"Mickey Mouse, the way it was in the early days of Disney, is not as popular anymore. Whether or not we can keep 'Sesame Street' popular in the way we hope to, is a challenge. We don't know. We hope so. We believe we will be able to, but that's a challenge."
About This Interview
In his two-hour Archive interview, Lloyd Morrisett discusses his background in psychology and getting a job at the Carnegie Foundation. He talks of the programs he oversaw that sought to benefit underprivileged children and to overcome the education gap. He describes meeting Joan Ganz Cooney and how the two of them wondered whether television could be used to effectively teach children. Morrisett then outlines the research, proposal writing and massive fundraising carried out to create the groundbreaking series Sesame Street. He talks of how public funding differed under the Johnson and Nixon administrations, how Sesame Street originally aimed to be on commercial television, and how key Sesame Street personnel, (producer Dave Connell and puppeteer Jim Henson) came on board. Morrisett also discusses the formation of the Children's Television Workshop, the structure of the workshop's board, and why the group changed its name to the Sesame Workshop. He also speaks of his time at the Markel Foundation and as a board member for Tucows. Karen Herman conducted the interview on July 21, 2004 at the Sesame Workshop in New York, NY.