posted by erstwhile at 12:02 AM on June 16, 2007

Cool, but there's no Sesame Street without the Yip Yips...
posted by rmm at 12:15 AM on June 16, 2007 [3 favorites]

The other kids laughed at me when I pronounced it "/Seh-saym/ Street" I never fully recovered from that grade school gaffe.
posted by RavinDave at 12:15 AM on June 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

10 for the OCTOpuss, the one-man band.
posted by sourwookie at 12:17 AM on June 16, 2007

Yeah, I, uh, couldn't find anything else for
Look! Balls!
posted by louche mustachio at 12:21 AM on June 16, 2007

I'm sorry, but it's just not complete without the work of Bud Luckey.

Here's the ones you probably remember best.
posted by darksasami at 2:08 AM on June 16, 2007 [6 favorites]

Ninja Tune released a remix of the Pointer Sister's version a couple of years ago. There's a Larry Levan disco mix of it on there too.
posted by davehat at 2:25 AM on June 16, 2007

D'oh...I'm apparently either blind or posting way too late. Checked all the beginning and all the end links...and missed the ones in the middle.

Ah well. Check my Alligator King link, it's worth watching synched correctly. And don't miss That's About the Size in my last link.
posted by darksasami at 2:28 AM on June 16, 2007

posted by champthom at 2:36 AM on June 16, 2007

Aw, Darksami, you get a favorite for the Bud Luckey shout out anyway. It's great stuff.

And the synch on your Alligator King link is better. You also got a couple I missed, like "That's About The Size of It." which I remember quite fondly.

Plus, I was hoping people would dig up some of their own favorites.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:42 AM on June 16, 2007

Thanks! I feel better.

Hint: search youtube for "number painter."
posted by darksasami at 3:00 AM on June 16, 2007

Holy Christ, parallax7d, that first Stevie Wonder video is one of greatest things I've ever seen on YouTube. And the music, Jesus, I don't think I realized how visceral and furious 'Supernatural' was until I witnessed that...and on a goddamned children's program. There oughta be a law.
posted by Tiresias at 3:06 AM on June 16, 2007

Heh! I've just noticed that the version of "Alligator King" I linked to is a response to a Hebrew version of it. I don't understand a word of it, save what sounds like "crocodil" and "limon," but the way it's sung is absolutely charming.
posted by darksasami at 3:08 AM on June 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Cool, but there's no Sesame Street without the Yip Yips...

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for that clip, rmm! I looooved those Yip Yip martians!
posted by amyms at 3:21 AM on June 16, 2007

One of the best parts of the Hebrew version is this comment:
" People of the world - I truly believe that Sesame Street in all languages will unite the world one day.
We all know these songs since childhood - each in their own language.
The internet closes this circle when we now have access to all those songs in any language and by that making us relate to our fellow human beings.
and like the Crocodile king said "you brought me no pearls and no jewlery but you've made my heart happy"

posted by louche mustachio at 3:33 AM on June 16, 2007

I'm going to paint a 4.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:44 AM on June 16, 2007

The song for "12" was done by The Pointer Sisters, by the way.

And directed by Ernie "Hardware Wars" Fosselius.
posted by EarBucket at 4:23 AM on June 16, 2007

Finally, a reason to post a link to the single greatest picture of me ever taken: on the set of Sesame Street, with Snuffy, who was wearing legwarmers because he just finished doing aerobics with Carley Simon. The little girl is my stepsister.
posted by DefendBrooklyn at 4:48 AM on June 16, 2007 [8 favorites]

I'm so jealous. That picture RULES.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:52 AM on June 16, 2007

Here's a great mashup of the Muppet "muh-nuh-muh-nuh" song mixed with The Doors "Break on through"

(MP3 link next to podcast logo at bottom of paragraph)
posted by centerpunch at 6:16 AM on June 16, 2007

Oops, clickable link here.
posted by centerpunch at 6:17 AM on June 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Wow, crazy revelation: I responded really strongly emotionally to the Pixar short "Boundin'" the first time I saw it and kind of couldn't figure out why it seemed to have a direct line into some primitive part of my brain. I guess Bud Luckey's voice ties 'em together. That just about nails it down.

