Happy 40th anniversary.

When I woke up this morning and turned on the computer, Google greeted me with this image:


Ah yes, Big Bird on Wednesday, Cookie Monster yesterday and Bert and Ernie today. I see a trend.

It’s Sesame Street’s 40th anniversary this month (it premiered on November 10, 1969) and what better reason is there to reminisce about my childhood.

You see, I am a child of the seventies. I grew up with Sesame Street or Sesamstrasse as it was called in German. The German version was dubbed, obviously, and there were special characters created for the German version of the show.

Sesamstraße 1980

When I think of Sesamstrasse, this picture instantly pops into my head. For me, the  main characters were, Samson the bear and Tiffy the pink bird, who were specifically invented for the German version of Sesame Street and paired up with two real people (the very first ones of which I have very good memories being Lilo (Liselotte Pulver) in the denim suit and Horst (Janson) – in the red sweater).

Other characters that you might not know from the US version are Finchen and Herr von Bödefeld.
And then there were of course  Ernie and Bert, Grover (German: Grobi), The Count (Graf Zahl), and the Cookie Monster (Krümelmonster) and many, many more. Does anyone remember the guy Don Music who played the piano and couldn’t finish a single song and therefore banged his head on the piano keys over and over. Heh, I guess that stuck with me.

My sister and I loved Sesamstrasse. We didn’t get to watch much TV when we were little, but Sesamstrasse was one of the shows that we were allowed to watch and that we both looked forward to watching every single time.

When I mentioned to J this morning that Ernie and Bert were on the Google homepage, he instantly started an imitation of Ernie… and I was like “No, no, that is all wrong, this is not how Ernie talks” and he replied “of course, it is” and a little squabble ensued about who’s right and who’s wrong about this. Turns out, we’re both right – in a way.
It really just depends on what you are used to. Obviously, since the German version was dubbed,  Ernie got a “new” voice (which unfortunately was not picked out to resemble the original in any way, shape or form. That doesn’t seem to be high on the list of priorities for the dubbing studios anyway.)
Does that irritate you? Let me tell you, it does for me.  OK, this is a topic for a whole different post that I might entertain you with a little later this month, but just for demonstration purposes, just listen to the two versions of Ernie’s “Rubber Ducky (Quietscheentchen) Song” and tell me which voice you think fits better :)

  1. I remember watching Sesame Street when I lived in Panama too, I learned a lot of Spanish that way! The show is really global and universal and appeals to children every where.

  2. Oh, I’m back in my younger, younger years. Thanks, San ;) But to be quite honest, I still like the German voice of Ernie more then his original one! But that’s probably because I grow up with it, right?
    And yes, I do remember the guy, who played the piano and banged his head on the piano keys ;) I guess, we are almost one age … thanks for refreshing all my memories!
    .-= Tanja´s last blog ..Trick or Treat – a lot of candys for us ;) =-.

  3. Hey..I watched Spanish Sesame Street with my nephew. And in that version…big bird is a horrid green color!

    I know for a fact that I learned to speak ENGLISH (I learned Spanish first) by watching sesame street daily.

    Thank God for that!!
    .-= Carolina´s last blog ..“Half of My Heart” =-.

  4. I grew up with “Matti und der Lila-Launebaer”. :) I watched Sesame Street but not that much. But I have to agree: The German voice of Ernie is so much better!
    .-= Stefanie´s last blog ..The overachiever in me. =-.

  5. I’ve been watching all along. Not because I was a kid, but my sister had a child and I started watching with him. I know all the songs and just loved the show.
    Now I know why my German friend named his dog Samson!
    .-= Maribeth´s last blog ..10 Weeks Old! =-.

  6. Oh my, you took me right back into my childhood days! I LOVED to watch Sesamstrasse and to me only the dubbed German voice of Ernie sounds right! Especially since lip sync isn’t an issue ;-)

  7. I loved Sesame Street, too. “Grobi” was my fave!

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