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Awesome / Sesame Street

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"I told you there was a Snuffleupagus... and at last!"
  • The show gets one for planning and filming "Goodbye, Mr. Hooper", as well as airing it on Thanksgiving Day so that parents could be home to explain death to the little ones.
    • What made it even more awesome is that the entire scene was taped in one take. The genuine show of emotion by the adults, who gently explain to Big Bird why the beloved Mr. Hooper was not coming back, showed to children that even adults feel sad and cry when a loved one dies. (There have been rumors that the producers wanted to scrap this take so the adult characters would keep their emotions in check, to show their strength to the disconsolate Big Bird, etc. ... but it would have killed the impact.)
    • Bob would later confirm that they did try to do another take... and only lasted a minute before they all broke down.
  • Nearly 20 years after their first attempt fell flat, the production team gave the subject of divorce another shot. Who better than Gordon to help Abby?
  • Patrick Stewart on Sesame Street delivering a Hamlet-style soliloquy about the letter B. Go ahead; watch it and try to tell yourself this isn't awesome. He went and topped himself later on with "Make it so, number one!"
  • Big Bird finally proving that Snuffy is real. And the reason it was done was to show kids that they could trust adults to believe them about things like sexual abuse.
    • The scene is kind of an awesome moment for Elmo too. The little guy really gives it his all in keeping Snuffy from wandering off, even if he's so tiny that Snuffy can swing him around with ease... and he still somehow manages to keep Snuffy there for long enough that the adults finally arrive to see him.
  • Smell Like a Monster. It really says something for the series to parody something which would be entirely unfamiliar to the target audience. And it works.
  • Basically, any time Oscar gets called out.
    • He questions Santa Claus in front of Big Bird, who decides to wait outside for Santa in the middle of a snowstorm. Maria severely dresses Oscar down.
    • Oscar thinks that the snowglobe incident in Elmo Saves Christmas is funny. Maria responds with one of the best things that she's ever said.
  • In Follow That Bird, Gordon urges Big Bird to jump from one moving vehicle to another during the latter's rescue. Big Bird points out that he's not allowed to do anything that dangerous, leading to a Funny Moment.
    Big Bird: Gordon, this is nuts! You should never jump from a moving truck! Why, I shouldn't even be standing up.
    Gordon: You have my permission! Just this once. Now come on!
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  • The parody of the disaster-prone Broadway show Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. When SESAME STREET is making fun of you, you know you've got problems.
  • Stevie Wonder performing a mind-blowing, nearly seven-minute version of "Superstition" during the peak of his artistic powers in 1973 is something any program of the time would have killed for...and he did it for SESAME STREET. Later when Sesame Street did My Sesame Moments retrospectives for Season 40, singer Donny Osmond remarked in his retrospective that when he first saw Sesame Street, he only thought it was good... until Stevie Wonder, who was his musical icon, appeared, which made it great.
  • Not only was "Superstition" a major coup for Sesame Street, so was one of its signature songs from its early years becoming a huge hit for one of America's most popular duos. "Sing" was conceived and written as a children's song by Joe Raposo, a staff songwriter on the Children's Television Workshop staff; in late 1972, Richard Carpenter decided that he and his sister, Karen, should record the song (perhaps seeing an adult message in the song). With the Jimmy Joyce Children's Choir providing backing vocals, Sesame Street got its biggest mainstream hit ever — "Sing", a No. 3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1973.
  • Sesame Street got its first mainstream hit in 1970 with "Rubber Duckie", performed by Ernie (the lovable Muppet performed by Jim Henson). The song reached No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the fall of 1970, largely due to novelty airplay. Less than a year after Sesame Street debuted, the show began having an impact on mainstream popular culture, thanks to "Rubber Duckie".
  • For the 25th anniversary special, Oscar stand his ground against to Trump parody Ronald Grump, refusing to leave his trashcan home which would be on city property, inadvertently saving Sesame Street from gentrification.
  • You want to know how powerful this show was from the very beginning? How about when the Mississippi state government initially refused to have it aired on their PBS stations on account of it having Blacks and Whites living together in harmony, various commercial broadcasters responded with "If you won't air it, we will!", and forced the state government to back down. The show began airing there a month later. The greatest secret to Sesame Street's longevity is that the production team keeps a great handle on what works for the show and its viewers. When things need to change, they take what they learn on board, and they make the necessary adjustments. They're just very conscientious, and that's why they stay at the top of the heap.
