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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
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.
...this show was!!
I remember this show so vividly, and thanks to the Noggin Network, old memories have now surfaced!!
My favorites on the show were when either Skip Hinnant (JJ) or Jim Boyd (Andy) would get themselves in a mess. J. Arthur Crank was a hoot!! Favorite one-liner..."somebody stole steal!!" ...but here's Harry...high in the sky...having his lunch..."Harrrrrrry...you forgot your lunch!!"..."A Peck on the Neck"..."House" (animated musical number)..."SpiderMan" (always was terrified of the Tickler because my sister would say she would get him on me or she would tickle my feet...what can you say for a naive eight-year old at the time?)..."Letterman" (there's where I get my nickname "Rolling O" from)..."Love of Chair"..."Bleached blonde Blanche blinked in the blinding blizzard"..."SuperGuy is a meatball"..."Tilt" by the Short Circuit ("stop playing pinball with my heart")..."My Name is Buddy, Buddy is my Name"...Paul the Gorilla with Jennifer of the Jungle..."A Very Short Book"...I could go on for hours...and at my age then, I would have LOVED to have met Denise Nickerson (Allison) in person!! She was downright cute...and still is today!!
Wow...the Electric Company...a true blast from MY past!!!
Although I love its great predecessor, "Sesame Street," this show was a lot more beneficial to me as a child because I learned to read at an early age. I have been told that the reason the show ceased was because of production costs, but I still think it holds value today as a teaching tool. I think "Electric Company" was one of the best educational shows PBS ever produced. The clothing and hair may be retro, but the songs (by Tom Lehrer and also the late, great Joe Raposo, a truly talented composer for both "Electric Company" and "Sesame Street," as well as the composer of the infamous "Three's Company" theme, "Come and Knock on Our Door") are timeless. "T-I-O-N," "N'T," the "If" song, "L-Y," and "I Like Fish Food" are my top five "Electric Company" songs. Noggin has done a great service by airing the reruns of all six seasons (not the final two seasons as PBS did in the 1980s). Thanks, Nickelodeon (even if you are a subsidiary of Viacom)!
When I was a child, I remember watching The Electric company
with my friends and family. The actors were amazing, and
skits were unforgettable. I adored Morgan Freeman's cowboy
sketches! Jim Boyd's character, the inimitable 'Crank',
remains my personal favorite to this day. I loved Luis
as 'Yankee Doodle'. In all of the historical skits,
he looked like he was having as much fun as the viewers!
Luis is an amazing talent, and I've been taping all of
movies just to see him in other roles. Rita, Judy, Lee
Hattie were all wonderful, too! Skip Hinnant is also very
talented and funny: When he was in a scene portraying
a Romeo type character, and Rita was the angry director
at him, he muttered "The things I do for art," and then
slammed himself back against the wall when she glared at him! I couldn't stop laughing!!! I also enjoyed him as "Roy the Toy Boy".
My favorite sketches are: "Boris the Boxer" (Jim plays a toothless boxer who has been hit in the head quite a bit, and throws punches when he hears a bell), "Greedy Greg Grabbed The Green Grapes" (Jim again), the "--ing" song (sung by Brenda, who was 'swing-ing' and 'sitt-ing' on a bee that was 'sting-ing' her), "Pandora the Brat" (Rita Moreno), "Nitty Gritty" (Hattie), "The Galloping Saddle" (Morgan and Jim), "Springing From A Sponge", "Yankee Doodle" "The Mad Conductor" ("YAGA! Are you trying to turn me into a little bowl of pasta???" Luis yells at Jim, who can't seem to play the right note on his tuba), "Grouch" (Morgan introduces the sketch, where two cavemen, Jim and Luis, are busy pounding rocks. Luis tries to show Jim something, and he growls: "GRRR!" and then pops Luis on the head with the stone hammer. "OUCH!!!" Luis cries... the scene repeats itself several times before it dawns on them that they have created a new word! Vaudeville music strikes up, and they dance around (with the dazed, confused look that only Jim can effect!) chanting "Grouch! Grouch! Grouch!" LOL!!! I still howl with laughter whenever Jim pulls that face!), and "Skunk In The Trunk", where Jim opens a trunk and discovers "...a pretty little kitty---with BAD BREATH!!!"
As an adult, I still love this show (maybe TOO much!) and I would recommend it to people of any age who like to laugh and have fun. Life is too short to frown all of the time! Let Electric Company "turn you on" and "bring you the power"... of laughter and positive vibes!
I give this show 10/10 stars.
