A major individual vital in the world of children's entertainment has died. Lloyd Morrisett, co-creator of the beloved children's series Sesame Street, has died at 93. The cause of Morisett's death was not immediately made available to the public.
News of Lloyd Morrisett's passing was first announced by the Sesame Workshop, which announced the death on social media. Read the brief statement below, and see a picture of the Sesame Street co-creator alongside a puppet likened after him.
Sesame Workshop mourns the passing of our esteemed and beloved co-founder Lloyd N. Morrisett, PhD, who died at the age of 93. pic.twitter.com/I9cSez95PxJanuary 23, 2023
With the help of television producer Joan Ganz Cooney, Lloyd Morisett co-founded the Children's Television Workshop, which has produced a slew of content for children around the world since its inception. In addition to Sesame Street and its variations in other countries, the now-named Sesame Workshop is responsible for The Electric Company, Dragon Tales and the recent Cartoon Network series Mecha Builders.
Lloyd Morisett was integral to the beginning of Sesame Street, the program that has served as the gold standard for educational content for children on television since its start in 1969. Since then, the series has done everything from creating iconic songs and parodied hit shows to teaching children their numbers and letters and how to react in certain situations. Sesame Street is available on streaming for those with an HBO Max subscription.
It wasn't just Lloyd Morisett's vision for educational children's programming that helped inspire Sesame Street either. Morisett managed to secure around $8 million in funding from the U.S. Office of Education, the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie corporation for the show's inaugural season. It's reported that Sesame Street then went on to reach half of the children living in the United States between the ages of 3-5 during that first season.
Sesame Street is now an institution, with characters like Elmo reated as if they're actual celebrities that exist in Hollywood. There's even spirited debates amongst audiences about the private lives of other characters, as many have gone back and forth on whether or not Bert and Ernie are roommates or a same-sex couple. The conversation about Sesame Street spans generations and all age groups, which might speak to its staying power as a television program.
Suffice it to say that even the humorous discourse that takes place these days about Sesame Street wouldn't be possible without the work of Lloyd Morisett. It's unknown at this time whether or not the series or Sesame Workshop intends to honor the co-creator further after news of his passing or if other plans are in motion to pay homage to the tremendous legacy he left behind.
CinemaBlend would like to offer its condolences to the friends and family of Lloyd Morisett and wish them well during this time. Morisett was a huge piece of one of television's most vital kid's shows, and his legacy will live on through it.