The Electric Company is an educational American children’s television series that was produced by the Children’s Television Workshop (now called Sesame Workshop) for PBS in the United States. PBS broadcast 780 episodes over the course of its six seasons from October 25, 1971 to April 15, 1977. After it ceased production that year, the program continued in reruns from 1977 to 1985, the result of a decision made in 1975 to produce two final seasons for perpetual use. CTW produced the show at Teletape Studios Second Stage in Manhattan, the first home of Sesame Street.
The Electric Company employed sketch comedy and other devices to provide an entertaining program to help elementary school children develop their grammar and reading skills. It was intended for children who had graduated from CTW’s flagship program, Sesame Street. Appropriately, the humor was more mature than what was seen there.
The show had three opening theme songs over its history—all beginning with the screamed intro “Heyyyyy, you guyyyyys!!” and ending with the show’s name as the final lyric. The original theme song had two verses; the second theme song had a new (and different-sounding) first verse; and the third and final theme song restored the original first verse, inserted a new verse between the first and original second verses (three verses in all) and featured brief lead-ins for the first and final verses.
The video component of the opening with most recent theme song would begin—coincident with “Hey, you guys!”—with a simmering “The Electric Company” logo, followed by a shot of children racing toward the camera as the music began. A series of full-screen clips from various episodes would then be shown, foregrounded by various cast members—each walking into frame as a recurring character, looking at a clip of his or her character, morphing into him or her self in formal dress, and walking out of frame. It would conclude—coincident with the eponymous final lyric—with a group shot of the entire cast, including Spider-Man, and a reconstruction of “The Electric Company” logo, letter by letter.