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Is Old School Sesame Street Appropriate for Kids Today?

Updated on May 14, 2015

Sesame Street Then? Sesame Street Now?

Is Old School Sesame Street Appropriate for Kids Today?

The recently released Old School Sesame Street DVDs had with them a disclaimer stating that the episodes were "intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today". What's up with that? Is there something wrong with what generation-x was taught? Are kids today different, or just their parents?

So what is it that was so bad? Cited for this warning label is Cookie Monster, who eats far too many non-nutritious cookies and is sometimes seen with a pipe. Also, Big Bird being the only one to see Snuffy is a reference to hallucinations. In the very first episode, Gordon befriended a little girl who was lonely and takes by the hand leading her to his home to meet his wife and eat milk and cookies - possible pedophile? Also, Oscar the Grouch is to grouchy and mean a character for kids watch.

Sesame Street - Old School, Vol. 1 - 1969-1974

These early 'Sesame Street' episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today

For Your Kids?

Would you allow your small children to watch Retro Sesame Street Episodes?

See results

Circa 1973

Circa 1973
Circa 1973

What do YOU think?

Tell us what you think of Old School Sesame Street and this warning label.

Are Old School Sesame Street Episodes Appropriate for Kids Today?

Alistair Cookie, played by Cookie Monster, appears with the disputed pipe

Alistair Cookie, played by Cookie Monster, appears with the disputed pipe
Alistair Cookie, played by Cookie Monster, appears with the disputed pipe

Monsterpiece Theatre

One item often brought up about the Old School Sesame Street episodes are the appearances of Alistair Cookie, played by Cookie Monster, who sits smoking a pipe in the clip (which at the end he eats). Do you think kids take this as an endorsement of smoking?

Sesame Street - Old School, Vol. 2 - 1974 - 1979

Cookie Monster

Yes, it is true...Cookie Monster likes cookies, and cookies are not the most nutritional food in the world. But, is this really a problem? Should we push a pro-nutritional food agenda to the point that we can't allow kids to enjoy cookies?

Only Big Bird Saw Snuffy - hallucinations?

Only Big Bird Saw Snuffy - hallucinations?
Only Big Bird Saw Snuffy - hallucinations?

What do you think of Sesame Street, new or old?

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    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      I'd rather them watch Sesame Street (old or new) than 5 minutes of Yo Gabba Gabba or Barney. I can feel my own brain cells dropping dead by the thousands during those show and I'm pretty sure there'll be studies in the future linking them to lower IQ levels or something... (I'm joking...well, mostly).

    • phoenix arizona f profile image

      phoenix arizona f 6 years ago

      They have these on Netflix and our son watches them all the time.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      As we continue to sanitize the world that these kids live in now, they are less able to think for themselves. Maybe many parents have not heard of a teachable moment but with the pipe, what a great time to say that it's yucky and have your kid agree. Angel blessed

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      The new Sesame Street is segmented. 10 minutes of Sesame Street, 15 minutes of cartoons,followed by (the ultra PC) Elmo's World which takes up the rest of the show. My daughter watches it and it pales in comparison to the fun episodes of the 70's and 80's. I get that they don't want Oscar as grouchy or Cookie Monster as gluttonous, but wasn't that the whole point/fun of it?

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 7 years ago from Quezon City

      I have chanced upon episodes of the new Sesame Street and have found them lacking of the imagination, charm & wit of the old school episodes. I'm not a parent (yet) but I seriously don't see anything wrong with letting a child watching the old clips - in fact it might benefit them to see both the old & new stuff. You have a wonderful lens & a very good discussion going on here, Kab! *blessed by an angel*

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      I always loved the clip of the boy trying to put on his pajamas. He must be 40 years old now but the clips still run. I have always wondered if he can get them on yet.

      Sesame Street was always appropriate for kids.

      5 stars from Fancy Nancy.

    • legbamel lm profile image

      legbamel lm 9 years ago

      We've got several Sesame Street videos and most of them have old-school clips to go along with the newer bits. I secretly love to watch them, too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I watched sesame street when I was young and I think it is far worse now than it ever was then. At least when I watched it you only ASSUMED bert and ernie were gay, and no one was HIV positive.

    • profile image

      XP 9 years ago

      Great lens!

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 9 years ago

      Good debate. The old stuff is fine by me, there is afterall the real world and if parents disagree with something, discussing it at that point can be very educational.

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 9 years ago

      Love this. There is sometimes a bit too much 'politically correct' stuff going on... I suppose they just HAD to add that disclaimer, or be sued...

    • profile image

      enslavedbyfaeries 9 years ago

      Love your lens and Old School Sesame! 5*'s

    • fefe42 profile image

      fefe42 9 years ago

      Old Sesame Street is the way to go. The new stuff is just not as good. Kids with good parents know you don't model your behavior after Cookie Monster smoking a pipe and eating a cookie only diet. And so what if only Big Bird can see Snuffy--I don't think that caused kids to get imaginary friends.