Remembering Bob McGrath: Sesame Street’s Friendliest Neighbor

Loved by generations of children

Dec 9, 2022
Remembering Bob McGrath: Sesame Street’s Friendliest Neighbor | Loved by generations of children

Bob McGrath, an original cast member of the iconic children’s’ show Sesame Street will be remembered by generations of children. He spent almost five decades on the show as the street’s friendly neighbor along with Big Bird and other beloved Muppets and people. McGrath was memorialized by the workshop on its social media. He was 90.

“A founding cast member, Bob embodied the melodies of Sesame Street like no one else, and his performances brought joy and wonder to generations of children around the world,” the post read. “We will be forever grateful for his many years of passionate creative contributions to Sesame Street and honored that he shared so much of his life with us.”

From the beginning
McGrath appeared in the original Sesame Street pilot and was one of the original human cast members, reported CNN. He appeared for 47 seasons before he was retired in 2017 when the show was restructured, but McGrath still appeared at many events over the years including the 2021 HBO documentary; Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street.

An accomplished tenor and musician, McGrath performed live and on TV across the US and around the world. It was his beautiful voice that made memorable Sesame Street songs childhood favorites including: “People in Your Neighborhood”  and “Sing a Song”

Jim Hensen won him over
McGrath never envisioned himself working in children’s television, according to NPR. He was planning on having his own television show. But after he was shown tapes of Jim Henson’s Muppets, he knew he had to do this.

“ I was totally  blown away and I thought, ‘to heck with that teenage thing, this is what I want to do,’” McGrath said in a 2016 interview. “Because it was obvious from the very, very beginning this was going to be a very unique and incredible show.”

This feeling continued throughout the years. “You can’t help but be influenced by all of the wonderful research and good messages that are shown on Sesame Street,” he said in an interview with Kids can Groove, a website devoted to indie music, about his take on Sesame Street. I learned how important it is to listen, really listen, carefully to what your children have to say.”

Generations of children watched this beloved man as he taught valuable lessons about the ABC’s and playing well with others. But more importantly, lessons about feelings, friendship, diversity, as well as love and loss. He will be missed.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.