This post created itself. I was on YouTube looking for a few videos on an idea that I had for a COMPLETELY different post.
I came across some old Sesame Street videos….got nostalgic…and then had to completely revamp my post because it quickly got out of control. Several hours later, here we are.
Sesame Street has been on the air for 44 years. It is in it’s 43rd season. It has taught generations of children everything from letters and numbers to manners and holidays. I dare you to find anyone over 2 or 3 years old who has never seen an episode. Don’t try to bring me people from other countries, either – Sesame Street is broadcast in 120 countries and has 20 independent, international remakes. So go ahead…I’ll wait…
That said. I thought I’d compile a quick list of black celebrities that have appeared on the show……WHOA, what a task!!! EVERYONE has been on Sesame Street. EVERYONE. It appears that if you haven’t been invited on the show, you just aren’t that big. And so, this post quickly grew from celebrities to every possible segment I could find in relation to Black people on Sesame Street.
This then lead me to realizing that my very first nanny job, was for a family where mom worked for Jim Henson studios…I learned a ton about the muppets then. So grab your toddlers, a glass of apple juice, break out the animal crackers, and sit back and watch some videos! Take a scroll through this post, and I hope you and your children find some fun times and learn some new songs! YouTube Channel coming soon!
Random Fact: Have you ever noticed that when muppets sleep, they generally throw their heads back or turn away from the camera? This is because their eyes don’t close. Only recently and with advanced technology have muppets been seen sleeping with their eyes closed. Elmo’s eyelids are purple….
General Learning & Playing
Grover talks marriage
Cartoon: I Can Remember
Bert loses his paperclips
The worm reggae
A group of girls plays Down Down Baby!!!
2 kids discuss the Letter B
John John and Henry count to 20
John John counts with Sherlock
The letter Q with Henry & John John
Miles grows up and has his own band
Gordon helps Elmo say bye-bye binky
Miles talks forward vs backwards
Random Fact: Muppeteers use their dominant hand to control the mouth and head. As a result, most muppets are left-handed. Any right-handed muppet is controlled by a lefty.
Africa – a little outdated
Kermit sings the ‘African’ Alphabet
African Animal Alphabet
Kwanzaa dancing with Elmo
Grover visits South Africa
How the Sun & Moon came to live in the Sky (folk tale)
Random Fact: The creators originally wanted to call the show ‘123 Avenue B’, after the Alphabet City area of the Lower East Side.
Sesame Street Handles the Issues
Elmo & Whoopi talk skin
Maya Angelou discusses how your name is just fine
The girls sing change the world
Kofi Annan diffuses conflict
Jesse Jackson tells the kids they are somebody – I almost cried!!!
I Love My Hair – a world favorite!!!
Random Fact: From 2003-2009 ‘Miles’ was played by Olamide Faison of the group Imajin, and the youngest brother of Donald Faison.
Black Celebrities on ‘the Street’
Denyce Graves tucks Elmo into bed
Bobby McFerrin sings with Hoot the Owl
Taye Diggs talks allergies
Jason Taylor defines ‘toss’
Little Richard sings Rosita
India Arie sings the ABCs with Elmo
Dominique Dawes works out
Zelda Harris (remember Crooklyn?) and Grover talk above vs below
Elmo interviews Randy Jackson
Gladys Knight sings the theme song
Bruno Mars talks about not giving up
Destiny’s Child sings A New Way to Walk
Stevie Wonder tries to teach Grover to sing
Michelle Obama talks gardening
Michael Jackson spends Christmas with Oscar
Diana Ross talks self-esteem
Wayne Brady discusses ‘between’
Tiki Barber tries to define ‘quest’
Patti Labelle takes the alphabet to a whole new level
Will.I.Am talks about being yourself
Common helps discuss self control
Harry Belafonte does a duet with Animal
Zoe Saldana talks ‘transportation’
Wyclef and Cookie talk healthy eating
Rubben Studdard sings the ABCs
LL Cool J goes on an addition expedition
Ziggy Marley talks about size
Whoopi Goldberg helps Baby Bear control his anger
The Hines brothers talk near vs. far
The Four Tops (wow) talk traffic safety
The (new) Harlem Globetrotters discuss the number 3
Cedric the Entertainer defines ‘canteen’
Wynton Marsalis plays with Hoots the Owl
The Cosby Kids try to help Forgetful
MC Lyte sings the Body Song
Jamie Foxx and Elmo remake the Nutcracker
Kobe Bryant defines ‘miniature’
Halle Berry and Elmo talk vocabulary
Alicia Keys dances with Elmo
John Legend cheers up Hoots the Owl
En Vogue‘s adventure
Wendy Williams defines ‘veterinarian’
Usher defines ‘volunteer’
Ray Charles sings the Alphabet
Chandra WIlson is interviewd by Elmo
The Pointer Sisters sing the alphabet
Arrested Development sings about pride
Queen Latifah talks about the Letter O
Richard Pryor demonstrates emotions
Wanda Sykes defines ‘journal’
Bo Knows Everything
Listen my Brother (a group featuring a young Luther Vandross) counts to 20
Take 6 sings the number song
LaDanian Tomlinson defines ‘celebration’
Nina Simone (my fave!) sings Young, Gifted, and Black
Oprah play the letter O on the ‘O Show’
Smokey Robinson sings about growing up
BB King talks about the letter B
Cab Calloway jumps and jives
Dr J plays ball
Lena Horn teaches Grover manners
Random Fact: When Will Lee, who played Mr. Hooper, died in December of 1982, the producers felt it was better not to re-cast the role, and instead chose to use the opportunity to teach children about death. It is said that the entire cast and crew were in tears while filming this segment, which was shot in one take. The episode aired on Thanksgiving Day of 1983.