Sesame Street
Air date April 22, 1970 (Earth Day)
Season Season 1 (1969-1970)
Sponsors I, P, U, 6, 7
This episode guide has been compiled from script materials provided by a trusted source.


Picture Segment Description
SCENE 1 Gordon observes a large mess of trash on Sesame Street, for which neither he Susan, Bob nor the kids take responsibility. Gordon calls on everyone to help gather the trash into cardboard cartons (which he calls "plezuzmis" as in "please use me"), then introduces the next film.
Song "Where the Garbage Goes," a song film which explains what happens to garbage after it gets thrown away.
Music by Peter Schickele
(First: Episode 0077)
SCENE 2 After the trash is organized, Oscar complains about his trash being messed with. He says he'll put his trash back in his can, but after he starts his new business. Gordon wonders if he's going to sell flowers.
Film A film shows parts of a flower.
Music: Vivaldi's Concerto for lute, 2 violins, and continuo in D Major: II - Largo
(First: Episode 0008)
SCENE 3 Susan sees a giant smokestack coming out of Oscar's can. Oscar says his new business is manufacturing bottled smoke for other grouches. Gordon would rather breathe clean air, and so would Ernie.
Muppets Lefty sells Ernie some air, but when Ernie waves to Bert, wanting to show it to him, he drops it. According to Bert (who didn't know what Ernie had), "It couldn't have vanished into thin air." But Ernie sobs, "Yes, it could, Bert! It could!"
SCENE 4 Susan sings "The Garden" to Oscar, to teach him to take care of the environment.
Bob sings "Picture a World", then looks up and sees the letter P written in the sky. (First: Episode 0054)
P pirate pistol
Cartoon A short poem about a pirate and his puppy demonstrate the letter P.
(First: Episode 0057)
Cartoon Speech Balloon: U for Umbrella
(First: Episode 0038)
Muppets An Anything Muppet presents the letter U. Another Muppet repeatedly insists, "That's not a 'me,' that's a U!"
(First: Episode 0048)
Cartoon A Gary Owens-voiced man attempts to discuss the letter I, but is jeered by an offscreen voice. The man uses him as an example of the word "impolite".
(First: Episode 0033)
Cartoon Speech Balloon: I - ice cream.
(First: Episode 0033)
Muppets Kermit's Lectures: Kermit talks about clues. He shows that a boy has grown some carrots because he has garden tools, a watering can, and a packet of seeds. Next, he confirms that a man has built a birdhouse because of his blueprints and carpenter's tools. When he notices Beautiful Day Monster with a suitcase and an umbrella, Kermit assumes that the monster is going on a trip and using the umbrella as protection from the rain. The monster corrects him; he's planning to eat his umbrella, and uses the suitcase to carry the ketchup he'll use to eat it with.
SCENE 5 Susan has to run off to Hooper's Store, so she asks Big Bird to answer the phone for her if it rings. Big Bird hears a faint knocking, which grows louder, spooking him into thinking that a group of monsters could be present. When Susan returns, she shows Big Bird that the knocking was coming from the door, which was moving because of a draft.
Cartoon Children describe how to draw an elephant.
(First: Episode 0052)
Muppets An Anything Muppet boy teaches "forward" and "backward" with a group of Muppets who keep running over the boy when his back is turned.
(First: Episode 0069)
Pat Paulsen forward backward
Celebrity Pat Paulsen demonstrates "forward" and "backward".
(First: Episode 0069)
Film "Seven Song (Song of Seven)"
(First: Episode 0011)
Muppets Ernie & Bert — Ernie has seven jellybeans, and Bert has six. To make it even, Ernie eats the extra jellybean. That's fair, isn't it?
(First: Episode 0014)
SCENE 6 In the kitchen, Susan reads a book to the kids: Who Will Wake Up Spring? by Sharon Lerner.
Muppets Kermit's Lectures: Kermit plays a sorting game with squares and circles, until Cookie Monster arrives and takes a bite out of the shapes. Kermit is upset, until he tastes one of them, and he joins Cookie Monster in finishing off the rest!
(First: Episode 0094)
Cartoon A male voice narrates a story of a jazzy triangle who loved to dance, and a square square. The triangle likes being flexible, but the square would rather be stiff and *square*.
Music: "Waltz in Mean Time," David Lee
(First: Episode 0007)
Muppets Kermit tries to give a lecture on being happy, but Cookie Monster eats Kermit's happy face prop, which makes him mad.
(First: Episode 0066)
SCENE 7 Gordon, Susan and the kids sit on the steps with the "plezuzmi" cartons and say goodbye.


  • Caroll Spinney recalls the filming of Scene 3 in his autobiography The Wisdom of Big Bird. The original script called for thick black smoke to be produced by Oscar's smokestack.[3] An electrician had devised a small shelf behind the trash can which held a pie pan containing a mixture of kerosene and black rubber to create the smoke.[4]

I told the electrician I didn't like the setup, that it looked downright dangerous to have it burning right above my head. "Don't worry about it," he assured me as he put a match in the liquid. Blue flames danced around the rubber, and black smoke began to curl upward.

"Countdown to action—five, four...," came the call. The oil began to boil. The electrician lowered a stovepipe over the flaming liquid, and as a roar erupted, I stood up and pushed the whole trash-can unit forward so I could escape this frightening inferno. "Hey! Get back in there!" the floor manager shouted. "We're rolling!"

"Not me!" I replied. At that instant the stovepipe exploded and the flames burst fifteen feet up the side of the brownstone. Panic took over as people frantically searched for fire extinguishers. There didn't seem to be any on the set floor. Some were brought in from outside, and the fire was put out.

The inside of the trash can was totally burned out, exactly where my head would have been. Later we did the scene again with cool white smoke and without the electrician.[4]


  1. American Archive of Public BroadcastingAAPB ID cpb-aacip/512-125q815g35
  2. Rome, Adam. The Genius of Earth Day, page 160
  3. Script documents provided by a trusted source
  4. 4.0 4.1 Spinney, Caroll. The Wisdom of Big Bird. p. 105-106

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