Talk:The Electric Company

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Rita Moreno[edit]

Was she with the cast through the entire run? I noticed she wasn't in the final "That's All" segment on the last show and generally wasn't very prominent in the later episodes (showing up mainly in reruns of older sketches).

>>> Yes, Rita was with the cast through its entire run. However, she had other acting duties toward the end of the series and was not always available on certain days. Apparently, the "That's All" sketch was taped on a day when she wasn't available (I guess they figured kids wouldn't notice), as were many of the sixth season sketches. Jphillst 04:22, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Is this quote fair use?

Who can turn a can into a cane?
Who can turn a pan into a pane?
It's not too hard to see,
It's Silent E.

I think that as a limited quote, not representing a major fraction of the whole, it's probably fine as fair use. Mpolo 18:34, Oct 18, 2004 (UTC)

I don't know where Morgan Freeman's career was at the time, but Bill Cosby had already had two tv sereis and a lot of successful comedy albums, and Rita Moreno had won an Oscar by the time the show aired. They didn't "go on" to become big stars, they already were big stars.


Question: someone said that the words to the show's theme were 'frequently misunderstood'. What do they mean? (Smoke from a Distant Fire and Bad Moon on the Rise come to mind here).

Well, there were three variations of the theme: the first one was just a chorus. The third is basically an expansion of the first to a two-verse song with a bridge. It's the second one I can't completely make out - it has a totally different first verse leading into the chorus. The DVDs don't have subtitles or CCs, so they're little help..

Lambertman 18:08, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I think it's We're gonna turn it on! (repeat x4) We're gonna open a book, and read every word we can see. We're gonna give you the power to learn about anything, and the power's gonna let us free... power's gonna let us free...


>>> I think it's "SET us free." Jphillst 04:22, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Mmmmm, is it "legal" to post a link here? I found the lyrics online at (which made me very happy, as I could never figure 'em out, either). I think there are a few small errors there, but it supplies the most difficult lines nocely. Now I'd like to find the "Yards and Yards of Yellow Yarn" number... :) Hierophany 09:56, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Gary Gnu[edit]

Wasn't there a Gary Gnu character? No ganuun is good ganuu with(/out?) gary ganuu (gnuu)--Jondel 14:48, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

"No gnews is good gnews with Gnu." He was on the daytime kids show The Great Space Coaster syndicated to commercial TV stations. Morganfitzp

I remember Gary Gnu and his g-news show, but I can't remember if this was a feature of The Electric Company or some other show. Also, didn't the Blue Beetle (whom DC later acquired) also appear on the show? This may or may not have been limited to the Spidey Super Stories skit. --Archola

Hmmm...Gary Gnu is a character from the The Great Space Coaster --Jojit fb 07:18, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

The typewriter animation[edit]

Am I just misremembering my long-ago childhood, or was the Electric Company in fact the home of the typewriter animation? You know the one: anthropomorphic typewriter on wheels rolls out humming to itself ('noo nee noo nee noo noo'), says a letter and a short word ('C! Cat!') accompanied by typing the letter/word on itself. Voiced by Bill Cosby as I recall. Am I completely making this up?

No, I remember it too, but I'm not sure if this was on electric company or sesame street. ike9898 17:17, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
No, that's definitely a Sesame Street piece. Sesame Street concentrated on individual letters, Electric Company concentrated on more advanced reading concepts. thespian 03:27, 26 January 2006
I think he actually appeared on both. It wasn't unusual for TEC to do segments on a single letter.
It was strictly a Sesame Street thing. I remember this because it seemed kind of risqué on Sesame Street for the typewriter to suffer some hilariously slapstick fate that would usher it off of the screen. Morganfitzp 13:28, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Corporate sponsorship[edit]

The section on corporate sponsors seems excessive - I feel like I'm being subjected to advertisements. Truly PBS had its share of corporate sponsors in the 1970s whose on-screen presence was greatly augmented in the following decades, but do we really need the play-by-play of what their credits looked like in an article about a childrens' television show? Morganfitzp 13:32, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Think Star Wars. TEC has that much of a fanatical following. Every little titbit of information is appreciated. Peace. (MuzikJunky 06:17, 3 April 2007 (UTC))

Slow Reader[edit]

I watched the show and I swear I remember the "Giant" episode of Slow Reader reading, "Do not bother this sleeping giant," not "Do not bother this giant person." Can anyone confirm? 01:07, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

  • My kids watch the DVDs every day. I can absolutely confirm that it's "Do not bother this giant person." That's how I remember it from my childhood, too. ObtuseAngle 01:17, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Why did they stop making the show?[edit]

I've seen how many seasons there were and all that but I've never heard anything about why they stopped making episodes after the 6th season - unlike Sesame Street which never stopped?

