Tag Archives: sesame street

your nappy ass roots: Roosevelt Franklin

brought to you by the letters R, G, and B.

Roosevelt Franklin was a member of the cast of Sesame Street in the early 1970s.  A revolutionary character, Roosevelt was believed to be African-American based on the way he spoke and his propensity to sing/dance/rhyme/scat in normal conversation.  He was founder of Roosevelt Franklin Elementary school, wherein he taught his pupils, also believed to be black for the same reasons, lessons in black pride and nationalism, an agenda considered radical by the other residents of Sesame Street.  In one of his most famous, daring lessons, Roosevelt taught his pupils about Africa in an attempt to erase the stereotypical imagery planted in their heads by western media.

Shortly after this lesson aired, Roosevelt Franklin was found shot to death in his dressing room.  No one was ever arrested, but 5 large, yellow feathers were found at the crime scene.

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happy 40th birthday, Sesame Street!

i can’t freakin believe this show is still on.  how awesome is that.  a lot has changed since i was a kid.  they done had muppets with HIV and everything, and now they’re prolly teachin kids how to not get molested on the interwebs.  amazing.  anyway, in tribute, i wanted to do a short list of 5 of my favorite songs that i remember from the show.  i was going to do my top 10 faves, but the pressure was just too great 😦

my affinity for funk, r&b & 80s music has clearly dominated the top 3/5s of the list.  it starts two traditional faves though:

5.  ‘Rubber Ducky’ – Ernie – adulthood taints everything.  in listening to this as a 27 year old, i felt some kinda way hearin Ernie sing about findin somethin ‘short and yellow and chubby’ in the tub.  :-/

4.  ‘C is for Cookie’ – Cookie Monster

and then… THE PARTY STARTS!!

3.  ‘The Word is No’ – Maria and Gina – lol.  remember this??  i mostly remember the chorus.  id sing it everytime my mom would tell me no for something.  i totally didn’t know how 80s this joint is though!  i love it!

also in retrospect, Maria was kinda Claire Huxtableish, wasn’t she?

2.  ‘Down Below the Street’Take 6 – vintage Take 6!!!  i dare you to find somethin about this that kicks ass.  dare you.  you can’t do it.  don’t even try.

i still think of this song when i’m out and about and i see a manhole or sewer drain.

**bonus:  The Number 6 and the Alphabet Song, also by Take 6.

1.  The Pinball Number Count Song – The Pointer Sisters – im sure nobody is surprised by this takin the #1 spot. this joint is TOUGH.

40 years.  Jesus, we’re OLD.

 

 

who knew the letter “U” was so… rapey?

HALP!!

HALP!!

smokey robinson did!

if you’re old enough to be annoyed by hipsters, you’re old enough to remember and fully appreciate classic sesame street.  if this is you, then you should remember smokie robinson performing “you really got a hold on me,” as he taught little children the dangers of getting involved with fatal attraction-ass vowels.

this has always been one of my favorite sesame street memories, but you know what?  looking back… this is really creepy.  this U has some therapy-grade attachment issues and poor smokey should really stfu with all the singin & make friends with 911.  this is a PROBLEM!  he’s being stalked!  relentlessly!  i mean, let’s walk through the different levels of disturbing, shall we?

0:35 – the first official unwanted physical contact

0:57 – just to clear the air and banish any possibility that this cld simply be a ‘no means yes’ situation, smokey tells everybody plainly, “bein grabbed by a letter is unappealin.”  translation:  “these are all bad touches.”

1:10 – smokey literally & physically has to guard his crotch against the looming invasion of his no-no spot.

1:23 – yo, this thing really wants smokey’s balls.

1:48 – assault.

1:54 – battery.

2:26 – OMG KIDNAPPING WTF

2:38 – full out, unabashed, unashamed, hardcore, full pursuit, “if i cant have you, nobody can” style stalking

3:06 – i guess smokey decides it’s cheaper–and more beneficial to his health–to keep her.

so.  how do you feel now that this little gem of your childhood has been soiled and dirtied?  a little dead inside?  i know the feeling well.