There are lots of classic children's TV shows, but how many boast not one but two Oscar winners? While Rita Moreno and Morgan Freeman are fabulous, they alone are not what earn the '70s stalwart an indelible place in kid-tsch culture. A surreal combination of educational sketches, songs and psychedelic graphics, The Electric Companytook Sesame Street graduates to the next level, both in terms of learning (it's how most Gen Xers found out about silent e) and the appreciation of campy comedy (Freeman as Dracula taking a bath in his casket). In honor of PBS's 21st century revamp of Electric Company, premiering January 19, we're counting down our top ten favorite clips from the beloved original.
10. Opening song
Although the show originally had
a different intro
, this is the one most folks remember, which kicks off with Rita Moreno's unforgettable catchphrase, "
Hey you guuuuuys!!
9. Sounding out words
Would we have learned to spell any other way?
8. Lick a lolly
Warning: This catchy rhyming song may get stuck in your head. It was stuck in mine from '74 to about '85.
7. The big sneeze
Freeman's Oscar-winning talents on full display.
Your friendly neighborhood superhero periodically swung by the set to endorse the educational power of his comics—and engage in a little silent comedy.
5. Adventures of Letterman
's No. 1 superhero wasn't Spider-man; it was Letterman, voiced by Gene Wilder and narrated by Joan Rivers. It's a word, it's a plan, it's Letterman!
4. Double dose of Bill Cosby
Technically the veteran comic actor was only a regular on the first two seasons, but his bits were re-aired throughout the show's six-season, 780-episode run.
3. Jennifer of the Jungle
Judy Graubart ushered many a boy into early puberty in her Flintstones getup (and if you don't believe me, just check out
some of the lewd comments
on this video). And she thought she was teaching kids how to spell...
2. Silent E
wrote and sang two legendary
and "Silent E." Eat your heart out
1. Easy reader
Freeman singlehandedly bought funk to public television.
For additional clips, as well as trivia games and other extras, visit sesameworkshop.org.