From The Week magazine:
When the Children’s Television Workshop unleashed Sesame Street on the world in 1969, it sparked a revolution in television programming. For the first time, TV was supposed to educate children as well as entertain them — make learning fun, using techniques developed through years of rigorous research. Parents across the U.S. had a TV show they could feel safe letting their kids watch.
When you buy the first season on DVD or iTunes today, though, it comes with a warning:
These early Sesame Street episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.
For parents today, especially those who grew up in the 1970s and ’80s, this is not your child’s Sesame Street. For one thing, Sesame Street has become pretty gentrified over the past 45 years — New York provides some examples. For another thing, “Prozacky Elmo didn’t exist,” says Virginia Heffernan in The New York Times Magazine, in a remembrance that both playfully mocks today’s heightened sensibilities and notes some real differences between the Sesame Street of yore and today’s more sanitized version.