Street party

Timothy Chui
Timothy Chui |

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Michelle Obama is one of the many famous faces to appear on Sesame Street. Photo: The New York Times

Timothy Chui pays tribute to one of the most famous children's TV shows in the world on its 40th birthday

Iconic American children's show Sesame Street is turning 40 on Tuesday, marking four decades of what could be one of the most widely shared childhood memories around the world.

Filmed in New York but beamed into homes in more than 120 countries, the show was created as an educational tool to help prepare young children, especially those from low-income families, for school. The more than 4,100 episodes convey messages of tolerance and understanding, and, of course, reading, writing and arithmetic.

The show features a cast of different generations - children and adults learn from one another; races - the show starred black and Hispanic actors at a time when minorities struggled for recognition; and even species - there would be no show without Jim Henson's adorable Muppets.

Sesame Street is also famous for its special guests. Public figures like Michael Jackson, Yo-Yo Ma, David Beckham and Michelle Obama have all appeared on the programme. So much more than just a children's show, the premier of Sesame Street's 41st season will give young and old alike a reason to catch up with some old friends.