Sesame Street, Special (1988)

TV Movie  |  Unrated  |  Comedy, Family, Fantasy  |  5 October 1988 (USA)
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There's a special going on at Sesame Street. First, Gladys Knight and the Pips sing the theme song, then Phil Donahue interviews the residents; Alastaire Cookie tells us the tale of "The 39... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Bove ...
Northern Calloway ...
Loretta Long ...
Bob McGrath ...
Bert / Grover / Cookie Monster (voice)
Pretty Great Performances Announcer / Mr. Johnson / Count Von Count / Additional Muppets (voice)
Richard Hunt ...
Placido Flamingo / Additional Muppets (voice)
Martin P. Robinson ...
Telly Monster (voice)
Elmo / Hoots the Owl / Additional Muppets (voice)


There's a special going on at Sesame Street. First, Gladys Knight and the Pips sing the theme song, then Phil Donahue interviews the residents; Alastaire Cookie tells us the tale of "The 39 Stairs" with Grover. Bob sings the "Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood" song with Ralph Nader, Barbara Walters and Martina Navratilova; Hoots teaches Ernie about how if he wants to play a saxophone, he must put down his duckie; Kermit tries to get Oscar interested in public television; a classic Grover waiter sketch; James Taylor sings an interesting song and finally, some culture: an opera. Written by Dylan Self <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

5 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Put Down the Duckie: A Sesame Street Special  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$50,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There are unsourced claims that when 'Ralph Nader' was asked to perform the "Sesame Street" staple "The People in Your Neighborhood", he refused to sing the lyric "the people that you meet each day" because it is grammatically incorrect. He insisted on singing "the people whom you meet each day". The claims allege that the producers agreed to this change but convinced him to sing the original lyric on the set. However, listening to the clip Nader can clearly be heard to sing "whom" on his first duo performance - as in fact does the preceding singer Barbara Walters - but on the next two occasions, when he sings in quartet, all four singers appear to use the word 'that'. If not apocryphal, Mader's alleged insistence in changing the words of this known song out of concern for grammatical exactness, becomes ironical given the recording shows him seconds earlier stating "I'm making sure the wheels of this wagon were put on right". A more grammatically pedantic expression would not use the word 'right' as an adverb, but would rather have substituted the word 'correctly': "I'm making sure the wheels of this wagon were put on correctly". See more »


During "The People In The Neighborhood" song, Bob accidentally calls Ralph Nader "Barbara" when he's ripping his sweater. See more »


Grover Monster: Here you are, sir, the specialty of the house.
Restaurant Customer: At last.
Grover Monster: Numero Uno...
[takes lid off tray to reveal the Number One surrounded by French fries]
Grover Monster: The number one.
Restaurant Customer: Oh no!
Grover Monster: Bon appetito. That is Spanish for "enjoy"
[customer falls over in his chair and faints]
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits, everyone who starred in the special sings "Put Down the Duckie". And, at the very end of the credits, Hoots comes to Ernie with a problem of his own and Ernie gives him very simple advice, "You gotta put down the saxophone if you wanna squeak your duckie". (A homage to "Put Down the Duckie": "Put down the duckie if you wanna play the saxophone") See more »


Spun-off from Sesame Street (1969) See more »


How I Miss My X
Performed by Patti LaBelle
See more »

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User Reviews

A True Classic
26 August 2003 | by (Monroe, Georgia) – See all my reviews

I will have to agree with one of the reviewer's commentary on how Sesame Street isn't the same as it used to be. I have a two year old who has been watching Sesame Street and it follows a specific time format. Elmo has become so big that he now has his own time slot 40 minutes into the show. Although the skits are more educational (and that should be a good thing) I have to admit that after watching the entire "Put Down the Duckie" video, the skits are hilarious and subliminally educational. A good example of this is the "Grover, Singing and Dancing Waiter" skit. I loved the McLearer report skit where Cookie Monster is implicated on eating cookies that were not his (of course, he's got Kermit as his legal advocate so it only gets funnier). Perhaps the show "jumped the shark" when Kermit left and Elmo came on board?

Anyway, the old Sesame Street reminds me of the Muppet Show but with a more educational bent. If you can manage getting "Put Down the Duckie" by all means, I would recommend it whole heartedly.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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