Remembering sunny days and sweeping the clouds away

By Hannah E. Martin
Globe Correspondent / November 7, 2009

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We asked some notable Bostonians about their favorite “Sesame Street’’ moments.

MARC HARRIS, owner, Marc Harris Salon

“I loved when Smokey Robinson did ‘You Really Got a Hold on Me,’ with the letter U. You’ve got this female U carrying him and pulling and tugging him, and it was really just memorable.’’

BETTY RIAZ, owner, Stil Clothing

“Bert was my favorite. He was so lovable and infallible, and everyone could relate to him. I really loved the house-cleaning parts with him and Ernie in that messy room. They were like yin and yang.’’

LIZ WITHAM, documentary filmmaker

“ ‘Big Bird Goes to China’ left a huge impact on me as a kid. My grandma had just been to China in 1983 when it was just opening up, and to see that special from a kid’s perspective was really great. I ended up studying Chinese and living in China later on.’’


“I was really in love with Snuffleupagus. I loved his long eyelashes and that he would come around sort of invisible to the adults in the show. I took this idea of an imaginary friend and applied it to my real life. For instance, my friend was dating a guy and we had never seen him so we started calling him Snuffleupagus. That sort of stuck.’’


“I’ll never forget where I was standing in my mother’s kitchen when she told me there was a new show she wanted me to watch when I got home from kindergarten. Yes, I saw the very first episode of ‘Sesame Street’! I always loved the counting segment, as it never failed to crack me up when they’d fall down after counting all the coconut cream pies. Secretly, I still use the ‘Sesame Street’ technique when doing inventory in the restaurants: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 . . . 5 pounds of sushi grade tuna! The staff always looks a little scared, but it works.’’

DARRYL SETTLES, co-owner, Beehive

“ ‘Sesame Street’ was one of the few shows that had diversity on the air. Everybody remembers when Stevie Wonder was on there. I was born in 1961, so I was 12 at the time, and that was a pretty big deal for me.’’

MATT HUNWICK, Bruins defenseman

“My favorite moment was probably the ‘Letter B’ song. I remember it being a catchy tune at the time and later realized how clever it was when I heard the actual ‘Let It Be’ song by the real band.’’

JOHNNY EARLE, owner, Johnny Cupcakes

“As a kid, I think the first movie to make me cry was ‘Sesame Street’s Follow That Bird’ movie. I watched it a ton growing up, and it made me really sad seeing Big Bird getting kidnapped!’’

AJ WILLIAMS, Creative Events

“I’m originally from Jamaica, so ‘Sesame Street’ was my connection to the US as a child. I remember playing and singing songs to a ‘Sesame Street’ record with my two sisters. On Saturday and Sunday mornings the first thing we did was get up and play that record over and over until it drove our mom nuts. I loved the Cookie Monster and always find myself saying ‘coookieee’ when in need, trying to mimic his voice.’’

NATE DONMOYER, drummer, Passion Pit

“I started to like math and numbers because of ‘Sesame Street.’ I used to be glued to the television every time The Count would come on the screen. That vampire is the reason I learned to count!’’

SAM MENDOZA, designer

“I always appreciated the diversity in the show. My favorite Muppet was Rosita. The Spanish word of the day was always interesting for my younger brother and I. We grew up speaking Spanish at home, and if someone pronounced a word wrong David and I were quick to correct them. It was just cool really to have our language on a show like this.’’

GRETTA MONAHAN, owner, Gretta Enterprises

“I always love the celebrity appearances! It’s fun and surprising for kids as well as parents to see Alec Baldwin riding a tricycle, my pal Rachael Ray describing the word ‘amazing,’ or Feist singing a kiddie version of her song ‘1234.’ ’’

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