Monday, June 1, 2015

Schoolhouse Rock times three

Noon, October 21, 1994:

When we got home I set the kids up with their food and put on the Schoolhouse Rock multiplication videotape. I was eating my burrito in the kitchen, reading a couple of pamphlets a friend had sent on "Michigan's Little Bavaria," and the biggest Christmas store in the world. I overheard Marty and his friend discussing infinity during a song about multiplying by nine. In a discussion like this, if they seem to know what they're talking about and they're happy with the outcome then I will stay out of it. If they ask me to mediate or confirm, I will. If I were actually at the table with them I might've led the conversation a little further, but since they were watching something with music, it would've been more distracting than helpful. If there had been more chicken strips in those lunches, they would have watched more Schoolhouse Rock. Just as the parts of speech section started, they were down to the French fries and, one by one, they wandered off to do other things, except for Holly who fell asleep on the couch.

Friday, May 29, 2015:

Kirby and Destiny passed by a rummage sale and bought Schoolhouse Rock on DVD. Nice find!

Saturday, May 30, 2015:

Keith and I were watching Saturday Night Live, which started off with a "I'm Just a Bill," from Schoolhouse Rock (live action against cartoonish background), and switched cleverly to being about executive orders. It was a repeat from November, 2014. I'll link it below.

The last two things happened Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, when looking for something for Just Add Light, I came across a 21-year-old article called "Pink Crayons," and a Schoolhouse Rock story popped up, coincidentally, so three in a row! Connections!

Saturday Night Live's "I'm Just a Bill"
(with commentary and the video, which I hope will play even outside the U.S.)


  1. sukaynalabboun@yahoo.comJune 1, 2015 at 6:59 AM

    Well, "Three, it's a magic number....Yes it is, It's a magic number."
    I looved schoolhouse rock growing up. Thanks for reminding me!

  2. In the early 1970's, in the U.S. when Sesame Street was new, researchers knew that children who weren't learning well in school could sing jingles from commercials on TV. So Sesame Street (on PBS, the educational channel) had short videos, like commercials, within the program. Schoolhouse Rock (on ABC) was not a single program, but small videos were interspersed with Saturday morning cartoons and advertisements. For a while it showed as a program itself, with several of the short cartoons, but they still would plug one in between shows here and there.

    The first one aired, in 1973, was "Three is a Magic Number." They're hippiesh and very early-70's, in art and tone. At first they were just numbers and parts of speech, but later things were added about science, civics... they weren't the same.

    At the bottom of this page is a list in order of popularity. "I'm Just a Bill" was #2, and "Three is a Magic Number" was #7. ("Conjunction Junction" was #1.)


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