Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sesame Street Pinball

"One, two three, FOUR, five, six seven, eight, NINE, ten, eleven, Twelve!"
Few adults who grew up in the late 70's and early 80's can count to twelve without busting a funky grove while doing so. This is due to the frequent viewings of "Pinball Number Count" that aired as part of the daily diet of educational shorts on PBS's Sesame Street.

First airing in 1977, the one minute shorts captivated children with a funk soundtrack by of The Pointer Sisters and the psychedelic colours of a elaborate pinball machine. Each segment contained a common beginning, showing the launch of the pinball into the machine but the real magic was the number-specific animated journey, where detailed mechanical elephants and canons moved the ball through a narrative.

The theme for each middle section is as follows:
  • #2: A Day at the Carnival
  • #3: Circus Capers
  • #4: FORE!
  • #5: Arabian Nights
  • #6: Down on the Farm
  • #7: World Tour
  • #8: Forest Follies
  • #9: Play Ball!
  • #10: Medieval Times
  • #11: Wild Things
  • #12: Sightseeing, USA
Despite counting from 1-12, Pinball Number Count does not feature a segment for the number 1.

To bring back some memories, here is a YouTube video showing a sampling of some of the segments.

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