Friday, July 20, 2012

The Moonworm

43 years ago today, man first walked on the moon.  Four months later, Sesame Street premiered.  1969 was a big year.  It's a shame that Sesame Street barely missed witnessing one of the most important historical events of the century.  So, in 1998, the show decided to stage its own version of the moon landing so that it's characters may experience the splendor that was man walking on the moon.

We've already seen one character achieve lunar orbit, and we've learned that the moon is no place to live, but that wasn't enough.  The second half of Season 29 was devoted to one character's trip to the moon.  Even though the original Apollo 11 took 8 days total, this character was so small that the voyage took 5 months.  Yes, one lowly worm managed to travel almost 239,000 miles away from the Earth, going where no worm has gone before.

In a tiny, tiny spacesuit.

Slimey was Oscar the Grouch's pet worm and the only creature he would voluntarily be nice towards.  When Slimey first saw the moon, he became to enamored with it that he would stay up all night just watching it.  Oscar decided he would help Slimey achieve is dreams of one day walking on the moon.

Looking through a tiny, tiny telescope.

After going through WASA training, Slimey rose to the head of the group, with his abilities to withstand the pressures that space travel would place on him.  Finally, he left orbit, with a tearful goodbye from Oscar.  And while they hit a few snags along the way...

...such as hitting the "Wrong Way" button with their bowling ball, forcing them to go outside to fix the problem...

...Slimey and his team finally made it to the moon.  Many episodes chronicled this journey, but Tony Bennett was kind enough to summarize the trip in a single song, "Slimey to the Moon."  Womp womp.

After collecting as much space dirt as they could handle, the worms headed back home.  Their module was supposed to land in the Atlantic Ocean, but thanks to the Count summoning a thunderstorm when he began counting down for their return, the spacecraft veered off course, heading straight toward Sesame Street.

Fortunately, they had a bucket full of water handy to catch them, just like the Apollo 11 mission.

Back safe and sound, Slimey greeted his dear friend Oscar, who had been worried about him, yet also proud of him, causing a slew of new emotions he had often avoided.  Slimey presented Oscar with a picture of the Earth from the moon, and Oscar finally saw things in a new perspective.

Such a tiny, tiny Earth.

The original moon landing was the stuff of legends.  The world stopped that day as everyone can remember exactly where they were when it occurred.  For the inhabitants of Sesame Street, they were able to relive that piece of history.  By choosing their tiniest member to be their representative, it proved that size doesn't matter when it comes to fulfilling your dreams.  The universe can make you feel really small.  But that didn't intimidate Slimey.  It empowered him, giving him the courage to achieve the unthinkable.  Never underestimate the little guy.

What a tiny, tiny conqueror.

No comments:

Post a Comment