Can You Tell Me How to Get…

This post created itself. I was on youtube looking for a few videos on an idea that I had for a COMPLETELY different post.

<~~~Then THIS happened.

I came across some old 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

A classic from Brams!

John John counts with Sherlock

The letter Q with Henry & John John

Loud vs Soft

Miles grows up and has his own band

Gordon helps Elmo say bye-bye binky

Capoeira

Miles talks forward vs backwards

Steel drums

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.

ssafricaAll About Africa

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

Bill Cosby counts…with Bill Cosby

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

Chris Brown takes a walk

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 show aired on Thanksgiving Day of 1983.

2 thoughts on “Can You Tell Me How to Get…

  1. I can’t help thinking Sesame Street was SO much better when we were kids. No one will ever convince me otherwise. I like the classic Sesame Street segments available on sesamestreet.org, but I wish they would put up full episodes, so my kids could have the same wholesome Sesame Street experience I had back in the day. Some of the new elements, like Elmo’s house, I just can’t stand. But we don’t have a TV, so we only watch it on the internet anyway…

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