Madison Square Garden

Staples Center

The show begins with Bruno the Trashman (performed in-costume by Jim Kroupa) entering the stage with a trash can. Bruno drops the can and leaves.

Oscar the Grouch (performed by Eric Jacobson with assistance from Paul McGinnis) pops out of the can.

OSCAR: Oh, hello. Welcome to Sesame Street, live in Los Angeles. How's everyone tonight?

(audience cheers)

OSCAR: Yeah? Well, I feel dirty and rotten! In other words, I feel like my old Grouchy self. Uh, I suppose it's time for you to get outta your seats for the national anthem. (As the audience stands up and the American flag appears on screen as an instrumental of The Star Spangled Banner plays) Oh, don't get me wrong. We Grouches are thankful for this country, too. We're thankful for all the trash, bad aromas and angry people we get every day! Heh-heh-heh! But we honor this nation by performing the embodiment of our representation in this democratic dump heap: the patriotic Grouch Anthem. (Record scratches as the music for the Grouch Anthem starts to play) Now, for the Grouch Anthem, you stay sitting down. Now get comfy there, but not too comfy, because I'm gonna sing.

Grouches of the world, unite
Stand up for your Grouchly rights
Don't let the sunshine spoil your rain
Just stand up and complain

Let this be a Grouch's cause
Point out everybody's flaws
Something is wrong with everything
Except the way I sing!

Ten other Grouches (performed by Kevin Clash, Martin P. Robinson, David Rudman, Joey Mazzarino, Matt Vogel, Peter Linz, Jim Martin, Tyler Bunch, Noel MacNeal, and John Kennedy with assistance from Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Ryan Dillon, Tim Lagasse, Lara MacLean, Pam Arciero, Tau Bennett, Carmen Osbahr, Jennifer Barnhart, Warrick Brownlow-Pike, and Stephanie D'Abruzzo) appear around Oscar.

OSCAR: You know what's right with this country? Nothing. Wanna know what gets me hot under the collar? You name it! So the next time some goody-two-shoes comes by and tells you to have a nice day, always remember...

Don't let the sunshine spoil your rain
Just stand up and complain
Just stand up and complain!

The Grouches disappear.

OSCAR: Well, I guess the show's about to start now, so let me leave you with these words: "Have a rotten day!" Heh-heh-heh! Ugh!

Oscar pops back into his can, which is hauled away by a vaudeville cane.

Now, Trevor Monster (performed by Ryan Dillon with assistance from Carmen Osbahr) arrives on stage.

TREVOR: Hi. I'm Trevor. I'm the director's assistant for the Sesame Street stage show tour, and boy, have we got a show for you! Hmm...but there doesn't seem to be a "we" anywhere. I better call the rest of the guys.

Somebody come and play
Somebody come and play today
Somebody come and smile some smiles
And sing some songs; it won't be long
Somebody come and play today

Somebody come and play
Somebody come and play my way
Somebody come and laugh some laughs
And rhyme some rhymes; it won't take time
Somebody come and play today

Somebody come with me, and see the pleasure in the wind
Somebody see the time is getting late to begin

Somebody come and play
Somebody come and play today
Somebody come and be my friend
And watch the sun 'til it rains again
Somebody come and play today

Prairie Dawn (performed by Stephanie D'Abruzzo with assistance from Leslie Carrara-Rudolph) enters the stage.

Sunny days
Sweepin' the clouds away
On my way to where
The air is sweet

Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street?

Come and play
Everything's A-OK
Friendly neighbors there
That's where we meet

Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street?
How to get to Sesame Street?
How to get to Sesame Street?

The beginning bars of "Rubber Duckie" start playing.

PRAIRIE DAWN: Oh! It's the next song in our medley. Take it away, Ernie!

Ernie (performed by Peter Linz with assistance from Pam Arciero) pops up, dressed in only a towel, his hair full of soap, and holding his iconic bath toy.

Oh, Rubber Duckie, you're the one
You make bathtime lots of fun
Rubber Duckie, I am awfully fond of you

Rubber Duckie, joy of joys
When I squeeze you, you make noise
Rubber Duckie, you're my very best friend, it's true!