  • Bert gets sucked into playing Ernie's silly drum game, and you think it's going to be a typical "Ernie drives Bert crazy" sketch... and then Bert just keeps winning, getting every sequence right, and Ernie is so flabbergasted he gives up.
    Bert: Well... I can't lose 'em all. (laughs)
  • The 1983 TV movie "Don't Eat the Pictures" have the Sesame Street gang trapped in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art after it closes. Big Bird meets the ghost of a young Egyptian prince cursed by a demon, to never be with his parents in the afterlife for 4000 years unless he solves a riddle. Big Bird helps him solve it, and then when Osiris, god of the Underworld (filling in for Anubis, apparently) appears and judges the prince not worthy, Big Bird tells him off and his support actually changes the nature of the child's soul so that it can ascend. Let me repeat, Big Bird overruled a god's judgment.
  • For those of us who are too young to have experienced The Muppet Show, Sesame Street and Elmo's World are proof that it is possible to make a Muppet version of anything.
  • Big Bird responding to threats to cut PBS funding (from Mitt Romney, then trying to run for President again) by appearing on Saturday Night Live. Rather than taking sides, he lets his presence speak for itself. His arrival nearly brought down the house.
  • Cookie Monster shrinking to win a cookie from two Anything Muppets. He'll do anything for a cookie.
  • Casey MacPhee, played by Cookie Monster, conducts a trainload of cookies and sweets that are supposed to be delivered to a birthday party elsewhere. When the train gets swamped by an avalanche, Cookie contemplates eating the cookies, but he realizes that the kids would be unhappy without their cookies, and determines to get the train through by eating the snow that stranded the train!! Aw, he's got his priorities set.
  • The operatic remake of "C is for Cookie" by Marilyn Horne is epic.
  • In a sense, Carly Rae Jepsen's Approval of God of "Share It Maybe":
    "Sesame Street, man. It doesn’t get any better than that!”
  • Slimey being the first worm in space.
    • The fact that Lynne Thigpen played the WASA official.
    • First worm on the moon, too. WASA doesn't mess around.
    • And having former PBS NewsHour anchor Robert MacNeil anchor the in-universe news coverage (he retired about three years prior to the storyline).
    • One from the worms landing on space; at first, everyone freaks out on learning that they're not landing in the ocean but Sesame Street. Telly spells out that they'll crash on the concrete with no water. Then the worm scientists tell the humans they need a filled wash bucket to catch the worm capsule, and fast! Maria remembers that there is a wash bucket by her garage. She, Gabby, Lynne, and Gordon go to grab it, fill it with water, and carry it around Sesame Street to soften the landing. They keep moving around as the crowd gives them directions and the capsule zigzags on its parachute. The end result is the humans get splashed, but the worm astronauts are safe and Oscar goes to check on Slimey. Lynne wipes her face with dignity, looks into the camera, and says, "We have splashdown." Everyone cheers, for a good reason. Now that is Heroic Bystander, and Authority Equals Asskicking for Lynne Thigpen as WASA commander.
  • There is something to be said about the Cookie Monster playing Blue Oni to Stephen Colbert's Red Oni, that he still taught a lesson about self control and even called out Colbert on his Manchild tendencies (on Colbert's own show no less) was just more awesome.
  • For your Oscar consideration: Big Birdman.
  • The House of Cards (US) spoof House of Bricks.
  • Keeping the spoof theme going, might we interest you in Game Of Chairs? The fact that it seeks to parody the darkest show ever means it makes the grade, but it covers the highlights up to when it was made as well.
    Melisandre: The monster is blue and full of errors! (Oh my!)
    Robb: Can we hurry this up? I've a wedding to get to. (Oh, lordy!)
    Grover: I'm sorry, it looks like you choked Joffrey. (Oh by the Old Gods and the New!)
    Grover, again: Do not lose your head over this Neddy baby! (Oh dear.)
  • The classic, Law & Order Special Letters Unit.
