As unsettling as it may be to think about, there is an ambitious generation of breeders raised on Sesame Street who can proudly proclaim themselves grandparents. Since 1969, Big Bird and his entourage have educated millions of little snot bubbles, one letter at a time. Now broadcast in over 30 countries, Sesame Street has been relentlessly merchandised to every corner of the globe without the suffocating Disney-like brand control or backlash. And this winter, our felt-covered friends at Children's Television Workshop are getting personal. "Sesame Street Presents the Body" is an interactive, 21st century medicine show designed to help our soft-skulled, future leaders of America comprehend how disgusting they really are.
Now, it's been a long time since I was a regular viewer of Sesame Street. I'll admit, I've lost touch a bit. But how did Elmo become so popular? I like my mentors driven and maybe even a little jaded. The Cookie Monster had a single-minded focus that would make any addict proud. Oscar the Grouch? Wallowing in filth, he set a precedent for skipping showers that still follows me to this day. That guy should be making parents fight each other in Wal-Mart—not an androgynous, little throw-pillow with a tickle fetish.
Thankfully, for this trip there are no headliners. This is an ensemble outing. With the aid of familiar friends like the Count and Grover, little ones can finally learn where all that accumulated Cheeto dust settles inside their well-vaccinated bodies as well as discover the joys of washing their hands 60 times a day. But seriously, who better to educate America's impressionable youth on the ways of anatomy than creatures whose only bone structure belongs to the sweaty hand of the amateur proctologist sitting beneath them?
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"Sesame Street Presents the Body" at the Discovery Science Center, 2500 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 542-2823. Open daily, 10 a.m-5 p.m. Thru April 29. $12.95; children and seniors, $9.95; ages 2 and under, free.