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  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: Children all over the country

  • were singing beer commercials, so they were certainly

  • learning something from television.

  • It wasn't a question of-- could it teach?

  • The question was, could it teach something of potential use

  • to children.

  • TV ANNOUNCER: Commercial television did not completely

  • fill the promise of this medium.

  • That is the reason educational television was conceived.

  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: I was plagued in my 20s

  • that I was going to live and die without having made

  • any difference, and I think when I heard educational television,

  • I thought I could make a difference there.

  • JIM HENSON: Many years ago, Joan realized

  • that there was an important gap in television programming--

  • that preschool kids were watching

  • a great deal of television, but there were almost no programs

  • specifically designed for them.

  • So she had this cockamamie idea of doing an entertainment show

  • for preschoolers that had commercials

  • for letters and numbers.

  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: It was absolutely

  • what I was born to do, and I knew it.

  • You know, this was the '60s.

  • It was so traumatic a period.

  • Everybody who had been somewhat focused

  • on children and civil rights and educational disadvantage

  • said, let's go.

  • Let's go do something.

  • MAN 1: We're planning to treat them

  • essentially the same way a commercial enterprise would.

  • We've created a campaign, but we're

  • trying to sell the alphabet to preschool children.

  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: We wanted to show an integrated street.

  • We wanted to show adults treating one another kindly,

  • and we wanted the adults to be forceful and dignified.

  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: Everything was to be

  • educational, but entertaining as well.

  • And so when they said Jim Henson, I said,

  • you could get Jim Henson?

  • And that was how Big Bird was born, and Oscar the Grouch.

  • We went on the air in '69, but here

  • was a project that was to change the world in a way.

  • MAN 2: [SINGING] Boys and girls, have

  • you met the 26 letters called the alphabet?

  • ALL: [SINGING] A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I J, K, L, M, N, O, P.

  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: It was truly different,

  • and the Muppets were hip and edgy.

  • BERT: Do you know that you have a banana in your ear?

  • ERNIE: What was that, Bert?

  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: And yet it was very sweet.

  • DETECTIVE: Yes, John-John?

  • JOHN-JOHN: Want count?

  • DETECTIVE: Oh, I'd love to count.

  • BERT: OK, good.

  • JOHN-JOHN: OK!

  • One, two--

  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: The reaction to that

  • show was like something that could only happen once

  • in a half century, that a miracle had

  • occurred for children.

  • MAN 3: I am pleased to present the woman who may be more

  • than any other responsible for one

  • of the most important events in the history of our business,

  • Mrs. Joan Ganz Cooney.

  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: It was everything I'd ever dreamed of,

  • but it was so crazy.

  • ERNIE: [SINGING] Oh, Rubber Ducky, you're the one.

  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: I thought we were creating

  • the quintessential American television show.

  • ERNIE: [SINGING GERMAN]

  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: And it turned out

  • that they're the most international characters ever

  • created.

  • ERNIE: [SINGING CHINESE]

  • WOMAN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: Our producers are

  • like old-fashioned missionaries.

  • It's not religion they're spreading,

  • but it is learning and tolerance and love and mutual respect.

  • BARACK OBAMA: In the end, that's what

  • this all about-- giving our kids the best possible shot at life,

  • equipping them with the skills, the education,

  • that a 21st century economy demands.

  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: What we want to do

  • is see if we can affect the new media the way

  • we affected televisions.

  • We want to introduce educational value

  • without taking the fun away.

  • BILL CLINTON: Joan Ganz Cooney has

  • proven that the powerful medium of television

  • can be a tool to help build young lives up rather than tear

  • them down.

  • She helped teach a generation of children

  • to count and to read and to think.

  • They also teach us more about how we should live together.

  • JIM HENSON: I consider it an enormous honor

  • to have worked with Joan all these years.

  • She showed us that television can

  • be used to do really good things.

  • In all of these accomplishments, Joan

  • has led and inspired us all.

  • JOAN GANZ COONEY: A legacy is when something's over,

  • and this isn't over.

JOAN GANZ COONEY: Children all over the country

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A2 US SesameStreet joan television ernie henson john john

Sesame Street: Joan Ganz Cooney Tribute

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    osmend posted on 2017/10/03
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