  • 2015: The show's 1995 best-of compilation Sesame Street Platinum All Time Favorites is one of the year's inductees for the National Recording Registry. This means that memorable (if not naggingly catchy) childhood hits such as "Rubber Duckie", "C Is For Cookie", and "Sing" (as well as lesser-known gems like "Lambaba" and "Little Things") will be preserved forever alongside some of the best albums and singles ever written. This alone demonstrates how far the show has come since 1969.
    • It was also reissued on vinyl shortly afterwards!
    • And for those who feel that the Platinum cover doesn't look good on a vinyl sleeve, for Record Store Day's 2016 Black Friday event the 1993 Sesame Road album (which primarily consists of spoofs of popular songs from the then-recent past) was given a limited-edition vinyl reissue, complete with its still snazzy-looking Abbey Road Crossing cover.
  • A new initiative for kids with autism introduced Julia, a Muppet with Autism, and teaches children about the difference between kids who have autism and those who don't. They also partnered with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network instead of the much-maligned Autism Speaks. Upon her introduction, Julia (whose actress herself has an autistic son) was widely praised for providing both a sensitive and accurate portrayal of the condition, and another excellent way for parents to broach a tricky subject with their kids.
  • The show spoofs yet another decidedly adult series with Orange is the New Snack.
  • This stereotype-busting skit shows two boys playing a stereotypical cowboys-and-Indians game, when an actual Native American boy shows up.
    Native American Boy: Indians don't talk like that.
    Boy Pretending to be Native American: What do you mean Indians don't talk like that. Indians talked just like that on TV, didn't they, Rick?
    Native American Boy: Well, no matter what you saw on TV with all those 'ugh's and 'me wannum's, I'm telling you, Indians don't talk like that.
    Rick and His Friend: Oh yeah, well how do you know?!
    Native American Boy: I'm an Indian! (leaves)
    Rick and His Friend: Oh.
  • The Homeland parody Homelamb is not only incredibly funny for those who know Carrie's mad on for Brody, but accurate.
  • The very fact that in 1976, almost 40 years after The Wizard of Oz was released, Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West was still able to evoke terror in children despite being in her seventies, to the point of her episode still being banned and unavailable forty-something years later (see the Nightmare Fuel page), is quite an accomplishment.
  • On an episode talking about racism, Gina gets a phone call from a racist person who tells her that she and Savion shouldn't be friends due to their races. Telly, who saw it happen, is a bit shaken up by the whole thing, but Gina and Savion assure him that they are still friends no matter what. When Telly worries that the person might call again, Gina and Savion show him what they'll do if it happens:
    Savion: (Pretends to answer the phone) Hello? What? What's that you say? You don't think me and Gina should be friends? Gina. This person on the phone thinks that you and I shouldn't be friends. What on earth do you think we should reply? ( They both blow a huge raspberry into the phone, causing Telly to laugh and cheer)
    • At the end of the episode, Gina and Savion are about to head home, but they start to believe that the racist caller is watching them. They decide to walk home together and start singing a "best friend" song that Telly and Baby Bear sang earlier, just to show the caller that they are still friends no matter what they say.
  • Gordon and Mr. Snuffleupagus each successfully completing the NY Marathon, despite Gordon's limp and Snuffy going way overtime. Gordon and Susan try to wait up with Big Bird for Snuffy, despite it being dark out, but are exhausted from the day's events and pass out in their car just before Snuffy arrives. Big Bird is eager to wake them up and show them Snuffy's real, but Snuffy decides that wouldn't be very nice, and so instead the two add yet another awesome moment to the episode, and push the car all the way back to Sesame Street.
  • The simple fact that the show is still going after 50 years. Most shows don't last anywhere near that long.
  • The 1991 Celebrity Edition of "Monster in the Mirror", particularly the unexpected appearance of The Simpsons.
  • One cartoon sketch shows some kids playing superheroes, but then a racist boy named Kevin tells a black boy, Brandon, that he can't be a superhero because "superheroes are supposed to be white". Brandon is initially discouraged, but then he perks up, puts on his superhero costume, and says, while doing a dynamic pose, "Superheroes can be any colour, and my superhero is black!". The girls are pleased to be getting another "superhero" and Kevin takes back his statement.


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