Don Music
PERFORMER Richard Hunt
DEBUT 1974
PATTERN Orange Gold
DESIGN Jim Henson
Richard hunt don music

Richard Hunt performing Don Music.


Don in Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration

Don Music is an agonized composer who made recurring appearances on Sesame Street, starting in Season 6 (1974).

A typical sketch involved Kermit visiting Don in his studio while he tried to write a new song. To help alleviate Don's frustrations and stop him from banging his head against his piano, Kermit would make suggestions and correct Don's mistakes. The usual result was that Don would write a strange version of a nursery rhyme, such as "Mary Had a Bicycle" instead of "Mary Had a Little Lamb." When he finished, he would perform the song, and would normally be joined by back-up singers (often Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats), who would appear seemingly from out of nowhere, or come through the door to his studio. When the character started appearing in street scenes, he was shown writing original songs not based on established compositions.

Don always kept a picture of Sesame Street songwriter and composer Joe Raposo on the wall, while on his piano he often kept a bust of either Ludwig van Beethoven or William Shakespeare.

Don also appeared in the View-Master Interactive Vision video Let's Learn to Play Together and the TV special, Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting.

His last new appearance on the show was in Episode 2826, but his segments continued to air as part of new episodes until the end of Season 29 in 1998. According to Sesame Street Unpaved, which was published the same year, "The character, played by Richard Hunt, was abandoned because of complaints about his alarming tendencies toward self-inflicted punishment. Apparently, kids were imitating his head-banging at home."

Though absent as a character for decades, Don Music resurfaced in new appearances associated with the show's 50th anniversary, performed by Ryan Dillon. He appeared at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019 in the "Sesame Street Puppets Live!" show,[1] the special Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration[2] (where host Joseph Gordon-Levitt mistakes him for Guy Smiley), and in the 2019 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He also made a cameo in the 2019 animated music video "Christmas with the Count" (YouTube) and appears as an audience member for The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo.


Picture Summary / First Appearance Description
Mary Had a Bicycle
Episode 0698
Kermit helps Don Music write a remake of "Mary's Lamb," with some back-up vocals from the Monotones.
Yankee Doodle
Episode 0876
Kermit helps Don Music finish the "Yankee Doodle" song, then because Don finds the idea of calling feathers macaroni ridiculous, they rewrite it to be a song in which Yankee Doodle stays at home cooking for his pony, puts "fat spaghetti" in a pot and calls it macaroni. Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats then come in and perform the song with Don.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Episode 0897
"Life is but a... but a..." With Kermit's help, Don Music manages to rewrite the tune to "Drive, drive, drive your car."
Old MacDonald
Episode 0923
Don successfully writes "Old MacDonald", with the help of Kermit and several barnyard animals.
DonMusic TwinkleTwinkle
Whistle, Whistle, Little Bird
Episode 1210
Don Music tries to rewrite "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." He succeeds and is joined by a country-western band.
The Alphabet Song
Episode 1227
Don Music successfully "writes" the Alphabet Song, with help from his surroundings.
Can You Tell Me How To Get To Yellowstone Park
Episode 1310
On a stormy night, Don Music tries to rewrite the "Sesame Street Theme". With a little help from Kermit and the outdoor atmosphere, he succeeds and is joined by Little Chrissy & The Alphabeats.
SesameGame show
Mystery Guest
Episode 1447
Don was a contestant along with Cookie Monster and Sherlock Hemlock in game show sketch hosted by Guy Smiley. The object of the game was to wear a blindfold and guess who the mystery guest is. The mystery guest was the letter X. Don Music guessed M.
The American Revolution
Episode 2345
Don Music plays Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson has trouble getting a replacement quill to finish the Declaration when Mr. Grover misinterprets what he needs bringing a drill, and a chicken named Phil.

Episodic appearances

Book appearances



  1. Ryan Dillon on Instagram (July 22, 2019)
  2. Ryan Dillon on Instagram (November 2, 2019)
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