A comedy variety show that teaches basic phonetic and grammar concepts using live-action sketches, cartoons, songs, and Spider-Man episodes.
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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
 Andy / ... (780 episodes, 1971-1977)
 Count Dracula / ... (780 episodes, 1971-1977)
 Jennifer of the Jungle / ... (780 episodes, 1971-1977)
 Clam / ... (780 episodes, 1971-1977)
 Carmela / ... (780 episodes, 1971-1977)
 Julie - Member of the Short Circus (780 episodes, 1971-1977)
 Blond-Haired Cartoon Man (780 episodes, 1971-1977)
 Dr. Doolats / ... (650 episodes, 1972-1977)
 Spell Binder (650 episodes, 1972-1977)
 Sylvia / ... (520 episodes, 1973-1977)
 Kathy - Member of the Short Circus (520 episodes, 1971-1975)
Steve Gustafson ...
 Buddy - Member of the Short Circus (520 episodes, 1971-1975)
Danny Seagren ...
 Spider-Man (390 episodes, 1974-1977)


"The Electric Company," aimed at children ages 7 to 10, was designed to teach basic reading concepts to its young viewers. Skits featuring the show's regulars, cartoons, vignettes, and regular features revolved around sound clusters (such as -ly, sh-, oo-) and punctuation marks. On occasion, a fun song was played with the audience challenged to supply the lyrics during the second sing-through. Through the years, different features were added including "Love of Chair" (1971-1973, a spoof of "Love of Life"), "The Adventures of Letterman" (added in 1972), cartoon segments featuring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner (1973), and Spider-Man (1974). Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hey, you guys! See more »


Family | Comedy


TV-G | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

25 October 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Reading Program  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(780 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Because sketches from previous seasons were reused in the same way that Sesame Street (1969) reused its sketches, the first season was in production for approximately 26 weeks, and this dwindled down to approximately 13 weeks of production for the sixth and final season. See more »


During the song "Apostrophe S" (sung by Lee Chamberlin), after Lee sings "the hat is Jim's and that's that", a white-sleeved arm appears briefly at the bottom right of the screen. See more »


Buddy - Member of the Short Circus: [speaking to Fargo, after being revealed as his impersonator] Please don't be angry at me Mr. North, I've always admired you and wanted to be a great Decoder someday like you, but I needed a little practice.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of every episode is a disclaimer read aloud by one of the cast members stating, "The Electric Company gets its power from the Children's Television Workshop". See more »


Spoofed in The Love Guru (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The one Electric Company I owe!
6 March 2003 | by (Xanadu) – See all my reviews

Three TV shows mean more to me than any others. The first was Mr Rogers' Neighborhood; the second, Sesame Street; and the third, The Electric Company. Mr Rogers taught me to be kind, that I was special, and that makebelive was a wonderful thing. Sesame Street taught me letters and numbers, how to count, how to spot similarities and differences, and that frogs conducted the best interviews. The Electric Company taught me how to sound out words and phrases, the basics of grammar; and, ultimately, how to read. My mother once told me that she didn't know I could read until I was riding in the car reading road signs out loud. This was before I was in school and was one of the reasons my parents dismissed the school's idea that I should wait a year to start, since my birthday was in mid-November. Thanks to this show and Sesame Street, I could read better than most of my classmates.

I haven't seen this show since the 70's, so I only have vague memories. I remember Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader, Rita Moreno shouting "Hey You Guyyyyyyyysssss". I remember the parts where two silhouetted people would sound out syllables. I remember Letterman (before Dave) and Spider-Man. Mostly, I remember a sense of fun.

When I read stories about what's wrong with education, I know the answer is simple (aside from money and parents and communities who care). School was rarely as fun as this. If education is fun, children will soak it up like a sponge. This show, and Sesame Street and Mr Rogers were fun.

I'm turned on, I have the power. Hey you guyyyyyyyyssss! Thanks.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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