Guess what’s back?! Yes, indeed, the NY Times is reporting that “The Electric Company”, that hip how-to-read show set to a funky beat that became the background soundtrack to many a moment in my childhood, is back.
I loved every instant of that show, from Morgan Freeman’s Dracula spoof to the two talking heads putting together words broken down into syllables. I loved the Spider-man live action comic sequences and the music that made me feel soooo groovy. It came on right after Sesame Street and made me feel like such a big kid that I could read along with the show.
I once had this crush on this boy at Christopher Robin’s Nursery school. (I had some Polaroid of him at one time. His nose was running.) Anyway, I remember saying to my mom that if I had Rita Moreno’s outfit from the opening credits of “Electric Company” I know he would want to trade sandwiches with me. That’s not a euphemism, by the way. I really did want to trade sandwiches with him as a means to show my love.
Cut to 20 years later. I once worked as an assistant at a television production company and had the honor to answer the phone when Rita Moreno called. I normally don’t get star struck, but I just HAD to say something.
“Ms Moreno, before I connect you, could I just say that I loved your work on Electric Company.”
There was a pause as I considered whether I had brought up painful memories of a starving theater actor just trying to pay the bills by taking on a goofy new kid’s show as her day-job.
“Young adults come up to me all the time,” she replied with a smile on her voice. “I can’t tell you how much it means to me that I was a part of that project.”
And we can’t tell you, Ms. Moreno, how much it meant to us that you were a part of our childhood. I look forward to sharing this new incarnation of The Electric Company with my own son some day. If it has even a fraction of the charm, rigor, and creativity the original had, it’ll be, well…electric.