I can remember this show like it was yesterday. When I was in
school,everyday after lunch we would go back into the classroom,and our
teacher(dear sweet Mrs. Edge)would turn to the station where the show was
on(it came on at 12:30 in the afternoon),and she would tell us that their
were certain words and sounds like "ch",and "sh" that would be announced on
the show,and IT WAS MANDATORY,that we watch the show,cause you'll never know
if Mrs. Edge would give us a word to say or used in a sentence,and it came
directly from that show.
The Electric Company was that show. It may have been a great show,but it was educational as well. I always looked forward to it coming on everyday. We couldn't wait for Rita Moreno to yell "Hey you Guys!",and we would yell right along,if you wasn't too loud or gotten or Mrs. Edge's last nerve. She was a very good teacher. I can remember some of the characters like Crank, J.J., Sylvia or Jennifer with Paul the Gorilla. Morgan Freeman was everyone's favorite because he could not only entertain the kids,but at the same time teach them about words and phrases,and other lessons of interest(my teacher worship the ground he walked on everytime he was on the air).
Oh yeah,how can I forget other characters like "Letterman",and learning to read from your friendly-neighborhood "Spiderman",and most importantly.....silent "e"....Who can remember the song.... "Who can turn a can into a cane","Who can turn a man into a mane"......and so forth.....
One of the best shows for my childhood. I'm surprised it didn't last very long,but it would be nice if someone did a remake of the show that encourages children to learn more and be entertain at the same time. Great show of the 1970's!!!!
Out of all the educational shows that I can remember as a child, I enjoyed this one the best. The skits that I remember the most are "I Hate To Take A Nap", "Cha-Cha-Cha-Cha Chimney", "Act Your Age", "N'T", All the skits mimicking Johnny Cash, "Randy" and being a horror fan I mostly enjoyed the monster characters. I enjoyed the Short Circus and having a crush on Jessy and Buddy and the songs "Poison", "Knock, Knock, Rock" and "Tilt". I loved this show and I wish that it would come on regularly on TV. I did not have Noggin so I wish that all kids had the opportunity that I had as a kid to enjoy these educational shows that are far more better and "cleaner" than todays children's shows.
Reading some of the comments other people have said regarding the "Electric Company" makes me realize that it has been forgotten, and that is a shame! If anyone can tell me more about this "Noggin" cable channel or where to find reruns, it would be much appreciated. I, too, remember the Electric Company, and I watched it fervently from age 7-12. It was a wonderful show that provided the best possible learning environment, by combining education with humor and repetition, and, above all, in small enough doses to aid in memory retention. I think my all-time favorite was "Fargo North, De-Coder." The cast was certainly very talented and very capable, and I have nothing but fond memories of watching this show, while also improving my language skills.
I watched every episode of "The Electric Company" with my children. When they got too "old" for the genre, I had occasion to watch it by myself-this led to a lot of teasing, but I thought "Dracula" and "Easy Reader" were just great. Today I was surfing the Children's TV Show Archives, and naturally clicked on "Electric Company." DEJEVU! Morgan Freeman was the actor portraying my favorite (vicariously enjoyed) characters! The first time I saw Morgan Freeman in my adult life was in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." He looked sooo familiar, but I just couldn't place him! What a rush! ...life has come full-circle for me. A fan of this man all my life-and I never realized it! What a treat!
Hey You Guys! I really loved the Electric Company even though it was
five years before my time. I can say that I learned a lot from this
show. Just basic reading and grammatical skills that so many kids are
lacking these days. This show was really fun and there were a lot of
people who made it that way. They really need to make more educational
programs just like this so that kids can keep an opened mind as to
what's out there rather than relying on other TV shows that don't
really have any educational value and do very little to stimulate young
I'm surprised that this show isn't in syndication and hasn't been released on DVD and VHS because the Children's Television Workshop could profit very well from it.
I had a huge crush on Julie, the cutie from Short Circus. I think it may have been that she was like me, Asian-American, and I could relate to her (don't know how exactly except for appearance). All I know is that she was quite popular here in Hawaii. So without sounding like an obsessed crazed fan, I will simply say that TEC was a great learning tool for me and my three brothers. As a latchkey kid throughout the 70's, this show was a great distraction from the bigger problems around me. I don't have as great a memory about the show's skits and musical numbers, but I do remember episodes of Spidey, Letterman, and Rita Moreno's "Hey you guyyyyys!". I can't watch a Morgan Freeman film without first seeing Easy Reader. The silhouettes of two of the show's cast members compounding words remains vivid. And T-I-O-N, shun-shun-shun-shun....classic! I have never heard of Noggin, but it sounds like a great network(?) in the same vein as TV Land.
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