I watched Sesame Street regularly from probably my first year of life until I was around 12, which was when my youngest sister stopped watching it. That'd be around '86 to '97. So I got to watch the show transform from the groovy product I grew up with into the Elmo-shilling beast it was ten years ago (don't know what it's like now but I wouldn't put money on it having gotten any less commercial). These clips really take me back. Thanks.
posted by crinklebat at 7:32 AM on June 16, 2007

"Pinball Number Count" as the song is titled, was actually from the show "The Electric Company"
posted by horsemuth at 8:35 AM on June 16, 2007

The Yip Yips still scare the crap out of me :( But man do I love me some old school Sesame Street. I wish I was around during Mr. Hooper's time though. Just thinking about Big Bird being sad about Mr. Hooper gets me emotional.
posted by spec80 at 8:56 AM on June 16, 2007

horsemuth, you sure about that? I don't remember it that way. would have sworn an oath it was on Sesame Street.
then again, my favorite part of the Electric Company was the Spiderman and the pratfall that Morgan Freeman takes at the very tail end of the credits. (I used to practice on a mattress, but couldn't keep my arms pinned to my side as he did it...)
posted by Busithoth at 11:01 AM on June 16, 2007


I didn't find the mashup of the mumumuh song with the Doors, but i did find Granny Teller at that link, and this fine mama deserves a front page post all her own... if it weren't for the tiny Mountain Dew sponsorship.

"Now before we get our freak on, we need to match up our beats."

Yip yip yip yipyipyip...

....oh. and of course Sesame Street is always the shit. Word.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:15 AM on June 16, 2007

I set that 12 video to Forward Russia's 12 once [self link]. Sync'd pretty nicely im"h"o. Always been a favorite segment.
posted by yeti at 11:45 AM on June 16, 2007

"Pinball Number Count" as the song is titled, was actually from the show "The Electric Company"

I've never seen an episode of the electric company but I distinctly remember watching the pinball number cartoon as a kid. So either that's the only thing on the electric company I've ever seen or it's from sesame street.
posted by puke & cry at 12:33 PM on June 16, 2007

Wikipedia also thinks it was from sesame street, for what that's worth.
posted by puke & cry at 12:36 PM on June 16, 2007

"Pinball Number Count" was definitely on Sesame Street.

Also, there were many versions, each focusing on a different number between 1 and 12.

The version on YouTube is a mashup of all the different numbers -- it never actually aired in that form.

Here's another famous Sesame Street counting segment, featuring vocals by Grace Slick.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:47 PM on June 16, 2007

I have to say I object somewhat to the characterization of post-1990 Sesame Street as an Elmo-slinging commercial enterprise. I think the reason Elmo has become so widespread is that preschoolers respond to the character. Sesame is still not-for-profit, and their main focus is still very strongly on preschool education and entertainment. And then they also still have many guest stars and jokes that are winks to the parents.

I also love the 1980s Street the best. The stuff that came much before that looks outdated and manic to me, and the stuff that came out much later is a bit squeaky clean for my tastes. But that's because I was in their target age in the 80s. I know many people my folks' age who were almost as sick of Big Bird as we are of Elmo. Big Bird was the Elmo of 70s and 80s.

Elmo's voice is annoying, there's no denying that. But I think Kevin Clash is a very talented and funny performer. And most of all there are countless kids all over the world, some of whom have very few other resources available to them, who are entertained and better prepared for school because of the Sesame Street that's on TV right now. That is really important. So even though it's not "cool" to like Elmo, I still think it's a pretty damn good show.
posted by lampoil at 12:51 PM on June 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Pinball Number Count was absolutely on Sesame Street. It's possible it was on Electric Company as well--I never watched that one.
posted by lampoil at 12:52 PM on June 16, 2007

--Oops, I see that most of the links in the FPP were to Grace Slick "Jazzy Spies" segments.