Oh, every day, when I
Make my way to the tubby
I find a little fella who's
Cute and yellow and chubby!

Rubber Duckie, you're so fine
And I'm lucky that you're mine
Rubber Duckie, I am awfully fond of you!

Now, the beginning of "Doin' the Pigeon" plays.

PRAIRIE DAWN: Alright, Bert! You're on!

Bert (performed by Eric Jacobson with assistance from Tyler Bunch and Paul McGinnis) enters the stage dressed like a pigeon.

Doin' the (coo-coo!) pigeon
Doin' the (coo-coo!) pigeon
Dancing a little smidgeon of
The kind of ballet that sweeps me away

I'm doin' the (coo-coo!) pigeon
Doin' the (coo-coo!) pigeon
Doin' the (coo-coo!) pigeon every day!

The beginning of "C is for Cookie" plays as Cookie Monster (performed by David Rudman with assistance from John Kennedy) pops up beside Prairie, holding a cookie.

PRAIRIE DAWN: Hi, Cookie Monster.

C is for cookie; that good enough for me
C is for cookie; that good enough for me
C is for cookie; that good enough for me
Oh, cookie, cookie, cookie start with C!

PRAIRIE DAWN: Alright, your turn, Big Bird!

Big Bird (puppeteered by Noel MacNeal and voiced by Matt Vogel) enters the stage as "ABC-DEF-GHI" begins playing.

It's the most remarkable word I've ever seen
I wish I knew exactly what I mean

It starts off as an 'A' word, as anyone can see
But somewhere in the middle, it gets awfully 'QR' to me!

If I ever find out just what this word can mean
I'll be the smartest bird that you have ever seen!

Now, the chorus of "Song of the Count" plays.

PRAIRIE DAWN: You're next, Count.

The Count (performed by Matt Vogel with assistance from Jennifer Barnhart) enters the stage.

I count slowly, slowly, slowly getting faster
Once I've started counting, it's very hard to stop
Hey! Faster, faster; it is so exciting!
I could count forever; count until I drop!

Oh! 1, 2, 3, 4, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4
1-2, I love counting, whatever the amount!
Yes! 1, 2, 3, 4, heyayayay, heyayayay
1-2-3-4, 1-2, that's the song of the Count! Ah-ah-ah!

On cue, the Count's trademark lightning and thunder hit the theater.

The start of "Elmo's Song" plays next, as Elmo (performed by Kevin Clash with assistance from Tau Bennett) comes in playing a piano.

PRAIRIE DAWN: Take it, Elmo!

This is the song, la la la la, Elmo's song
La la la la, la la la la, Elmo's song
La la la, la la la la (La la la la la)
La la la, la la la la (La la la la la)
Elmo loves to sing, la la la la, Elmo's song
La la la la, la la la la, Elmo's song
He wrote the music, he wrote the words
That's Elmo's song!

The gang assembles in the middle of the stage.

PRAIRIE DAWN: So, is that everyone?

BIG BIRD: Well, only a few of how many of us are here tonight.

ELMO: Yeah, but Elmo thinks there's still someone missing.

ERNIE: Oh! I know who you're talking about!

Everyone looks at the audience.


"Welcome!" begins to play.

We wanna say,"welcome!" (Welcome!) Welcome to the party

We wanna say, "Our house is your house today!"

We're feeling so happy; happy just to see you

Happy we can tell you, in our nicest way

Hello, my friends! Hold out your hand
And take all we have to give

The world is a friendly, smiling place full of love
When you know the way to live

We wanna say "thank you!" (Thank you!) Thank you all for coming
Thanks for all the good things we share, and come one day
We wanna say "welcome!" (Welcome!) Welcome to the party

Me wanna say "Welcome, me friends!"

Welcome every day!

The song ends and the Muppets leave the stage.

GUY SMILEY (off-screen): Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, live from Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, welcome to Sesame Street! And now, here are your hosts, the greatest comic duo on children's TV, Bert and Ernie!

Ernie and Bert enter the stage as the crowd cheers.

ERNIE: Thank you, Mr. Smiley! Hello, everybody! Welcome to Sesame Street, live at the Staples Center! And boy, oh boy, have we got a great show for you all tonight!

