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For Sesame Street's 45th Birthday, Enjoy These Muppets With Computers

Today’s word on the street is "birthday," as the iconic children’s TV show hits 45.

Way to make everyone feel old, Bert and Ernie.

Sesame Street debuted 45 years ago today with a cast of characters, including Cookie Monster, Big Bird and Kermit the Frog, who don’t appear to have aged much since then.

The series actually launched on November 10, 1969, but Xerox sponsored a 30-minute preview episode two days before which was presented by Bert and Ernie. Sesame Street shared the full-length video of the preview a few years ago:

Let’s take a look back at some of the tech-related sketches Sesame Street has run over the years. Here’s an update of A Hole Is to Dig in which we learn that a computer is “something that you write on and press buttons on.” The exact air date eludes us, but we peg it at about 1984:

Remember the Martians? The chenille creatures, baffled by a telephone in the early ’70s, made contact with an Apple IIe around 1987:

Oscar got a cellphone in 1995, promptly annoying everyone by … well, just being Oscar with a cellphone:

A 2000 episode about computers included this version of “The People in Your Neighborhood,” except for computers instead of people:
All the computer “street scenes” from that episode were compiled and released as The Great Computer Caper in 2002. There’s lots of talk about computers not being able to feel or think, but they did replace people with computers in the above song, so what’s the underlying message here, oh future overlords?
Elmo’s World ran for eight years, and in 2001 he started featuring emails from his Sesame Street friends, as in this episode. Another bonus here: The computer and its animated desk fall over, and Elmo looks at the camera and says, “Uh oh! Computer crash!”

And from 2010, an Apple spoof declares that a fictional product called the iPogo will improve everyone’s lives immensely, because whatever you want to do, “There’s an App for That.”

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