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Three On Thursday

Dale and I are big fans of public television. We are sustainers, contributing monthly, albeit a small amount. And we are watchers, enjoying everything from documentaries by Ken Burns to Call the Midwife to All Creatures Great and Small. My love for PBS is not new, it goes back to my childhood. Today, I’m going to share my 3 favorite public broadcasting shows from when I was a kid.

  1. Sesame Street. This iconic show first aired in November, 1969. I had just turned 4 years old and was, quite literally, the perfect age to enjoy it. I adored Bert and Ernie, laughed at Oscar the Grouch, counted along with The Count, and wanted Big Bird to be my big brother. I loved it so much that my mother would take me to my grandparent’s house to watch it because they had a color television and we did not.
  2. Zoom. This show first aired in 1972. I was 7 years old and, once again, at the perfect age to enjoy it all. It originated in Boston and I had fantasies about being one of the Zoom kids, coming up with ways I would introduce myself at the beginning of each episode, although nothing was ever as iconic as I’m Bernadette doing her arm swinging maneuver. The show was presented entirely without adults and it encouraged kids to be creative, to play, and to speak Ubbi-Dubbi, it’s own language which added the syllable “ub” into each word. I adored it.
  3. The French Chef. Now, you may think this is odd for a child, but I loved this show and I watched it with my mom. I learned that cooking can be fun, we laughed when Julia would sweep her messes onto the floor, and we oohed and ahhhed over the final scene of each episode when she would present what she cooked in the dining room. I remember so many episodes, from the giant lobster to coq au vin to crepes, her impeccably clean towel, and I can hear her voice at the end of the show saying, This is Julia Child, Bon Appetit!

I have to say, I truly enjoyed writing this post and remembering these shows from my childhood. I hope it brought back some memories for you, too, and I hope you’ll tell me about them in the comments.

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This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. I wanted to be a Zoom kid, too! I must have practiced that swinging arm thing a thousand times lol! I can still sing “send it to Zoom!”

  2. A wanna-be Zoomer here, too! I was 12 when the show was introduced so that’s the only season I remember, but I liked Zoom Do and Zoom Znacks. (I may have the song in my head all day!)

  3. We did not get a public television station until I was 12 or 13. I do not remember Zoom and by then I was too old for Sesame Street. But!! Once I had kids, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and Where in the World is Carmen San Diego were part of our every day lives!

  4. We weren’t close enough to get the PBS signal when I was little. I was also just a little old for Sesame Street and never heard about Zoom until I was much older. Funny how a small gap in years changes childhood memories.

  5. I am too old to have seen these shows – wah, wah! But I did enjoy Sesame Street with my nephew when he was small. My husband and I are sustainers and watchers as well. In fact, as of late, I have found very little to watch elsewhere, even though I have cable! I think the quality of their shows is pretty consistently very high, and I love PBS news. Great post, Carole.

  6. We are very consistent. PBS watchers and sustainers, too. PBS did not exist when I was a child, nor did we have a TV until I was 8. Then I became a Howdy Doody and, eventually, a Mickey Mouse Club fan.

  7. I was just enough younger than you to be too old for Sesame Street (I was almost 10 when it came out), but I loved watching it with my kids. We didn’t have a public television station until about the same time Sesame Street was “born,” but I loved Captain Kangaroo and Romper Room when I was a kiddo. (I was even ON Romper Room for two weeks. Highlight of my 5-year-old life. . . ) XO

  8. I’m another old person – too old to have enjoyed Sesame Street and never heard of Zoom! But, my Mom and I used to watch The French Chef and we would laugh and laugh until tears ran down our faces. I remember one episode where Julia Child flipped an omelette right onto the floor. She picked it up, put it on the plate and declared that no one would know because they were not in the kitchen with her. LOL I also loved The Frugal Gourmet.

  9. I was in high school when Sesame Street came on the air. When I was a kid channel 13 was our PBS station and most of the time it was snow. The few times we could get the station, it was shows my parents enjoyed. I do remember enjoying Mickey Mouse Club, Captain Kangaroo, and Saturday morning westerns, like Sky King, on network TV.

  10. One of our longtime PBS shows is Rick Steves. His travelogues are a lot of fun, and very interesting. I just gave my mother the 20 year anthology for Christmas this year.

  11. At the moment we seem to be listening to NPR rather than watching TV, but out kids enjoyed Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. Have you ever read Julie & Julia by Julie Powell? I read it and enjoyed it ages ago, but it’s still on our bookshelf.

  12. I don’t remember any PBS from when I was a kid (I remember a very infrequent World of Disney … we didn’t do much TV in my house 😉 … BUT as a young adult, I LOVED The French Chef and as a young parent, All Creatures Great and Small. and later, David Suchet’s Hercule Poirot is maybe one of my favorite TV characters of All Time.

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