Happy birthday, 'Sesame Street'! Watch beloved clips as series celebrates 47 years

/ Source: TODAY

Groundbreaking, engaging, educational — "Sesame Street" is all of those things. And on Thursday, the Muppet-filled classic is also 47 years old.

"Sesame Street" debuted on NET (before the days of PBS ) on Nov. 10, 1969. But for those who've grown up with Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster and more, the series seems ageless.

That's not to say it hasn't changed over the years, but as it expanded to include new characters and broach new topics, the show's managed keep its core values to teach, embrace and entertain kids — and adults, too.

The felt-covered friends of "Sesame Street."Sesame Street

From educational skits to furry character-led classics, "Sesame Street" has long mastered the method to keep generations coming back for more.

Back in the day: "Sesame Street" cast from 1969.Sesame Workshop

Here are just seven of our favorite star-studded examples of that successful formula:

James Earl Jones presents the alphabet (1969)

Johnny Cash delivers the ballad of "Nasty Dan" (1973)

RELATED: 'Sesame Street' introduces first character with autism: Meet Julia

Christopher Reeve helps Ernie's Rubber Duckie with his ABCs (2000)

Patrick Stewart ponders B or not a B (2001)

Beyoncé and the rest of Destiny's child teach Grover "A New Way to Walk" (2002)

RELATED: You can thank 'Sesame Street' and Nick Jonas for the song of the summer

Ricky Gervais sings some not-so-sleepy lullabies (2009)

Robin Williams delivers a lesson in conflict (2012)

Here's to another 47 years just as full of memorable moments!

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