Sesame Street turned 40 years old this week. To honor the show which game me my start as a lover of literacy, here’s a big ol’ shout out to Big Bird, Oscar, Ernie & Bert, and of course, the character that still represents to me the height of personal achievement and excellence, COOKIE MONSTER!
Here’s a list of 40 cool things about Sesame Street that is worth a moment if you have one.
And after I read #1 on the list (CBS and NBC rejected Sesame Street before it debuted Nov. 10, 1969, on PBS… I know, WOW! But then again, they probably would have smacked it up anyway so, as Pangloss would say, “All is for the best in this the best of all possible worlds.”)
But it got me thinking, passing on Sesame Street is an epic goof. Like historical. So, what are some of the most famous gaffes in history? (Goodness do I love these type of “predictions” — I mean people will shoot off their mouths about almost anything, won’t they?) And where would passing on Seasme Street rank?
Let’s put it this way, missing out on the opportunity to bring this show to kids across the world is a blunder of spectacular proportions. Anyway, in my opinion, it ranks right up there with a few other brilliant prognosticators.
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
— Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
“I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.”
— The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957
“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
— Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
Of course, there are more…
“The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.”
— A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)
“I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face not Gary Cooper.”
— Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in “Gone With The Wind.”
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
— Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.
“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”
— Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.
And finally, some of the most famous…
“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.”
— Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.
“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
— Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.
“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction”.
— Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872
“$100 million dollars is way too much to pay for Microsoft.”
— IBM, 1982
“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”
— H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.
Thanks for everything, Sesame Street. My life, my daughter’s life, our world is a better because of you! I mean yours is a birthday that really warms my heart.