'The Electric Company' powers up again

Electriccompany_lAm I the only one who has misgivings about PBS’ planned resurrection of The Electric Company? Yes, I’m glad there’s going to be another show helping to teach kids to read (though a TV series promoting literacy seems to me like Col. Sanders building a chicken sanctuary). It’s the entertainment value I wonder about. I naturally assume the new version (pictured) won’t be as clever or brilliantly performed as the 1971-77 original. After all, that show had Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno, Bill Cosby, and Irene Cara among the performers, plus songs by Tom Lehrer and Sesame Street composer Joe Raposo, while the new one… does not. (Though it does have some of the folks behind Blades of Glory, multiple Tony nominee In the Heights, and, um, Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Can’t wait to see Goren in the box, browbeating some misspelling miscreant.) Also, the old show was essentially a sketch comedy series, complete with catchphrases and recurring characters, while the new one will be more plot-driven, centering on a group of kids with superheroic, word-altering powers. Does every piece of kids’ entertainment now have to be about superpowered children?

Okay, maybe I’m just a cranky, Gen-X geezer, jealously hoarding my nostalgia for something I grew up with, instead of letting the kids have their own version. Go ahead, PopWatchers, put me in my place — or share your favorite memories of the original Electric Company.

addCredit(“The Electric Company: Richard Termine”)

Comments (48 total) Add your comment
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  • ZF


  • Cheryl

    Fargo North, Decoder

  • Miriam

    Fargo North, Decoder was definitely my favorite sketch.

  • Jill

    I LOVED the Electric Company. I grew up on it. Every now and then I find myself singing songs from it. I ONLY hope that the new bunch of people put as much time and devotion into it.
    (Current song in head – Hurray for hate, it’s really great, when things are not so hot, hate really hits the spot. Okay, so the best message does not go out with this song, but the song is still stuck in my head after all these years)

  • Anonymous

    “But what about Naomi?”

  • JJJ

    Easy Reader was the man!

  • Nick

    The old one also had the amazing adventures of… Letterman!! (which, I did not know until a few days ago, was voiced by Gene Wilder).
    Don’t forget those animated Spiderman clips too.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s the plumber. I’ve come to fix the sink.”

  • Portia

    OK, so I was VERY young (born in’74),so I don’t remember alot of details, but I distinctly remember being WAY more into the Electric Company than Sesame Street. I’m going to have to research some of the sketches I do remember and see what shows they were featured on…Letter People, Bloodhound Gang, 3-2-1 Contact….I do remember all the theme songs, including the instrumental “Bom Bom Bom Bom…dudda da da!” from Electric Company. Now I have a rotation in my head of all these songs…how funny! “Come and meet the letter people…”

  • Portia

    Oh, you guys are awesome! Spiderman, the plumber, letterman…it’s all coming back to me! My brother-in-law and I have an ongoing arguement about which Spiderman theme song is the more legitimate.

  • Snarf

    I do believe I just dated myself.

  • daisyj

    Me, I just want to know when they’re gonna bring back Square One (hey, kids need to learn their math, too, right?). And not that I would ever admit it (except for here, I guess), but I would totally still watch Mathnet, even now.
    “The story you’re about to see is a fib, but it’s short. The names are made up but the problems are real.”

  • Shana

    Well if someone from Law & Order is working on it then the Bloodhound Gang should be resurrected and better than ever!

  • David D

    Ohhhhhh, I had SUCH a crush on Judy Graubart. I even met her once in a record store and desperately tried to stay cool and professional.
    Ditto on “It’s the plumber.” I tell that joke to this day.

  • Rollo

    No way can a new “Electric Company” compete with the original. Some things should be left alone. Like when you hear “classic rock” everyday, it’s no longer classic rock. Just more of the same…

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