It's all about bouncing back

Thursday, July 31, 2008

On my way to where the air is sweet! Can you tell me how to get . . . ?

The good folks at PBS recently released an advance reel of clips from Sesame Street's upcoming 39th season. For those of us who started a family late in life and who therefore had a 30-year gap between watching the show as a child and listening to it in the background of our daily routine, it is always surprising how much effort the show puts into entertain parents. From parodies of primetime shows that toddlers never watch to cameos by some of the season's hottest stars, the preschool powerhouse never disappoints.

The show's producers have admitted that since an entire generation has grown up watching it and now enjoys it with their kids, it is extremely easy for them to book even the season's hottest stars. (Especially if those stars have kids themselves. What better way to gain cred with your three year old?) In fact, apparently, it is one of the hottest gigs in Hollywood. The show's producers have said that top stars frequently come to them and ask if they can have a cameo on the show. They never run short of big names and usually have more stars than parts to fill. During the height of the "Sopranos" mania James Gandolfini came on and did a very funny piece about being afraid of the dark. It was wonderful how it worked on two levels. To a youngster, it was played straight as a bit of advice about how to use your nightlight and teddy bear to calm yourself to sleep. To an adult, however, there are few ideas funnier than imagining that Tony Soprano is is afraid of the dark.

This year, apparently, will continue the tradition. From cameos by Jack Black and Seth Rogan to a spot on 30 Rock parody, the show is as timely and fun as ever. Check it out:

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