How They Got To “Sesame Street

The naming of the classic kids’ show was apparently a last-minute operation:

Pressure was put on the production staff and Workshop employees to come up ideas for names and hundreds of titles were suggested. Potential names included The Video Classroom and 1-2-3 Avenue B. “Everything from the mundane Fun Street,” [producer Joan Ganz Cooney] would later recall. 1-2-3 Avenue B was seriously considered and worked well with the show’s set design, which resembled an urban, inner city neighborhood complete with a corner store, subway station and brownstone stoop. It also made reference to the show’s educational goals. However, the name was eventually rejected for fear that the show’s title would not appeal to viewers outside of New York City.

The name Sesame Street is credited to Virginia Schone, a writer for the show. Almost everyone on the staff disliked the name. There was concern that young children would have trouble pronouncing it. But time was running out and the show needed a name. Finally, Executive Producer Dave Connell put out a memo to the staff saying “if nobody came up with a better idea, as of Monday we were going to call it Sesame Street.” As Joan put it, “We went with it because it was the least bad title.”

Above is the beginning of the very first episode of Sesame Street, which aired on November 10, 1969.

(Hat tip: Laughing Squid)