"When a seven-foot yellow-feathered bird who is subject to depressions attempts to seat himself upon the letter “h” and fails, it is no longer simply an event in children’s television, or even in the media. It is part of the intellectual history of a generation, who are already in important ways the children of “Sesame Street”…. Small children from poor or middle-class families who watch “Sesame Street” do better on cognitive tests and in first grade than children who do not watch it. Children who watch it frequently do better than children who watch it rarely. Children who begin to watch it at the age of three learn more rapidly than children who begin at four…."
— From the archive, Renata Adler writes in defense of Big Bird and children’s programming in 1972: Read more