Man, those Sesame animations were psychedelic.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:55 PM on June 16, 2007

The Jim Henson Baker numbers shouldn't be forgotten: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
posted by rolypolyman at 2:09 PM on June 16, 2007

Wow. All these years I was thinking that it was the Electric Company. Duly noted and apologies for the incorrect pedantic nitpick. Cool post anyway...
posted by horsemuth at 3:02 PM on June 16, 2007

Thank you rolopolyman. For over 35 years I have wanted "10__ Chocolate__Layer__Cakes!" on demand. The Jim Henson Baker numbers always started the same way and you could never be sure what number was featured until the second verse. I remember waiting each day with baited breath to see 8, 9, or the mostest awesomest 10. Usually my dreams were dashed with :2__ChocolateCream_Pies!" Physical comedy still rules!
posted by HyperBlue at 3:18 PM on June 16, 2007

lampoll, though I agree that Sesame Street with Elmo is better than no Sesame Street, I don't think that it even comes close to it's past glory years. There are still in-jokes and some under the radar stuff that parents might get, but the old show was funkier, weirder and perhaps more creative. But who knows? Let's check MeFi in 20 years and see if adults (who are kids now) are nostalgic for these days of Sesame Street. It's probably a case of "so and so was so much better before they became popular" but aren't some things actually better when a small group of people is doing it than when an entire enterprise is built around it?

ps I didn't really like BB either. I was more of an Oscar the Grouch kind of guy, if you couldn't tell.
posted by horsemuth at 3:23 PM on June 16, 2007

Sure, I can concede that there may be too many cooks in the kitchen these days at Sesame Street, when judging it solely on a creative level. But I don't think that's why Elmo's everywhere, and it's not commercial. Actually, if anything, they have the opposite problem--a more stringent focus on the educational side may be contributing to its becoming less edgy.

To me, the early 70s Sesame Street (when, presumably, the team was at its smallest) makes no sense, especially as a show for preschoolers. And the more recent show is funny, but feels like it's lost a bit of its edge. And it seems that people talk about how the show was best when they were kids, and it seems that kids today still watch and enjoy the show, and that parents of preschoolers show it to their kids. And the show today still makes me laugh (out loud!) sometimes, which isn't bad considering I am neither preschooler nor parent. If someone doesn't like it when they're 12 (whatever year that might be), well...that's not necessarily a bad sign.

So the conclusion I can draw is that Sesame Street at any given time was making something close to the right show for its audience at that time. It's approaching its 40th anniversary, so that's pretty good.

And as for Elmo...I don't think it's a case of Sesame with Elmo or no Sesame. Elmo was a direct product of the Sesame Street we knew and loved growing up. He was actually part of the cast when I was a kid--just a very small one. (You can see him in 1985's Follow That Bird). Clash created that character under the tutelage of Jim Henson and all the other great muppeteers of that time. I think preschoolers took to him because (like Big Bird) he's silly, cute, innocent, and unisex (in appearance if not character). Don't get me wrong--I love seeing other characters featured, and wish there were more equity in that sense. But so many kids have gained so much from that one little red monster, I just can't get down on him too much.
posted by lampoil at 6:18 PM on June 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Sesame Street was the first programme that I ever remember watching as a kid thanks to my mom. And after watching the Danger clip I can understand how subtle the messages were in those shorts and how much of an effect they had on me as a child. Even to this day.

(Sesame Street in India, Israel and Palestine.)
posted by hadjiboy at 10:59 AM on June 17, 2007

The other kids laughed at me when I pronounced it "/Seh-saym/ Street"

That particular pronunciation was an ongoing joke in the Sesame Street movie "Follow that Bird." Which is, actually, quite sweet. (And Elmo free, thank goodness.)

That said, Number Painter was Paul Benedict?! And the woman whose stuff he painted was Stockard Channing?!?! Why didn't I remember this?

Ah, youthful memories recaptured via YouTube. What would we do without it?
posted by Dreama at 3:58 PM on June 17, 2007

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