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The Electric Company
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The Electric Company

If you are looking for information about electric utilities, use this link.

The Electric Company was a children's television show which was produced by the Children's Television Workshop for the Public Broadcasting System between 1971 and 1977.

Just as CTW's companion series Sesame Street taught children the alphabet and numbers, The Electric Company 's objective was to teach children to read via filmed and taped sketches. The series is considered by some to be one of the predecessors to today's skit-based shows such as Mad TV and Saturday Night Live. Some of the regular sketches included:

Many cast members, such as Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno, and Hattie Winston, went on to become stars in their own right in the decades that followed.

Among those also appearing in the show were Luis Avalos, Jimmy Boyd, Lee Chamberlin, Judy Graubart, Skip Hinnant, and Danny Seagren.

Members of the Short Circus included June Angela, Gregg Burge, Irene Cara (who went on to star in the 1980 movie Fame, and years later won an Academy Award for co-writing the theme song to Flashdance), Todd Graff (who also went on to become a successful actor as an adult, co-starring in James Cameron's The Abyss), Douglas Grant, Melanie Henderson, Bayn Johnson, Steve Gustafson, Rodney Lewis, Réjane Maglorie, Janina Matthews, and Denise Nickerson (who previously co-starred as one of the children in Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory).

Tom Lehrer wrote some songs for the series. The L-Y Song and Silent E are among the more memorable. (see link)

The lyrics to the Electric Company theme are often misheard. Here are the correct lyrics from the final two original seasons of the show as follows:

Rita Moreno: Hey You Guys!

Chorus:
Moving out in a new way
Moving out in a new way
We're gonna turn it on
We're gonna bring you the power
We're gonna light up the dark of night
Like the brightest day in a whole new way
We're gonna turn it on
We're gonna bring you the power
We're gonna tell you the truest word that you ever heard anybody say
Moving out in a new way
Moving out in a new way
We're gonna turn it on
We're gonna bring you the power
We're coming down on the line strong as we can be
Through the courtesy of The Electric Company

The original soundtrack album won a Grammy award for the show's cast.

Following the last original episode in 1977, the series continued on PBS in reruns until the mid-1980s, with the final two seasons shown in rotation (these are the episodes most familiar to viewers). The earlier 1971-1975 shows never surfaced again until 1999, when the Noggin network (at the time partly owned by Sesame Workshop) acquired the syndication rights. A two-hour feature-length compilation special reintroduced the series to a new generation whose previous one grew up on the show. Noggin ran select episodes until 2002 when they were pulled from the program lineup. The series has not been seen since then, but the series remains a bench-mark to which all comedy and educational shows are compared.

External links