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Billyjoejive.jpg
Smart Susie Sunset and Billy Jo Jive
PERFORMER Wendell Brown voice
DEBUT 1978

Billy Jo Jive, a self-described "super crime-fightin' ace", is a prepubescent African-American detective in animated segments on Sesame Street, first airing in the ninth season. Along with his partner, Smart Susie Sunset (voiced by Florence Anthony)[1], Billy Jo would solve crimes in his neighborhood. The segments remained in rotation on the show as late as season 25.

Each story began with a phone call to Billy in his office (which was in the basement of his apartment), asking him to look into finding a missing object or to solve something that seems out of place. Billy would grab his flashlight, gray trenchcoat and yellow flat cap, and immediately head out with Susie right behind him carrying a small notepad. Each episode lasted less than three minutes.

The series was produced by Shearer Visuals and former Terrytoons animator Ray Favata and animated by his production partner Ed Seeman. Its theme song was an electronic funk instrumental by Richard C. Sanders called "Afrocat."

Recurring characters include Wrong Way Willie, a young neighborhood kid who never gets anything right, and Bad News Barton. Barton, described by Susie as "the toughest kid on the block," often finds himself in trouble.

The characters of Billy Jo and Smart Susie originated in a series of children's books by John Shearer, with illustrations by his father Ted Shearer. The series debuted with Billy Jo Jive, Super Private Eye: The Case of the Missing Ten Speed Bike in 1976. When the sequel The Case of the Sneaker Snatcher was published in 1977, the cover boldly advertised "Don't miss Billy Jo Jive and Susie Sunset on Sesame Street!"

Segments

Picture Segment / First Appearance Description
JoJive-MissingRope.jpg
Missing Rope
Episode 1170
Billy Jo Jive and Suzie Sunset are hired to find a missing rope needed for the 10th Street Olympics' round of tug-o-war.
JoJive-Willie.jpg
Wrong Way Willie
Episode 1172
Billy Jo Jive and Sunset help out Wrong Way Willie, a kid who gets many things wrong (such as wearing a football outfit on the way to play basketball).
JoJive-Barton.jpg
Bad News Barton
Episode 1173
The doctor asks Billy and Sunset to get Bad News Barton to his office. They eventually bring Bad News Barton to the office, but the whole thing had been a set-up to get Billy Jo Jive to come to the doctor to get a shot.
BJJ.MidnightVoices.jpg
Midnight Voices
Episode 1183
Billy and Suzie solve the case of the midnight voices. The voices end up belonging to a lost dog, whom they give the name "Meatbone."
1186zd.jpg
Lost Wig
Episode 1186
Billy and Suzie look for a missing wig. They find dirty hand prints at the scene of the crime, and also find them on a poster for a school play. They go there where they find the person who stole the wig, and also see his dirty hands.
JoJive-Landmarks.jpg
Landmarks
Episode 1233
Billy Jo Jive and Susie Sunset help Wrong Way Willie find four landmarks for a school assignment.
BJJ.Guitarstrings.jpg
Guitar Strings
Episode 1234
Billy Jo Jive investigates the case of the missing guitar strings.
JoJive-Money.jpg
Lost Money
Episode 1235
Wrong Way Willie, treasurer of his club, has lost the club's funds. Billy and Susie look for where it may be and discover Willie's had it in his hat the entire time.
1261-JoJive.jpg
Shortcakes
Episode 1261
Billy Jo Jive looks for the missing batch of strawberry shortcakes.
BJJ.wheresthedog.jpg
Lost Dog
Episode 1296
Billy Jo Jive and Smart Susie Sunset search for Aunt Nellie's dog, Meatbone, not knowing that the sneaky dog has been following them the whole time.
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Sign Language
Episode 1391
Billy Jo Jive and Sunset help out Wrong Way Willie for the big bike race by showing him signs he might encounter. He ends up losing the race for not realizing he can advance beyond the STOP sign.
Wrong Way Willie gets rhythm.jpg
Wrong Way Gets Rhythm
Episode 1394
Billy Jo Jive and Smart Susie Sunset teach Wrong Way Willie how to dance.
2233-JoJive.jpg
Bad News Loses Pounds
Episode 1437
After Bad News Barton fails to make the swimming team, Billy and Smart Suzie teach him to eat healthier.
JoJive-Keys.jpg
Lost Keys
Episode 1508
Billy Jo Jive and Smart Suzie Sunset help Wrong Way Willie find his missing house keys.

External links

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