Sesame Street
Close Encounters of the Worst Kind
Air date May 15, 1981
Season Season 12 (1980-1981)
Written by Judy Freudberg
Directed by Jon Stone
Sponsors L, X, 4
Releases HBO Max

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Picture Segment Description
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SCENE 1 Oscar is having a boring day, until he sees something in the sky -- a trash can!
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SCENE 1
cont'd
When the contraption lands on the ground, its lid opens, and a gray grouch wearing a helmet peers out. They both realize, to their delight, that they are grouches. The gray grouch introduces himself as Othmar, from the planet Zircon.
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SCENE 1
cont'd
Linda, Olivia and Luis arrive on the scene, and realize that a grouch from Outer Space just landed. Linda shows them how to sign "get lost," and Othmar suddenly feels optimistic about his surroundings.
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Cartoon "L" for "Large" and "l" for "little"
(First: Episode 1455)
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Muppets Maria reads "The Legend of Lord Lester." Lord Lester and his wife, Lady Lulu, love the letter L so much, they send their loyal lackey Louie to fetch things that start with L. He returns with a multitude of items, becoming so exhausted, he quits and decides to live in a lighthouse.
(First: Episode 1149)
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Cartoon The man is only afraid of one thing: FEAR.
(First: Episode 0816)
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Film A man shows a boy how to make a wheelbarrow.
(First: Episode 1488)
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Cartoon "The Little Letter L: A Poem By Louise"
Artist: Bruce Cayard
(First: Episode 1526)
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SCENE 2 Oscar tells Olivia that he's going to the moon with Othmar in the giant trash can, and asks her to help them with the countdown from 10 to 1. They close the lid of the trash can and prepare for takeoff. Olivia counts down, and covers her ears as the trash can shoots into the air.
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SCENE 2
cont'd
As the giant trash can rises further and further into space, Olivia remarks, "Now I've seen everything."
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SCENE 2
cont'd
Oscar and Othmar notice how different the earth looks from above. They pass through the space dump, and then get closer to the surface of the moon while they eat their sandwiches. Oscar wants to get back to Sesame Street later on, because "I haven't insulted Olivia all day -- she's gonna think I don't care."
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Cartoon A rolling circle becomes a square, then a triangle, and various other shapes.
(First: Episode 1465)
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Film Four Song (Song of Four)
(First: Episode 0006)
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Muppets Mr. Johnson has been served a bowl of soup, but flags down his waiter to make a complaint. He asks Grover to inspect the fly that's in his soup, but Grover looks under; next to; and above the soup before he agrees to bring out a new bowl. The kitchen is all out of what Mr. Johnson ordered, so he brings him Cream of Mosquito.
(First: Episode 1134)
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Cartoon Four elephants at the circus
Artist: Owe Gustafson
(First: Episode 1489)
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Film A film of two kids and a goat riding a turtle at a petting zoo is narrated in English and Spanish.
Music: Joe Raposo
(First: Episode 0486)
cut from the HBO Max version
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Cartoon How many legs does a horse have?
(First: Episode 1523)
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Muppets Muppet & Kid Moment — Michelle teaches Herry Monster how to say the name of several body parts in Spanish.
(First: Episode 1052)
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Film Lizards
(First: Episode 0047)
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Muppets Two-Headed Monster: RUN
(First: Episode 1446)
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SCENE 3 Olivia and Linda are doubtful that Oscar and Othmar went to the moon. While they wait, Linda shows some kids how to sign "moon," "rocket," and "stars." Olivia stages a game where they pretend to be each of the things they signed, and count down from 10 to 1. Olivia, meanwhile, wonders where Oscar is.
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Cartoon X in EXIT: Animals sing as they exit a building.
(First: Episode 1184)
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Muppets Polly Darton sings "Wavin' Goodbye to You with My Heart."
(First: Episode 1475)
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Film The Alphabet Dancers make a letter X.
(First: Episode 0456)
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Cartoon A boy counts while erasing things and people.
(First: Episode 0008)
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Song "Look Around, Look Around", a song about seasons.
(First: Episode 0556)
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Cartoon The Typewriter gets a check-up with help from an x-ray.
(First: Episode 0787)
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Muppets Grover watches The Amazing Mumford practice a trick, making a rabbit come out of his hat. Mumford has trouble getting a rabbit to come out of the hat, and both are oblivious to the fact that Grover is turning into a rabbit.
(First: Episode 0407)
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Cartoon The Story of Cowboy X, with the voices of Jean Shepherd
(First: Episode 0325)
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SCENE 4 Olivia and Telly explain to Luis that they've drawn a circle in the street for Oscar and Othmar to land on. Upon their descent, the grouches miss their target.
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Animation Sand X/x
(First: Episode 0638)
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Muppets Ernie & Bert — While Bert is reading, Ernie tries to scare him by dressing up as a ghost. When Ernie notices that Bert left his chair while he fetched a white sheet, Ernie sits down in the chair and relaxes, until Bert enters the room and startles him.
(First: Episode 1448)
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Cartoon Rocks aren't alive, so it must be a turtle.
(First: Episode 1519)
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Muppets Big Bird sings "Without People."
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Cartoon A man sees a giant OUT, yells the word, and everyone runs out of it.
(First: Episode 0550)
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Film Flamingos
Music: Joe Raposo
(First: Episode 0450)
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Animation The mountains make a snack for a bird, but he forgets to brush his teeth afterward.
(First: Episode 1429)
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Insert Various things in a kitchen become CERRADO. (Luis voice-over)
(First: Episode 1343)
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Cartoon In Spanish, a man makes everything in the room cerrada, and considers making the basket abierto if only for the guitar band inside.
(First: Episode 0771)
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SCENE 5 Othmar announces it's time for him to return to planet Zircon, "Sailing through the stars, across the vast universe... Carl Sagan, eat your heart out." The cast counts down his blast-off, but his ship collapses. Othmar asks Oscar to call him a taxi. "Okay, you're a taxi!" Luis announces the sponsors and the credits roll.
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CLOSING SIGNS Kermit holds up the Sesame Street sign, while The Kids hold up the CTW sign at the end.

Notes

  • Behind the scenes footage of the episode, including the story meeting and shooting, appears on 40 Years of Sunny Days.


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