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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?

No, they are not appropriate.

No, they are not appropriate.

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    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I donât think it is appropriating for kids, because now dayâs educational system gets change & with that the process of teaching is also changing. Now every school prefer e-learning program for kids with that they can learn in funny ways. There are lots of DVDs also available on Market with that kids can lean through games also like some subtraction games DVDs, Times tables DVDs for kids etc.

    • feedback03 6 years ago

      As a kid I never really liked Sesame Street.

    • anonymous 7 years ago

      NAY!

    • legbamel lm 8 years ago

      It's not the pipe and the hallucinating that makes Sesame Street so dangerous. It's the horrible hair and clothes. What sort of example would that set for my children? It's worse than my photo albums!

    • XP 8 years ago

      Very dangerous program.

      To this day I am afraid of eight foot tall yellow birds.

      Who will pay for my rehabilitation?

    Yes, they are still appropriate.

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      • anonymous 2 years ago

        Whey are a bit different. But I don't see how they're bad. The first episode may have been messed up but hey. Blue Prints was the same thing but now its Blue's Clues a good show and Sesame Street was a good show. Its just that they were Developing the show and what they seen from family's they know how to fix it more and more.

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        I think the claim that old school Sesame Street isn't appropriate for kids today is a rather offensive claim. That's saying "Kids in 1969 are better than kids today." And nobody is calling them out on making that claim? Well, they are. And I need them to provide evidence if they're going to make that claim.

        And now they're sugar coating the show, changing the tone, and turning it into an Elmo-happy love fest? And THIS is appropriate for kids. They're saying kids today can't handle reality, and should spend their entire lives in a mental asylum so they can be shielded from it? And nobody is calling them out on these claims?

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        I can't believe that someone said that it isn't appropriate because there are video games and dvd's for learning. Sesame Street was about kids getting out and exploring, not sitting in front of a screen. The person that said that is representative of what is wrong in this country. Everything should be fun, absolutely safe and without effort. No more exploring, no more learning through actual experience and let the video screen raise the kids to be couch potatoes.

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        Oh Geez! Big Bird was not "hallucinating", most kids have imaginary friends. Most kids love cookies too, just like Cookie Monster. Cookie Monster's pipe was only shown when he was hosting Monsterpiece Theater, a satire of Masterpiece Theater in which the host had a pipe as well. Oscar's character is indeed mean and grouchy but he was added to the show to show kids that it is ok to have bad days and be in a bad mood. As for Gordon being a pedophile, you can choose for yourself whether he is or not. The media has done a very good job of making everyone paranoid of each other. Where are the little girl's parents when she's being led into Gordon's home? Times have changed indeed, maybe parents are so sensitive about shows now because they depend on the shows to teach morals and values. Maybe sit and watch with your child and explain some things about how the world used to be 30 years ago. It's not really that scary. Hallucinations? Come on!!

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        The only parents that have issues with the old series are nazi parents. What I have noticed is that the over protective parents ends up child a chold that will grow up unprepared for the real world.

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        Wow...you must be kidding...with all the adult jokes and sexual innuendo in kids movies now and old school Sesame Street is bad because of cookies and a pipe and Oscar is to grumpy and Big Bird is supposedly on drugs...Wow people are just plain getting dumber!!!

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        Stuff like this makes me want to grab people and punch them in there ubber liberal, over politically correct faces....

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        For imagination and creativity, the new one can't stand up. I would never let my kids watch the new one. Like most things, it will only twist you if the twist is already there. Generally I find that inappropriate takes on things like this are generally suggested by the parents or other adults, and the children don't thinkof those things themselves.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        New School Ebonics/Ghetto programming that teaches kids that it's ok to be fat and black? I don't think so. I am far from racist but this new generation is going to be SCARY! I voted for Obama, so don't go there. Virtual learning has already caused kids going into their 20's now to be anti-social, wrongly entitled and full of shit! What they need is a good old fashioned ass whoopin!

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        its about imagination not hallucination.people are so close-minded today because they are too afraid to face things anymore. Everyone seems to be too involved with their smart phones which seems to take them away from thinking for themselves. Kids today watch shows that seems to brainwash them with mindless story lines and flashing colors and noises that would make anyone go into an epileptic seizure. Take away your kids Ds's and cellphones (mind you 10 year olds with cell phones??) and hand them a book or force them to go outside and play. Push kids to use their imaginations, creative minds, and appreciate the world around them and we will all just be fine! lighten up!!!!!

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        What is going to know what the heck a hallucination is and if they do then its the parents who are the problem not the show

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Yes, it is so innocent. I grew up with it and learned to count even in Spanish! As a child, Big Bird didn't scare me, I knew he was funny and not real, nor did Mr. Snuffalafagous make me think anyone was disillusional!! It is the adults nowadays that are reading too much into it. Parents who oppose Sesame street, but yet buy them games and DVDs that promote violence, killing and destruction????!!!

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        The old Sesame Street was gentle and loving, as well as entertaining and educational. Children of Sesame Street age need to be nurtured. Sesame Street did that. Cookie Monster and his cookies were funny, not role models. Bert and Ernie were friends and cared about each other. . Muppets can be friends, but they are not real. My kids loved the old Sesame Street. Life lessons about strangers and other dangers were taught at home and learned well.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Sesame street is awesome and should never of been changed

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        PC has taken over common sense. Kids don't think like that - only PC and strange adults would even go there! The characters showed how it is in the real world without trying to cover them up. This helps children know how to handle different types of people and situations. Now they try to cover it up and look and see how 'great' it is now as opposed to a few years earlier. We watched it and it was good enough for us and is as well for our children.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        yes they were great for me as a kid and I have no problem with my little one's watching them either. It's a little absurd if you ask me. I laughed when I heard the reasons stated above. And I wasn't laughing because I thought that this was funny in any way. If you ask me it's loony's or over zealouse individuals who make it unbearable for us normal people to lead a normal healthy life. I promise that my child who eats healthy wouldn't think anything abnormal because cookie monster eats a few more cookies in the older episodes. ( like to point out that there is just if not more scits showing healthy eating behavior) And I never thought that Big Bird had hullacinations, get over yourselves people!! You have nothing better than to think crazy thoughts... And I'm not even going to go there with the pedophile suggestions. You should be ashamed of yourselves people!!

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Something I don't get. Learning numbers and letters has become unacceptable over the years? How is that not intended for my kids? I show them lots of stuff I grew up with, cause It's easier to understand than the new stuff they show.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        OLD School Sesame Street is 100% better than the new ones...basically the only reason I'd put a new one on is for Elmo's world but over all the NEW ones are JUNK!!!! They barley teach anything compared to the OLD one.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        Of course they are, they're a bit corny but if u sit with your children and explain to them about the beginnings of sesame street and teach them and laugh with them theres no harm done. I love sesame street and i watched it and learned and then watched it with my son (whos 22) My son has seen some of the old and the new also. To this day i still watch all the retro sesame street and also the electric company. This is what kids need to see .

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        where are ernie and bert's parents? are they brothers or gay?

      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?

      Comments

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        • sudokunut profile image

          Mark Falco 4 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 5 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 8 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 8 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.

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          anonymous 8 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 8 years ago

          Great lens!

        • RuthCoffee profile image

          RuthCoffee 8 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 8 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...

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          enslavedbyfaeries 8 years ago

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

        • fefe42 profile image

          fefe42 8 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.

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