January 23, 2012 – All week long I’ve driven people crazy singing the theme song to “The Electric Company,” the trendy educational show back in the 1970s that more vogue than Sesame Street, but obviously lacked its longevity.
It went like this…
“We’re gonna turn it on, we’re gonna bring you the power, we’re gonna light up the dark of night like the brightest day in a whole new way…”
It’s in my head because the tribute to Morgan Freeman at last week’s Golden Globes featured a clip from the popular kids’ show. Freeman played several characters on The Electric Company, which also starred Bill Cosby, Joan Rivers, Gene Wilder and Rita Moreno, who shouted the famous line, “Hey you guys!” at the beginning of every episode — right before the catchy theme song would begin.
Like Sesame Street, The Electric Company featured clever and funny sketches that were probably meant to entertain parents. They included the Adventures of Letterman, Here’s Cooking at You, and Mad Scientist to name a few. But the sketch that I remember most is Love of Chair, which parodied the soap Love of Life, and featured a boy and the love he had for his chair.
The setting was simple. A boy sat in a chair in an empty room. At the end of every episode, the narrator would ask poignant questions to entice you to watch the next installment, such as “Will the boy leave the chair?” “Will the boy leave the room?” “Will he fall asleep?” and “Will you fall asleep?” It always ended with the question that was never explained, “And what about Naomi?” Then the narrator would say, “For the answers to these and other questions, tune in tomorrow for Love of Chair.” It was crazy silly, but it made me laugh and I remember it fondly.
The Electric Company ran for six seasons on PBS, from 1971 to 1977 – I was most familiar with the first and second season – and had a higher cool factor for me than School House Rock, which also ran during those same years.
Although now I have “Conjunction junction what’s your function” stuck in my head…