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PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent)It was last May that I first made mention of a Cookie Monster Special that the folks at Sesame Street were cooking up. It was then that I came face-to-face with one of my childhood idols for the very first time, getting to sing a couple verses of "C is For Cookie" with the lovable blue Monster himself.  Today comes word that SESAME STREET: THE COOKIE THIEF will debut on PBS KIDS on February 16, placing Cookie Monster in the wrong place at the wrong time...

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PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent)It was at last year's PBS Annual Meeting in San Francisco when I'd first caught rumblings that MACKLEMORE was getting lined-up for a cameo on SESAME STREET. Last Fall, the soon-to-be fellow "Rock Father" did make his way to SESAME STREET to film his bit, and this week the episode finally aired. In case you missed it when it appeared on PBS KIDS a few days back, check out Macklemore throwing down with OSCAR The Grouch and some other garbage-minded greenies in this parody of the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hit, "Thrift Shop."

Ready to pop some trash?

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When we kicked-off our first-ever family road trip earlier this month, my wife and I did a fantastic job of keeping our destinations largely a secret from the little ones. In fact, they only knew of one stop (Chocolate World), and that's because Addie caught me looking at it on the computer prior to our journey. The centerpiece of our trip was kept well under-wraps, and keeping it a surprise until we entered the gates was completely worth it as the reactions were priceless. After spending the night in Philadelphia, the family and I headed for Langhorne, Pennsylvania - home of SESAME PLACE - the Nation's only theme park based entirely on SESAME STREET.

Published in James' Journal

Around 30 years ago, my parents took my sister and I on a road trip to Washington, D.C. Along the way, we stopped at several locations in Pennsylvania, making memories that have lasted a lifetime. With our girls hitting two and five this year, my wife and I decided it was time for our first family vacation - and as such, it was to be a road trip. We plotted several potential courses, with the Philadelphia area set to be the focal point and ultimate destination for a couple of reasons. First off, we were going to finally take Sprout up on a long-standing offer to stop by the Comcast Center and see Chica at the Sunshine Barn during a visit to the set of THE SUNNY SIDE UP SHOW. Second, we wanted to head for Langhorne to visit SESAME PLACE. During our planning, we attempted to pack in as much as possible, with potential stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, West Virginia and Cincinnati on the chart. Instead, we strategically plotted our trip to be centralized in PA - visiting some iconic locations in Philly (but scrapping the Sprout visit), our big trip to SESAME PLACE, a visit to THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE in Easton, HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD in Hershey, and a swing back through Ohio to visit my friends at SMUCKER'S on our way back to Northern Illinois.

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PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent)My friends at PBS KIDS and SESAME STREET have announced that beginning this Fall, they will introduce a bonus half-hour program on-air and on digital platforms. Starting Monday, September 1, the additional half-hour SESAME STREET program will air on weekday afternoons on PBS stations, complementing the one-hour series that airs weekday mornings (check local listings). For the first time, selected full episodes of the 30-minute show will also be available for free online at pbskids.org/video, on the PBS KIDS Video App and on the PBS KIDS Roku channel.  By offering this bonus half hour of SESAME STREET in an additional timeslot and through a growing number of digital services, PBS KIDS hopes to reach even more children with one of America’s most beloved and educationally powerful children’s series. 

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PBS KIDS VIPDuring the course of my career, I've had the good fortune to have met, and in some cases, worked with some of my favorite artists and performers. I've been able to meet and witness live performances from my top four bands of all-time - FAITH NO MORE, HELMET, PRONG and CLUTCH. I did a music video for FEAR FACTORY... spent a Halloween with SLIPKNOT in Las Vegas... and have crossed paths with more filmmakers and actors than I can count. Over the past few years, something interesting started happening as I switched gears and became more deeply connected to family entertainment... and it all makes an important connection to my own childhood. I've started meeting monsters, particularly those known to populate a certain magical street... SESAME STREET.

Published in James' Journal
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