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Annual monolith

Muppets Annual 1980

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"In Search of the Bronzed Beetle"


Elmo's Reading Basics

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The Muppets Take the Bowl

2001: A Space Odyssey is a science fiction story by Arthur C. Clarke and a movie directed by Stanley Kubrick.


  • The puzzle solutions page for Jim Henson's Muppets Annual 1980 features an illustration of primates looking at the answers on a large, black monolith. One of them sports an idea bulb over its head with a bone at its feet.
  • An animated Sesame Street short features two pre-humans arguing using only the word "me". After this goes on for a bit, Strauss's theme underscores the view of a monolith towering over them. It cracks away to reveal the word "me" carved in stone, settling their argument.
  • The music video for "All Around the World" begins quoting "Also sprach Zarathustra" as a silhouetted monolithic shape rises into frame against a celestial backdrop, eventually turning into the building face of a beach front apartment complex as seen in a Postcards from Traveling Matt segment.
  • When a giant letter M is introduced in Sesame Street Episode 3641, the Strauss music underscores a dramatic camera reveal of its size. Telly Monster strokes its sides with a reverence similar to that of the apes in relation to the monolith in 2001.
  • In Elmo's Reading Basics, the game "Beam Me Up, Up, Up" features the Martians beaming items from Earth to their home planet, followed by scenes of Mars interacting with the new items. In one scene, a group of cavemen Martians interact with the new discoveries, underscored by "Also sprach Zarathustra." This image spoofs the opening scene of the film (one Martian even prominently boasts a bone like one of the early homosapiens).
  • When Abby Cadabby bumps into Mr. Snuffleupagus in Sesame Street Episode 4109, her first sight of him (shot wide-angle from her perspective to emphasize his monolithic stature) is underscored by a music cue spoofing "Also sprach Zarathustra."


  • Robert Beatty played Dr. Ralph Halvorsen in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Candice Bergen (credited as Olga Mallsnerd) voiced SAL 9000 in 2010: The Year We Made Contact (1984)
  • Tom Kane voiced HAL 9000 in a Y2K Apple Computer commercial
  • John Lithgow played Dr. Walter Curnow in 2010: The Year We Made Contact (1984)
  • Helen Mirren played Tanya Kirbuk in 2010: The Year We Made Contact (1984)
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