It’s been more than a half-century since the launch of “Sesame Street”, and the show that blazed new trails in educational children’s programming is being honoured by WSJ. Magazine for its continuing commitment to innovation.

In fact, “Sesame Street” is featured on the cover of the latest WSJ. Magazine as its Public Service Innovator of the Year, and will be one of seven other “cultural groundbreakers” to be honoured at the magazine’s virtual Innovator Awards presentation on Nov. 1.

In the wide-ranging profile, key players behind the “Sesame Street” brand discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic spurred the greatest innovation in its five-decade history.

Dario Catellani for WSJ. Magazine
Dario Catellani for WSJ. Magazine — WSJ. Magazine

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“We needed to move quickly,” said Sesame Workshop creative chief Kay Wilson Stallings, “because we were hearing from parents, caregivers and providers saying, ‘We’re looking for content that can help kids understand what is happening right now. What is happening? What is COVID?’”

When late-night talk shows began going virtual as Fallon and Colbert broadcast from their homes, Sesame Workshop CEO Steve Youngwood had an idea. “I remember very vividly turning on the TV… it was still the teens of March, and seeing some of the late-night people filming from home. You’re like, ‘Huh — if they can do it, why can’t we do it?’ I remember calling up or texting Kay, ‘Get the Muppets home to the puppeteers. Send them some cameras.’”

The November 2021 issue of WSJ. Magazine comes out on Nov. 13.