Call me deprived, but I grew up without daytime television.  I totally missed the Sesame Street phenomenon.  Which makes me kind of sad now because I have no personal cultural refence for Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street.

Uninspired, I was prepping popcorn when the documentary started;  I had my ipad to the ready to shop online or download my next audiobook.  So unnecessarily large bowl of popcorn in lap, I found myself under Street Gang’s spell.  Yep, down went the ipad – my mind was fully engaged.  I rewound (restreamed) to the start. This is the type of documentary that I wallow in. Like a pig I snuffle up the facts about Sesame Street’s genesis: the who, why, when and how.  I’m not going to spoil it for readers; so broad brushstrokes.

Yes, it was aimed at educating young children; yes, the US government threw a butt load of money at it.  But what is mind-blowing is the number of women in charge; the dedication of the creators, artists, musicians (think about creating songs for a five-day-a-week show) and the photos of the office with the mixture of cultures who rubbed shoulders.  And who worked feverishly to get the shows to air – umm, their own children were not always so understanding about seeing their parents on screen holding hands with some ‘nother child while the chair at their dinner table was vacant.

Street Gang corrals an impressive amount of material (archival footage, photos, family and industry interviews, music) into a coherent and ultimately moving documentary.  Just to note—the show attracted an astronomical list of musical talent: Paul Simon, Cab Calloway (You Tube him—he’s well worth it), Yo Yo Ma, Elvis Costello, B B King . . ! While I claim to know nothing about Sesame Street–I did know things.  The Count, Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie; especially Ernie who immortalised one of my favourite cultural icons in “Rubber Duckie”.

Grab the popcorn; wrassle young and old (anyone can watch) into the living room and spend a couple of hours just being entertained. On February 2 Street Gang is available to download on a variety of platforms, visit :

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