But [Sesame Street] was never just about improving test scores. Perhaps the most radical part of the Sesame DNA has always been its social activism. From the start, Sesame targeted lower-income, urban kids—the ones who lived on streets with garbage cans sitting in front of their rowhouse apartments.
–Newsweek, on the 40th Anniversary of Sesame Street
I’d wager that the blind watchmakers of Sesame Street’s DNA did not foresee that the side effect of this strategy (working in symbiosis with The Cosby Show) was that a zillion middle-income kids from the suburbs grew to adulthood with a mysterious desire to move to a brownstone with a stoop. It’s like television toxoplasmosis.