Morgan Freeman Teaches Kids to Read in Vintage Electric Company Footage from 1971

Every actor has to start some­where, and Mor­gan Free­man (Dri­ving Miss Daisy, The Shaw­shank Redemp­tion, and Mil­lion Dol­lar Baby) could have done worse than join­ing the cast of The Elec­tric Com­pa­ny, the PBS chil­dren’s tele­vi­sion series that aired from 1971 to 1977. The orig­i­nal cast includ­ed Bill Cos­by and Rita Moreno (not bad com­pa­ny), and the ver­sa­tile Free­man played a series of char­ac­ters: “Mel Mounds,” “Vin­cent the Veg­etable Vam­pire,” and then, of course, Easy Read­er. If you’re of my gen­er­a­tion, you might rec­og­nize his theme song above. Below, we show you Easy Read­er (a pun on the 1969 film Easy Rid­er) in action, teach­ing kids to read in his effort­less­ly cool, hip­ster way. H/T Metafil­ter

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Comments (7)
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  • Wow! Flash­back!

    I remem­ber see­ing that. I was not a reg­u­lar watch­er, but must’ve stopped brows­ing the 3 chan­nels we got at the time to fol­low this for awhile. I was 8.

  • joan says:

    that’s great! i was 9, and i remem­ber the show, as well. school­house rock came from it, too, right? when i became a teacher myself, some­one gift­ed me all of the school house rock videos, and i think i had as much fun as the kids when i played them!
    hey, does any­one remem­ber james tay­lor, on sesame street, doing a song titled some­thing like ‘jel­ly roll’?? it was anoth­er one of my faves, and i have looked around but can not find it!

  • Babs says:

    I remem­ber the elec­tric com­pa­ny. I was like 8 or 9.. Nice to see, these, from my chid­hood days…

  • Babs says:

    Yes, I do indeed remem­ber I think Jel­ly Roll song.. wow. Have not thought of that one in a bit. I love Oscar the Grouch from those days too. U know that in June is Oscar the Grouchs birth­day. Remem­ber the birth­day par­tys Seasme street did for Ole oscar the grouch?

  • lisa says:

    James Tay­lor “jel­ly roll” is prob­a­bly the song “Jel­ly Man Kel­ly” which in on the kids album “In Har­mo­ny” (bunch of great singers doing kids’ songs — great!) It’s on CD, I bought it for my grand­son about 2 years ago.

  • Jeff Woodruff says:

    In 1987, Mor­gan Free­man came out of 7 Eleven on Hol­ly­wood Blvd. My Friend and I joined oth­ers in greet­ing him. A cou­ple of peo­ple tried to recall his name and cur­rent movie he was in. I blurt­ed out. He is The Easy Read­er!!! Mr. Free­man’s face lite up and he replied ” Right!!!!!!”. My friend and the oth­ers laughed and asked what the hell did I call him? It was a spe­cial moment for me because I watched the show and read out loud along with Mr. Free­man. I mean The Easy Read­er. Ha ha!!

  • valory heath says:

    I loved easy read­er . His laid back way of teach­ing pro­found les­son about read­ing . He always remind­ed me of Jimi Hen­drix . I think they resem­bled one anoth­er .

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