Anyone know? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Timber92 (talkcontribs) 02:11, 15 December 2006 (UTC).

  • They probably just figured the show had run its course. TEC focused solely on reading concepts whereas Sesame Street has a much more extensive curriculum. Jphillst 09:22, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Reportedly the show did not have a character it could franchise and market and pay the expenses of the show with, unlike Sesame Street with Big Bird, Cookie Monster, etc. --Schroeder74 21:54, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Unsourced Speculation?[edit]

Can you source this? If it's unsourced from somewhere reliable, we can't post it, unfortunately. Feel free to add it back once you've found a reference, but this time add it below a section, not within it. Thanks!

Possible television revival In 2005, rumors surfaced that Sesame Workshop was planning a new version of The Electric Company. If the plans go forward, the updated revival could return to the airwaves in 2007—which will coincide with the 26th anniversary of the conclusion of the original TEC.

David 13:48, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

A while ago, before the first DVD boxed set was released, I got an e-mail from someone at the Workshop named Janelle Lannan, dated May 26, 2005, that reads as follows: "Also, we are producing a new version of The Electric Company, hopefully due out in 2007 (maybe later)...." Peace. (MuzikJunky 06:15, 3 April 2007 (UTC))

If the show was revived they would have to update it to fit the modern day, which means that they would have to use modern technology (computer animation) in order to do the graphics and things like that. My mom watched the show when she was a kid and I'm pretty sure my siblings would like it if it was ever to return. sorry if this is a little POV and yell at me for what I've done on my user talk page if you wish.Internetcrazy 23:02, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Episode list[edit]

I haven't seen the show but shouldn't there be a seperate article for an episode list?Internetcrazy 15:43, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

some things about this article don't seem right[edit]

there are some things I want to point out in this article that I don't think belong there. One the part about the music sounding harsh seems to be a little POV. 2. the part about which episodes technical errors occured in; we do not need to know every episode the errors occured in. 3. when I read the article I didn't see any sources for anything. I'm not the type of person who would want to change the article, but anyone can edit it, including members of the show's cast and crew. Internetcrazy 11:20, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

The harshness to which you refer is not the music but the waaa-WAAAAOOOUUU sound effects used to denote the word(s) of the day in the sketch-of-the-day and next-show teasers for seasons three though five. They can be terribly harsh. Compare them to season six. Peace. (MuzikJunky 06:16, 3 April 2007 (UTC))

Okay thanks. I wasn't around during the time the show was on (my mom was a kid when it was on but she doesn't remember much about it) so I was just a little confused there. Internetcrazy 00:30, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Why is The Electric Company magazine not listed anywhere on Wikipedia, including this article? It continued for several years after the show ended (I know because my parents subscribed my younger brother), and included Spidey Super Stories comics as well as all sorts of general interest reading material. There were several other PBS-show magazines at the time, IIRC. (April 19, 2012.)

How were episodes 35A and 57A altered?[edit]

Can someone please explain how these episodes were altered for DVD? Evidence for the other altered episodes comes from a lengthy review someone posted at an Electric Company fan club on Peace. (MuzikJunky 06:15, 3 April 2007 (UTC))

Love of Chair[edit]

I came to this discussion page because there was a link in the Love of Chair article saying that it had been suggested that the two topics be merged, and sending us here if we wanted to discuss it. However, I don't see any such suggestion here, so maybe it's moot by now. But if the decision is still being weighed, I'd like to put my vote in for not merging them. A lot of people of my generation (I'm almost 53) remember the "..for Love of Chair" segments more than anything else, and might not find the right article if it were indexed only under Electric Company. A cross-reference between the two articles should be sufficient. Teri Pettit 01:57, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Lynne Thigpen[edit]

I could swear that Lynne Thigpen was a regular on this show. Am I mistaken? Ronstew 03:54, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

No, she was on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Peace. (MuzikJunky 18:36, 17 July 2007 (UTC))


This is a talk page, so I'm not sure why someone would want to vandalize it. (?) jj137Talk 3:02, 12 August 2007 (UTC)


This was not vandalism. The term "viewers like you" was never used on the funding credits for the Electric Company, I have checked on Youtube. Please do not add this line again. 14:23, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

"Viewers Like You"[edit]

PBS only started to use this phrase in January of 1988, several years after "The Electric Company" ceased production. 00:46, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Unsourced material[edit]

The following is unsourced information:

  • Writer Thad Mumford went on to have a very successful career writing and producing sitcoms, including the final years of M*A*S*H, ALF, and A Different World.
  • Bill Cosby used his experience as a cast member toward his Ed.D. (Doctorate in education).

