SEASON 40 PRESS KIT: MORE SESAME STREET
40 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT SESAME STREET
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1.

Four First Ladies have visited Sesame Street: Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.

2.

Although Big Bird is a curious 6-year old and Oscar is a Grouch, the two are identical on the inside. At age 75, Carroll Spinney has been both characters since 1969.

3.

Snuffleupagus is a Pachyderm who lives on Sesame Street. While it is thought that he was invisible, he has always lived on Sesame Street—he just has inconvenient timing. 

4.

 A Birdseed Milkshake at Hooper’s Store cost $.20 in 1969 and costs $2.99 now.

5.

Sesame Street has a subway stop that is powered by imagination, and one can get there by taking the “A, B, 1 or 2” trains. The actual studio for Sesame Street is in Astoria, Queens. The NYC N or R subway trains are the best bet.

6.

Why the name Sesame Street? After a long search for a catchy name, one of the show’s writers suggested “Sesame Street.” The word “sesame,” an allusion to the fabled command from The Arabian Nights, “Open, Sesame!,” suggested excitement and adventure. Since the show was set in an urban street scene, “Sesame Street” seemed an ideal combination. 

7.

It takes two puppeteers to manipulate Ernie, Rosita, The Count, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Telly Monster and Snuffleupagus, while Big Bird, who is 8’ 2” tall, only requires one.

8.

Elmo began his life on Sesame Street as a nameless Anything Muppet™, before becoming the 3 ½ year-old furry red monster that has tickled millions of children of all ages. Kevin Clash first donned Elmo in 1984. 25 years later, Elmo is still 3 ½ years-old.

9.

James Earl Jones was the first celebrity to appear on Sesame Street.

10.

Cookie Monster used to have pointy teeth.

11.

Ernie is the only Sesame Street Muppet™ to have a built in smile.

12.

Oscar was just as grouchy in 1969 as he is today. His first words on the show were “Don’t bang on my can! Go away.”

13.

Two cast members have had their real-life children portray their TV children. Gabriella is Sonia Manzano’s daughter and she played “Gabi,” “Maria” and “Luis’,” daughter, as a child. Roscoe Orman’s son, Miles, also portrayed “Miles,” “Gordon” and “Susan’s,” adopted son when he was younger. 

14.

Bert has more than 368 bottle caps in his collection.

15.

Mr. Hooper’s first name was Harold. 

16.

Oscar the Grouch was the color orange in season 1.

17.

Currently, there are nine Elmo puppets, including a remote controlled version, used for various purposes. 

18.

Elmo in South Africa is named Neno while Elmo in Mexico is named Elmo. 

19.

Cameraman, Frankie Biando, has been filming Sesame Street since the first season and still operates Camera 1 on today’s set.

20.

While some characters have puppeteer understudies, for the most part, only one puppeteer performs each Sesame Street Muppet™. 

21.

There are over 20 original and localized co-productions of Sesame Street including Galli Galli Sim Sim in India, Takalani Sesame in South Africa, Hikayat Simsim in Jordan and Plaza Sésamo in Mexico. Sesame content can be watched in over 140 countries around the globe.

22.

Sesame Workshop conducts its global operations from 1 Lincoln Plaza in New York City.

23.

Sesame Street has won 118 Emmys to date. The most for any television show in history.

24.

Fran Brill, a veteran stage and film actress, was the first female puppeteer to work on Sesame Street. Brill was personally trained by legendary puppeteers Frank Oz and Jim Henson. 

25.

In 2006, Abby Cadabby moved to the Sesame Street neighborhood as a pink fairy-in-training. She was designed to inspire young girls and demonstrate positive female relationships. She was the first new female lead character added to Sesame Street in 13 years. 

26.

All of the Sesame Street Muppets™ have four fingers, except Cookie Monster, who has five. 

27.

Sesame Street’s original studio was the 81st Street Second Stage / Teletape studio. The game show Beat the Clock was moved out of the space to make room for the street set. 

28.

At the end of Sesame Street’s 40th season, 4212 episodes will have aired. 

29.

Sesame Street has won nine Grammy Awards. 

30.

Roscoe Orman is the third actor to portray Gordon and he joined the cast in season 5. 

31.

Elmo is the only puppet in history to have testified before Congress. 

32.

Sesame Street’s current Executive Producer, Carol-Lynn Parente, started her career at Sesame Workshop as a production assistant and rose all the way to the top.

33.

There have been over 440 celebrity visitors to Sesame Street. 

34.

Big Bird is covered with approximately six thousand dyed North American turkey, coq, ostrich and hackle feathers. 

35.

Carroll Spinney still uses the same Oscar the Grouch puppet since Sesame Street’s second season. 

36.

While in 1969, the fabric for Bert and Ernie’s sweaters could be purchased at a store, their sweaters now have to be hand knit to match their original pattern. 

37.

Sesame Workshop has over 1000 licensees who create and sell Sesame Street products around the world. 

38.

As a nonprofit, product proceeds and philanthropic donations support Sesame Workshop’s educational research and creative content for children around the world. 

39.

The Jim Henson Company has built over 5000 puppets for Sesame Street over the past 40 years. 

40.

Sesame Street is the longest running children’s show and still produces new episodes every year!