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Sesame Street, Special (1988)

The stars come out on Sesame Street in this fun-filled video featuring the show's most memorable moments. Sing-along in this star-studded celebration!


Jon Stone

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On a special inner city street, the inhabitants, human and muppet, teach preschool subjects with comedy, cartoons, games, and songs.

Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Caroll Spinney


Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Bove Linda Bove ... Linda
Northern Calloway Northern Calloway ... David
Emilio Delgado ... Luis Rodriguez
Loretta Long Loretta Long ... Susan
Sonia Manzano ... Maria Figueroa Rodriguez
Bill McCutcheon ... Uncle Wally
Bob McGrath Bob McGrath ... Bob Johnson
Roscoe Orman ... Gordon
Alison Bartlett ... Gina
Caroll Spinney ... Big Bird / Oscar the Grouch / Bruno the Trashman (voice)
Frank Oz ... Bert / Grover / Cookie Monster (voice)
Jerry Nelson ... Pretty Great Performances Announcer / Mr. Johnson / Count Von Count / Additional Muppets (voice)
Richard Hunt ... Placido Flamingo / Additional Muppets (voice)
Martin P. Robinson ... Telly Monster / Manolo (voice)
Kevin Clash ... 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 <robocoptng986127@aol.com>

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Release Date:

5 March 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Put Down the Duckie: A Sesame Street Special See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA


Box Office


$50,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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 »


Hoots the Owl: Ernie! Ernie my man!
Ernie: Oh, hi there, Hoots.
Hoots the Owl: Oh, dig it. I need your help.
Ernie: Oh sure. What can I do for you?
Hoots the Owl: Well, every time I try to squeak my rubber duckie, I got a funny sound. Watch.
[He squeaks his duck- and plays a few notes on his sax]
Hoots the Owl: See what I mean?
Ernie: Uh, well listen, Hoots. You've gotta put down the saxaphone if you want to squeak your duckie.
Hoots the Owl: [suddenly realizing] Heh, heh, heh. Oh boy.
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 »

Alternate Versions

When released to video under the name "Put Down the Duckie", the following changes have been made: The beginning shows Big Bird coming out of his nest and seeing the title Put Down the Duckie, instead of Sesame Street Special. Also in the Monsterpiece Theatre part, the introduction has been changed into a slightly extended one, and it featured a re-shot greeting from Alistair Cookie without his pipe. Also at the end of it when Grover comes crashing through the window, his scream has been added instead of the previous version when he silently flew in. Also dialogue between him and Cookie Monster have changed to: Cookie: "Shh, we still on camera." Grover: "What a nice rug." In the original: Cookie: "Stay there, we still on camera." Grover: "Hurry". Also, this special was run during the pledge drives, and since the video did not apply to this, the skit of Kermit the Frog and Oscar discussing public television and pledge drives has been cut out. See more »


References PBS NewsHour (1975) See more »


Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?
Performed by Bob McGrath, with Martina Navratilova, Barbara Walters, Ralph Nader, and Oscar the Grouch (Caroll Spinney)
See more »

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User Reviews

A True Classic
26 August 2003 | by dimplemonkeySee 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.

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