Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Number Painter and gorilla try to educate Ron Johnson ('Sesame Street' Wednesday)

Wisconsin's right-wing Senate candidate Ron Johnson doesn't know how to make a 5.

In a recent campaign spot, Johnson writes numbers on a board while he complains that there aren't enough financially secure types in the Senate. His attempt at a 5 looks more like an 'S', a 3, a snowman, a pot-bellied stove, or just an illegible squiggle.

'Sesame Street' to the rescue!

'Sesame Street' in the '70s is known for several memorable series of number sketches. The ones with the baker falling down the steps were designed to teach how to count with each number. The ones with the famous Number Painter - played by the late Paul Benedict, who also played Mr. Bentley on 'The Jeffersons' - were meant to teach the shape of each numeral.

And Ron Johnson could use the one about the number 5:

In that sketch, the Number Painter breaks into a cage at the zoo just to satisfy his strange fetish of painting numbers on things. In the process, he befriends a gorilla, who finishes his 5 for him. (I wonder if that gorilla knows Paul the Gorilla from 'The Electric Company'.)

Why does the Number Painter always put the handle of his paintbrush in his mouth? That goes against everything we've ever been taught about how to avoid picking up germs.

But if you're Ron Johnson and are deficient at making a 5, that skit is for you!

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