Sesame Street remains the gold standard for children’s television, but it also boasts some of the best original music and parodies of the past 43 years. It’s garnered more Emmys than can fit in Hooper’s Store, and it’s phalanx of celebrity guests is staggering. Last week writer Judy Freudberg, who wrote for the show for 35 seasons, died of a brain tumor at age 62, which got me thinking about the show’s wonderful past. Today, let’s revisit the show’s 10 greatest (and arguably, in many cases, gayest) musical moments. Those hyperlinks within the subheads link to the original video. Jamming yet, fellow Cookie Monsters?
1. Neil Patrick Harris finally admits that he’s the Shoe Fairy
Yep, that’s Neil Patrick Harris adorned in wings and a creamy suit (with some nutty Charles Nelson Reilly neckwear!) singin’ about shoes. He’s like Telly’s personal shopper here, which is nothing short of spectacular. If he were an official pop star, I’d call him Lady Foot Locker.
2. Grover learns about echoes and glamor from Madeline Kahn.
Madeline Kahn, the great character actress who I cannot shut up about, has just about the loveliest singing voice imaginable. So when she puts Grover on her lap and sings an “echo song” with him, you know you can expect a cheery, blissful duet. Less expected is the maternal energy she just radiates here, though it’s mixed in with her unmatched comic kookiness.
3. Madonna and Cyndi Lauper get the Muppet treatment with “Cereal Girl”
Sure, this wild-eyed Muppet is toasting Madonna‘s “Material Girl” with a similarly squawky parody called “Cereal Girl,” but the tribute to pop superstars of 1984 doesn’t end there: Clearly, this clip’s look mimics “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and our bopping star is dolled up like Cyndi Lauper herself. I only wish a sassy Deniece Williams puppet could’ve popped up to add a verse of “Let’s Hear It for the Bran.”