I think, and you may disagree with me on this, that the absolute best part of Sesame Street are the songs. Yeah, the muppets are cute and the in-jokes are funny, but if you had to ask me (or, say, anyone) what they remember most about Sesame Street, what their favorite part of it was when they were little, they’ll probably cite a song. That’s certainly what happened when I e-mailed around to the CliqueClack staff. They all had favorite characters (the big winners being mostly Guy Smiley and Placido Flamingo, and a universal dislike of Elmo. Why is it toddlers like him so much? Wise up, toddlers), but overwhelmingly what people cited as vital to include were the songs.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that the songs are what put Sesame Street on that map, that its real moment where it became a part of our culture was when Ernie sang about his bathing BFF Rubber Duckie and rubber ducks, which before had simply been novelty items, skyrocketed in sales. (Sesame Street’s Blow the Hatch moment, if you will? I don’t know enough about the early show to say one way or the other.)
But I digress. To me the magic of Sesame Street is how it really, really sticks with you. Not just as a fond childhood memory, but as something you find yourself spouting off at utterly inopportune moments. If I had money for how many times I broke into “Mahna Mahna,” I’d be really rich, is all I’m saying.