BERT: Yes, a great...wait, a great show, Ernie? How can you guarantee that? I mean, we're not on the east coast in New York; we're on the west coast, in L.A.!

ERNIE: It's easy, Bert. We'll win over these thousands of people out there, in the audience, who paid good money to this show, with our foolproof stage show formula.

BERT: Our "stage show formula"? What's that?

ERNIE: Our stage show formula is this: two shows in one!

BERT: Oh, I get it! You mean, "Two shows for the price of one," right? (muttering) Wait, how does that make any sense?

ERNIE: No, no, Bert. Two shows in one.

BERT: "Two shows in one"? What does that mean?

ERNIE: What that means is, show number one!

Ernie looks left and right.

ERNIE: If you look to your left, then to your right, you will find a giant screen above either side of the stage. Now, these screens frame me, you, and the rest of our friends. This is what they call "the puppet show".


ERNIE: Show number two! It's a concept none of us fully understand, and it happens just underneath show number one. Bert, look down.

Bert and Ernie look down.

BERT: (gasps in horror, whispering in a frightened tone): There are people down there!

ERNIE: Yes. Apparently, they're called "puppeteers", and basically, they're responsible for every little thing we say or do.

BERT: What?! Ernie, are you saying we're not real people?!

ERNIE: Well, we're being controlled by people who are real, who are speaking while we're speaking, and they're moving our mouths by moving their hands. So, yes, we're not "real" in the most common sense of the word.

BERT: So what you're saying is, you, I, and probably all of our friends, are nothing but inanimate objects, controlled by these weirdos underneath us in a manner that creates the illusion that we're alive. In short, we're all puppets, right?

ERNIE: Correct. And the scariest part is, really tall friends like Big Bird have a person inside of them, and they move them around using their own bodies.

BERT: This is all making me very uncomfortable.

ERNIE: Me, too.

BERT: But it does explain why Big Bird's right arm looks so dead most of the time.

ERNIE: True. Anyway, with that awkwardness out of the way, let's get right to the show. First, I will try to explain the history of Sesame Street, using the latest in presentation technology: a slideshow montage.

A giant screen above the stage lowers toward Bert and Ernie.

ERNIE: You see, people have often wondered, how did we get here? Short answer: Not the easy way. Short answer long: Sesame Street, the overall concept and ideas behind the show, came mainly from the mind of one extraordinary woman.

The montage begins with a picture of Joan Ganz Cooney.

ERNIE: Yes. Over fifty years ago, Joan Ganz Cooney here, and a talented group of producers, educators and researchers, formed the Children's Television Workshop, a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing high-quality, revolutionary educational content broadcast around the world in various different languages. And, like all progressive ideas, it all started with a simple question, a question that would overtime come to change the very face of public television. Cooney wanted a variety of things that kids would want to see on TV, and use those things as sort of a teaching device. Things like puppets, and cartoons, and adult figures, and commercials. And speaking of puppets, Cooney knew just the puppet master he wanted to create new characters.

The montage now shows Jim Henson.

ERNIE: Him. Jim Henson here. Now, he and the dedicated group of talented men and women who are the Muppet performers have turned puppetry, a simple art form once thought of as mere child's play, into an entertainment empire that appeals to all ages, using mainly the best actors, artists and creative minds in the industry. But, Mr. Henson was hesitant to join the Sesame Street creative team, as he was afraid of seeing himself and his colleagues being stuck with working exclusively on children's television. But, eventually, Henson and company created the first puppets for the new show.

Clips of Ernie and Bert from the Sesame Street test pilot are shown.

BERT: Hey! That's us!

ERNIE: Right. Of all the puppets you see on Sesame Street, Bert and I were the first, the grandfathers of all the characters, the ones who started it all. We were instantly popular. Perhaps, a little too popular. The tests showed that kids were most interested in puppet shows. Who knew?

BERT: Who knew?

ERNIE: So Henson and friends were tasked with making new characters and putting them on the street. Two icons were thus born: an 8 ft. yellow bird, and a monster who lives in a trash can. We know them simply as Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. Both of them were animated by a guy named Caroll Spinney.

BERT: And then, the others soon followed. Cookie Monster, Grover, Little Bird...

