I laughed yesterday morning, when I opened up my events for this day in history. I couldn’t help my chuckle, my mother’s voice echoing in my head, and the image of my little brother’s late 1960s haircut and innocent face flashing through my memory.
In 1969, I was a burgeoning fan of all the great shows that filled the console television in my family’s home. I loved such wonderful shows as The High Chaparral, Bewitched, Marcus Welby M.D., The Wonderful World of Disney, Hawaii Five-O, and Batman. The night-time shows were glorious, fabulous bits of magic that darted across the screen, fascinating my ever curious mind.
Although, to me, Adam West and Burt Ward were kings in the phenomenal Batman. Who could forget the stellar KAPOWs and POPs that would color the screen, or the Riddler‘s question marked suit?
On this day in history, though, my mother destroyed my afternoon viewing pleasure. I wasn’t allowed to watch Batman, because there was another show, a new show, coming on. This show, much-lauded and highly anticipated, was something my then 3 year old brother needed to watch. He would learn from it, my mom swore, and I would enjoy it as well.
I pouted, irritated that I missed my Batman for some stupid learning program. I voiced my complaint aloud, being that ever vocal child, only to hear my mother (in her very patient voice) tell me this show was going to be a classic.
I remember sitting next to my brother on the floor, watching him as he gazed at the television screen in adoration. Grudgingly, I gave in, watching the creatures move across the screen. There was an enchanting old man named Mr. Hooper that made me smile, his glasses on the end of his nose as he stood outside his store, talking to a lumbering giant yellow bird. There was a strange orangish-red (Yes, Orangish-red!) thing that lived in the trashcan on the corner, and he made me laugh.
Above all, I learned to love a frog. Kermit was his name, and he was the scratchy voiced consciousness of humanity, and he spoke about how hard it was to be green.
My brother clapped, trying to sing along to the theme song, and I shook my head at him. All this meant I would never watch Batman again.
And I didn’t.
Yes, Mom, you were right… On November 10th, 1969, a classic was born.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SESAME STREET