Telly instinctively molds an X out of his mashed potatoes in Sesame Street Episode 3833.


Gonzo followers craft a replica of the alleged alien's head in Muppets from Space.


Muppet*Vision 3D queuing area poster.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 Academy Award winning film written and directed by Steven Spielberg with music by John Williams. The film tells the story of a family man, who is overcome by a series of strange instances amongst an evolving mystery concerning UFOs.


  • "The Square Song" from Sesame Street is featured in a significant scene from the film. A cover of the song plays on a record player which is brought to life in a little boy's room, and plays over the commotion created by all of his other toys which have seemingly been stimulated by extra-terrestrial visitors.


  • Sesame Street Episode 1186 opens with Count von Count asking the viewer to count "hellos" with him from the residents on Sesame Street. Before they say hello to the camera, Bob asks Linda if she had yet seen Close Encounters. Linda responds by signing with her hands, a spacecraft descending from the sky, suggesting that she had seen it.
  • The October entry in The Miss Piggy Cover Girl Fantasy Calendar features Miss Piggy in a spoof cover of the magazine OMNI. She's wearing a stylized space suit and the caption reads "A Pig In Space, Close Encounters of the Divine Kind." The image was used again for a poster in the waiting queue of Muppet*Vision 3D in Walt Disney World. The image is redubbed "Closet Encounters of the Worst Kind," and carries an additional spoof of the 1979 film Alien with the subtitle: "In space, no one can find their shoes."
  • Muppets from Space features a scene in which dozens of people witness Gonzo's declaration of his alien origins on live TV. One follower explains that they were drawn to the Muppet Boarding House and produces a mashed potato sculpture in the shape of Gonzo's head. The concept spoofs a similar phenomenon from Close Encounters of the Third Kind whereupon earthlings were drawn to Devil's Tower by images of the monolith implanted in their brains by the aliens.
  • In a scene from Sesame Street Episode 3833, Alan prepares mashed potatoes for a kid who has never tried them. Telly, who has spent a good deal of the episode looking for a mysterious letter X, also has some mashed potatoes. He asks for more and more, and absent-mindedly uses them to make a sculpture of the letter "X". At the end of the episode, the X plays the first five notes of the "Sesame Street Theme" referencing the truncated melody used to communicate in the film.
  • Episode 31 of From the Balcony featured an interview with Woody Allen in which he speaks about what his version of the film would be like. The segment also featured a caricature of one of the film's aliens.
  • After navigating his way through a meatball asteroid field in the Waze video "Space Car", Grover calls the experience a "close encounter of the meatball kind."


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