Sesame Street is wading into uncharted waters after a contributor to the iconic children’s television program passed away. Original cast member Bob McGrath, who has been involved with the beloved series since its inception in 1969, passed away at the age of 90 after succumbing to complications from a stroke.
Reacting to his passing and sharing the news, McGrath’s daughter Cathlin shared that the family was reflecting positively on his long and love-filled life. “We met death the way our dad lived his life, singing with love in our hearts,” she stated. She then added that the entire family has been beyond grateful and thankful for the “beautiful notes and emails.”
She added that each message received from fans was a “testament to the power of music and the arts!”
Fox News noted that McGrath debuted in the 1969 pilot episode, beginning “47 seasons of work on the educational show.. Fox continued, saying he “wrapped his last episode, titled “Having a Ball,” in 2017.”
“Bob was also known for his voice, and sang on many “Sesame Street” soundtracks, including the songs ‘People in Your Neighborhood,’ ‘Sing a Song,” and ‘If You’re Happy And You Know It,’” Fox wrote.
As many positive memories as countless Americans undoubtedly have about Sesame Street, in recent years the children-oriented, taxpayer-funded television series has delved into political issues fraught with heavy and unpopular topics.
Elmo famously got vaccinated against the ills of the recent pandemic, as reported by CNN.
In a public service announcement released on Tuesday by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, Elmo’s dad Louie – also a Muppet – shared his questions about the Covid-19 vaccine for children under 5. Elmo is 3 and a half years old
Was it safe? Was it the right decision?’ I talked to our pediatrician so I could make the right choice,” Louie said in the PSA. “I learned that Elmo getting vaccinated is the best way to keep himself, our friends, neighbors and everyone else healthy and enjoying the things they love.
The PSA cited by CNN wrote that their targeting of young families and children was an effort to “inspire” them to make informed decisions.
We hope that Louie and Elmo will inspire parents and caregivers across the country to speak with their healthcare providers and seek out information to learn about how the COVID-19 vaccines can keep young children and their families healthy
Not everyone was supportive of the bizarre storyline. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) reacted to the show by vociferously denouncing Sesame Street for “aggressively advocating” for the vaccination of the youngest Americans without citing any “scientific evidence.”
Thanks, Sesame Street, for saying parents are allowed to have questions! You then have Elmo aggressively advocate for vaccinating children UNDER 5. But you cite ZERO scientific evidence for this.”
With so many competing children’s programs, Sesame Street doesn’t have the sway it once did with young people. Still, we can all recognize the contributions of someone like Bob McGrath who strove to make a positive impact in the lives of kids and their families.
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