While this is interesting, we can't use it unless you provide a source. Also, none of this is really trivia, as trivia by its definition is "unimportant information" - it therefore shouldn't be in a trivia section but instead the information should be incorporated into the main article. - Tbsdy lives (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 23:11, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Two deleted sections[edit]

I removed two sections from the article: The "popular culture" section as per WP:IPC, and also the "Comparisons to Between The Lions" section, as it was mainly original research, and the similarities are not unique to either show (any TV show that teaches words and/or phonics – like Ghostwriter or WordWorld, for example – could arguably be considered to be influenced by Electric Company.)

On the same token, I think this article is a bit too heavy on fancruft and trivial details. Do we really need a full description of every season's ending credit style and a list of all the differences between the DVD releases and the original episodes? Jphillst (talk) 01:41, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, we do. The show has a fanatical following as great as Star Wars does. Peace. —MuzikJunky (talk) 06:48, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

DVD Edits[edit]

The article speculates that the episode edits in the two DVD releases are likely due to licensing issues, and mentions "Spider-Man" as an example of a removed segment. Spider-Man segments are included in other episodes on the DVDs, however, and the character is even in the disc sleeve/packaging. Clearly, they had the right to use the character, and this brings the whole statement into question. ~ RedSolstice (talk) 23:00, 14 March 2009 (UTC)


This was before the credits in each episode right? I think it definatly deserves a mention at the least, as it has worked it's way into the pop culture, it was paroied on family guy and in other places!--Tacit tatum (talk) 17:56, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

It is now, under the new section, "Theme song". BTW, I mention that the show had 3 theme songs over its history, and describe how it changed--but I don't know when they made each change to it.RobertGustafson (talk) 02:45, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Connections to "Between the Lions"?[edit]

If there are verifiable, reliable sources showing a connection between these two PBS shows — heaven knows I see many — that should be incorporated here as well. I haven't yet had a chance to look for any myself, but will add it to my lengthy WP-To-Do list. Lawikitejana (talk) 07:59, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

In Popular Culture section?[edit]

Anyone else thinks the article needs one? -- (talk) 21:44, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Theme songs[edit]

I inserted a sub-section within the "Music" section, "Theme song", describing how the show's theme song evolved over time. Although I know the sequence of the changes, I don't know which seasons saw the adoption of the second and third themes. Can anybody add this information?RobertGustafson (talk) 02:43, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Short Circus member Rodney Lewis link most likely wrong[edit]

Was looking at the pages for the various cast and noticed the active link to Rodney Lewis. When I clicked on it, it shows him being an oil tycoon and of the wealthiest people in the US. A google search showed that Rodney Lewis to be this guy: That's definitely not the Rodney Lewis from Electric Company, as he's African-American (he's 2nd from the right in this photo of 4 of the members of the Short Circus from the last 2 seasons: ) I didn't make the changes myself, because I wasn't really sure how to handle them. If anyone wants to make the edits, he's listed three times, once in the sidebar at the top, 2nd in a list of the Short Circus members in the body of the article, and again right under that listing the members from the last 2 seasons. (talk) 16:11, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

The name?[edit]

Having never heard of this show nor living in the USA I don't understand why it is named The Electric Company. Is this related to some kind of commercial sponsorship? I know that in the US some TV shows have commercial sponsors even on public TV as strange as that seems. The article should explain the odd name.--ЗAНИA talk WB talk] 23:33, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

The name has nothing to do with commercial sponsorship. It is a reference to the power of reading. Many Americans refer to their energy providers as "the electric company" or "the gas company." The theme song to the show is filled with references to power and light and reading. ObtuseAngle (talk) 01:01, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Doctor Doolots[edit]

How was Dr. Doolots a parody of Groucho Marx? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:21, 8 March 2014 (UTC)