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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