ERNIE: Roosevelt Franklin, Lefty the Salesman, Kermit...

BERT: Ker...wait! Kermit?

ERNIE: Yeah. Kermit the Frog.

The Sesame Street pitch reel, particularly the part where Kermit suggests the show's title to Rowlf the Dog, plays.

BERT: Hey. Who's the dog?

ERNIE: Oh, that's Rowlf. He's a friend of Kermit's. I hear he's a good piano player, too.

BERT: So that was it, huh? The moment when Sesame Street was born.

ERNIE: Kinda. Oh, and we can't forget the rest of our friends.

BERT: Oh, yeah! Sherlock Hemlock, Herry Monster, Prairie Dawn, Snuffy, the Count, the Amazing Mumford, the Two-Headed Monster...

ERNIE: Barkley, Telly Monster, Forgetful Jones, Elmo, Hoots the Owl, Baby Bear, Rosita, Zoe...

BERT: Abby Cadabby, Murray Monster, Julia, Rudy and Gonger!

ERNIE: Plus lots of friends we don't have time to mention now.

BERT: Hey, Ernie, I think a lot of people are wondering just why we are so successful and popular, even today.

ERNIE: To which the answer is, we always update ourselves to keep up with what's going on around us. Well, that and, unlike most other TV shows of the past and today, we are not afraid to tackle any topic that we feel needs to be discussed in family households. For example, we've got our lessons about the ABCs' and 123s'; we've got our lessons about colors, shapes and patterns; we've got our morning and bedtime routines, healthy habits, music and creativity. But when we need to get our hands dirty and tackle the big topics, we're all ready and focused on the lesson at hand. Lessons like bullying, emergencies, incarceration, community service and even death have become commonplace talking points on our grounds.

BERT: Wait. Death?

ERNIE: Yeah. Remember when our old friend Mr. Hooper died?

A clip of Big Bird learning about Mr. Hooper's death is shown.

ERNIE: Hmm. A Sesame Street classic.

BERT: Oh, poor Big Bird. He's 6 years old. Did he really have to learn about death at that age?

ERNIE: Well, everyone has to, sooner or later.

BERT: Yeah, but not when...

GROVER (off-screen): Hello, everybodyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

Grover (puppeteered by John Tartaglia with assistance from Ryan Dillon and voiced by Eric Jacobson) runs onstage and slaps Bert's back hard.

GROVER: Hiya, Bert! Hi, Ernie.

ERNIE: Hey, Grover! You're late.

GROVER: Yes, I know. But as you know, all that running around can make a monster like me very tired, so that is why I missed the bus.

ERNIE: Well, if you missed the bus, how on Earth did you get here?

GROVER: No problem. I had a pretty limo driver get me all the way to the theater.

ERNIE: Really? Who?

GROVER: I will show you. Marissa!

A chauffeuse dressed all in black (played by Colleen Smith) enters the stage.

GROVER: Yes. Marissa here drove me all the way to the Staples Center on time. Or, she tried to, if it were not for all of the traffic at the center of the city. Good grief, is it busy!

BERT: How busy is it?

GROVER: It is so busy that even people on the sidewalk have to wait for hours just to move!

BERT: (laughs) That's actually a good one.

ERNIE: Yes, it is, but Grover?


ERNIE: We don't need you on the show yet, so why don't you do something while you wait.

GROVER: OK, OK. Hey, Marissa? Can you please drive me around Hollywood?

The chauffeuse grabs Grover's nose and drags him away.

GROVER: Ow! Not my nose, Marissa! Ouch! It's like you're trying to yank it off! Ow! How do I smell?!

BERT: Depends! How often do you clean yourself?

The audience groans.

BERT: I know, that was a bit of a cheap shot.

ERNIE: (clears throat) As I was about to say, the success of Sesame Street hasn't been exclusive to here in the United States. There's a reason why we're sometimes called "the longest street in the world."

BERT: There is? Why?

ERNIE: Because we have taught children in over 150 countries worldwide.

BERT: Wow!

The audience cheers.

ERNIE: May you allow us to present this next montage? It's called, Sesame Street Around the World.

Amway Center

Wembley Arena

Rogers Centre

International Convention Centre Sydney

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