I recently borrowed The Best of the Electric Company from the library. I had not seen these episodes since before I hit double digits. Everyone remembers Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby and Rita Moreno. I had no idea Irene Cara played one of the kids.
My memory is pretty empty regarding many of the sketches. I just don’t think they resonated with me nearly as much as the cartoons did. The plumber, the crumbling monoliths, the various “notes to read” and the like brought it all back to me. I remember hearing Mel Brooks’ voice for one of the cartoons, but of course it didn’t dawn on me that’s who it was originally.
I do remember wanting to see Spider-man on the show. Of course, it also triggered a memory of me reading Spidey Super Stories featuring Easy Reader and the rest of the cast.
As I was watching the episodes, I was struck by the fact there is nothing even remotely like The Electric Company on children’s television today. The cartoons are mostly for selling a particular toy and the only truly successful sketch comedy show for kids, All That on Nick, has been cancelled for two years and I’m sure never taught a single kid how to read (although to be fair, it was pretty funny).
All in all, the best part for me in watching the Electric Company DVDSs nearly 30 years later was finally getting the joke of “Fargo North, Decoder.”