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Sesame Street

They’re two of the most famous friends in television history. For almost 50 years, Bert and Ernie have lived together on “Sesame Street,” teaching children about numbers and letters, singing songs and going on adventures. But what originally brought the two together? On “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”, Bert and Ernie talk about what makes their friendship work:

Bert: “How did we meet? I think it was over tea.”

Ernie: “No, buddy Bert. It was ‘Y.'”

Bert: “No, no, it was tea.”

Ernie: “No, it was ‘Y.’ We met over the letter ‘Y,’ Bert. Remember? That’s why there was the yak there, and the yarn. And the yo-yo!”

“I’d say the key to a lasting friendship is always respecting each other, listening to each other, and caring what the other person thinks and feels,” Ernie says.

Cracks is one of the strangest clips Sesame Street has ever produced. It features a young girl riding a camel made up of wall cracks that takes her meet other crack animals and finally “The Crack Master.” If that doesn’t scare you from watching it the first time, go ahead. If you vaguely remember this, here’s another thought – it was from 1975, and yes, you’re old, and this clip is going to come back to you.

Check out this 1983 episode of Sesame Street starring Herbie Hancock demonstrating the Fairlight CMI synthesizer to a group of kids, including a very young Tatyana Ali (who grew up to play Ashley Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). The Fairlight CMI (Computer Music Instrument) was a synthesizer and sampler with 28 megabytes or more of memory, used by a roster of classic electronic artists like Jean-Michel Jarre, Jan Hammer, Art of Noise, and Depeche Mode, to name only a few. And, of course, by Herbie Hancock, one of the first jazz pianists to embrace electronic keyboards.

The Fairlight CMI was designed in 1979 by the founders of Fairlight, Peter Vogel and Kim Ryrie, and based on a dual-6800 microprocessor computer designed by Tony Furse in Sydney, Australia. It rose to prominence in the early 1980s and competed in the market with the Synclavier from New England Digital.

In casting about for a name, Ryrie and Vogel settled upon Fairlight, the name of a hydrofoil (named in turn after a suburb of Sydney) that sped each day past Ryrie’s grandmother’s large house in Point Piper, underneath which Ryrie had a workroom.

By 1979, the Fairlight CMI Series I was being demonstrated in Australia, the UK and the US. In the US, demonstrations were covered by Bruce Springsteen’s concert sound engineer Bruce Jackson, who was once Ryrie’s neighbour in Point Piper.

Via Open Culture

Bert’s brother, Bart, is coming to visit for Thanksgiving! Ernie is so excited to meet Bert’s brother Bart. He’s wondering what he looks like: whether Bart will have the same pointy head, the same sort of busy bush of hair, and same floppy soggy arms and no shoulders like Bert. Was that a knock at the door? Bart must be here!

Keith Haring, the visual artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s by expressing concepts of birth, death, sexuality, and war, might not be on the top of your list to create spots for Sesame Street, and you’re right – in a way. The animations were in fact made after his death by Bill Davis, with the approval of the Keith Haring Foundation.

Keith Haring: Babies and Dogs.

It’s a TV-shaped dog. Or is it a dog-shaped TV?