Roosevelt Franklin, We Hardly Knew Ye

Some people have wicked long term memories.

They can tell you about their 3rd birthday party, their first day of kindergarten, the time a kid threw up in class in Grade 2.

I’m not one of those people.

I’ve got a few bits and pieces, but generally, my memories really don’t get going till about Grade 4, when I was 8.

Every now and again, I get a little something back.  At first, I thought I was making this up.  But, thanks to the interweb (I think this thing is really gonna catch on, after all!), I got confirmation that (in this case) I’m not completely full of shit.

Roosevelt Franklin actually existed.

Somewhere along the way, poor Roosevelt got ditched by the folks at Sesame Street.  According to www.muppetwikia.com “he was dropped from the cast following letters complaining of a negative African-American stereotype, and because his rowdy elementary school did not set a good example for children”.  Bummer.  I remember enjoying the hell out of his extremely peppy segments.

Alas, poor Roosevelt.  I knew him.

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19 responses to “Roosevelt Franklin, We Hardly Knew Ye

  1. I normally find very little to identify with when I read blogs but I totally get what you mean. When my friends go on and on about what they did when they were 5 or 6 or even 12 or 14, I still there feeling like I was sent to Earth after the age of 17 or 18.I’ve got no bloody clue about my childhood except for occasional jolts i get while watching some old TV or something.

  2. Yup! I am so very, very thankful to Youtube, for being there to fill in the gaps!

  3. I wonder what would happen to Rooseveldt today. Would Black Power insist that he be returned to his former place? Of course nowadays Sesame Street has been so completely neutralized none of the characters have the wit and relevance of the Glory Days.

  4. Never heard of ’em.
    :p

  5. I have many fond memories of the old Sesame Street days, but alas, I have no recollection of Roosevelt Franklin. He must have fallen into one of the chasms of my mind. 😕

  6. ‘smee: Roosevelt would have his own late night cable show. He’s far too cool for daytime now.

    Maria: You, my dear, are just too deliciously young to have heard of him. (I’m so glad we can see your beautiful face on your comments now! Pretty avatar!)

    Peter: Tell me you (at least) remember Mr. Hooper?

  7. Oh I do, I do. And I remember when he died, and how hard it was on Big Bird. 😦 Made me sad too.

  8. Oh man! Now I’m gonna cry! Thanks a lot, Peter!

    Hey, do you remember the pinball game animated sequence? “One two three FOUR FIVE, six seven eight NINE TEN, eleven twelve. TWELVE!” So very, very trippy.

  9. I think you can still see that one. Perhaps at Sulya’s house. If not I will bring it the next time. It is every bit as good as you remember.

  10. Yep, I remember that too. That was one of my favorite things on Sesame Street as a kid. Kids just love their repetitive stuff. 🙂 Do you remember the Ladybug Picnic song? “One two three, four five six, seven eight nine, ten eleven twelve, and they all sat around, at the ladybug picnic” :mrgreen:

  11. The 1-12 song kicks some serious butt. And the Ladybug Picnic is a classic. “And talk about fire insurance for ladybugs” is probably my favourite line. I have the ladybug song, I don’t think I have the other.

    But on this great Sesame Street numbers video there is this sequence where this red ball goes through a Rube Goldberg sculpture in a bouncy 70’s 1, 2, 3 waltz and then it gets ground up in a metal box and turns into 1, 2, 3 cherries on top of three sundaes to be eaten by one borderline Stepford-like little girl and that tweaked all kinds of memories for me when I first saw it… Anyone else?

  12. Woops!!

    Mad props to Franklin Roosevelt.

    I only have the vaguest memory of him but having watched the clip it’s clear he deserved more time in the sun.

  13. Pingback: Crazy Pix: 04/18/08 « * * * HATE ~ & ~ ANGER * * *

  14. This is so wierd. I just had a flash memory today about a Sesame Street character I totally forgot about…Roosevelt Franklin.

    I did a search and I stumbled on this blog. So, so wierd.

    Roosevelt was great. You would have to be at least 40 to remember him. I was 5 when Roosevelt made the scene back in 1970.

    It is funny how people consider him “Black.” he was light magenta but voiced by a Black actor. I just saw him as the coolest kid on Sesame Street.

    Some of the surviving video on You Tube brought back a flood of memories.

    Sesame Street used to be such fun…and now it is sterilized politically correct garbage. Strange how it was born out of radical teaching ideas which today are seen as old fashioned and out of touch and even dangerous. Alistair Cookie (Cookie Monster) once had a pipe to smoke. Kids played freely without helmets and pads. Snuffleupagus was still a figment of Big Bird’s Mind. Bert was depressed and liked it.

    It’s no wonder Roosevelt Franklin was kicked out. The very liberal minded people who brought creativity to children’s education, brought along their rules and politically correct ideas for how things are supposed to be.

    Whatever happended to freedom?

    Roosevelt Franklin was free! He was cool. And the childrenof today are missing out on a very special person. (Yes, I said it…I called a muppet a “person.”)

    Thanks for the memories.

  15. Thank God for Ask and Receive.

    So I remember when Arrested Development was on and I was trying to figure out why Franklin Delano Bluth looked so goddamned familiar.

    You saved my life. This was like, destroying me.

  16. Oh holy shit, Rassles, I totally missed that! I love Arrested Development, but I never even caught the reference. (I suck.)

  17. hey, I stumbled onto this blog when I googled Roosevelt Franklin as well — for years I’ve had the “Roosevelt Franklin, El-em-en-ta-ry school” jingle in my head. My wife thought I was making it up when I said it was a skit on SS (she doesn’t remember it). Now I have proof. I just watched a few RFES videos on youtube and now remember why I liked the series. It had a kind of edginess that the ultra-pc kids shows of today no longer seem to possess. Does anyone know what the outside pic of the “school” is really from? It looks more like an English grammar school.

    Btw Diego, I’m 39.5, NOT 40!, and I don’t appreciate being wrapped into age 40 prematurely!! 😉

  18. Hi J. Glad I could be of use. And hey, yeah, I’m not 40 either. Like REALLY not 40. Maybe I was just an incredibly perceptive fetus???

  19. Roosevelt Franklin was my first black friend – growing up in rural Ohio during the late 60s early 70s embracing diversity meant talking to the catholics. I think in some strange way Roosevelt Franklin helped me vote for President Obama

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