Sesame Street
The story of "The Grouches Who Lost All Their Pickles"
Air date April 24, 1991
Season Season 22 (1990-1991)
Written by Norman Stiles
Directed by Jon Stone
Production January 3, 1991 (sc. 3)
January 10 (remaining)
Sponsors S, T, 13


Picture Segment Description
COLD OPEN Telly rushes into Hooper's Store with a problem - at today's Grouchketeer meeting, Oscar is going to read them a new Grouch storybook. In his haste, Telly accidentally put his Groucketeer hat on before his shirt and now is stuck in his shirt. Mr. Handford tries to help him out, as Oscar calls for the meeting to begin.
Muppets / Celebrity Bo knows letters, counting, up/down, empty/full, near/far, COOKIES, and Bo Peep.
(First: Episode 2841)
Cartoon A man jumps up and down on a trampoline.
Artist: Tom Gabbay
(First: Episode 1449)
Film A man (voice of Jim Thurman) finds a magic remote control that makes things go up and down. He tests it on various objects. When he presses "down" for a bridge, it crumbles and falls into the river below, prompting him to abandon the remote and slink away. A girl then finds it and makes the bridge go back up.
(First: Episode 2614)
Muppets "City-Country Song"
(First: Episode 0681)
Animation "We Are Kids From Far and Wide" - Colombia
(First: Episode 2769)

SCENE 1 As the meeting begins, Telly starts to weep at just the title of the storybook, "The Grouches Who Lost All Their Pickles." He runs out of tissues within moments and recruits the other members to help him get more (a lot more).
Cartoon I hab a cauld ib by dose.
Artist: Bruce Cayard
(First: Episode 1170)
Song "Paying Attention Song" (Charlie Tyson)
(First: Episode 0934)
Animation T for toothbrush and toothpaste
(First: Episode 2811)
Muppets Kermit sings "I Love My Elbows."
(First: Episode 2582)
Cartoon A cat desperately tries to open a can of cat food by himself while his mistress is on the phone.
Artist: Dan Haskett
(First: Episode 2151)

SCENE 2 Telly and the kids stop into Hooper's for some tissues. Mr. Handford gives him one box and heads outside to take an order. Telly doesn't think it will be enough, so the Count helps him count all 40 tissues as they pull them out. Mr. Handford complains about the mess, until the Count puts them all back in using a trick his mother taught him (which is shown by reversing the footage). The Count states, "She was a very neat counter."
Cartoon Rap #13
(First: Episode 2547)
Muppets Ernie & Bert — It's cold outside, so Bert tries to ask Ernie to play a game with him. Ernie keeps bringing winter equipment into the room, thinking Bert wants to play outside. It turns out he just wants to play a game of checkers.
(First: Episode 1617)
Film Kids talk about building sand castles and sand structures at the beach.
(First: Episode 1122)
Cartoon A spider refuses to give up spinning a web, no matter how badly injured he becomes.
(First: Episode 1652)
Muppets Guy Smiley promotes the use of "Air." He leads his marching band through the walls of a barber shop every time someone there says a word out loud that rhymes with "air."
(First: Episode 2682)
Film "Operation Playground" Kids at a school come up with ideas for a new playground, and raise money for the effort. Together with their parents and other people from the neighborhood, they build the playground.
(First: Episode 2360)
Cartoon A girl inflates a balloon in the shape of an S.
(First: Episode 0414)
Muppets Elmo writes his own song and sings it for Big Bird and Snuffy, who then wish that they had their own songs. Elmo lets them insert their own names into the lyrics, resulting in "Big Bird's Song" and "Snuffy's Song."
(First: Episode 2710)
Cartoon Three turtles present the letter T.
(First: Episode 1666)
Film In an Alaskan village, a doctor makes a regular visit to a clinic.
(First: Episode 2390)
Cartoon S for Snail
Artist: Jeff Hale
(First: Episode 1158)
Muppets Cookie Monster sings "Me Gotta Be Blue."
(First: Episode 1828)
Animation Stop-motion: a bunny tries to make a bench with blocks, but needs a chick's help.
(First: Episode 1463)
Song "Brothers Song"
(First: Episode 1476)
Cartoon Jerry Nelson sings and counts thirteen turkeys.
(First: Episode 2711)
SCENE 3 At long last, everyone gathers to hear Oscar read "The Grouches Who Lost All Their Pickles." Telly starts to sob again just at the title. Oscar begins the story...
SCENE 3 cont'd Old YukDonald is known for growing cucumbers, which he and his fellow Grouches (including Grundgetta) love to turn into their favorite food - pickles!


SCENE 3 cont'd Elsewhere in the big city, a salesman hawks a large candy-making machine to young Prairie Dawn. He turns the machine on to demonstrate, when Prairie calls attention to the nasty smoke pouring from the top. "If you want the machine to make candy, you've got to have the smoke," he tells her, but she complains that it's hurting her eyes and causing her to cough harshly. She retreats, when Old YukDonald wanders by, attracted to the smoke ("A man with taste," the salesman observes). The salesman tries his pitch now on YukDonald, who likes the smoke, but hates the idea of producing sweet candy; Grouches only like pickle candy. The salesman tells him the machine can accommodate - simply put in a pickle, and it produces pickle candies. YukDonald likes the result and agrees to buy the machine.
SCENE 3 cont'd Telly is crying, certain the machine is going to cause trouble, citing the title of the book. Oscar tells him he shouldn't worry so much - it's merely a story and nothing about it is real. Telly agrees, but continues to cry anyhow, finding it a sad story nonetheless. Oscar presses onward...

SCENE 3 cont'd Old YukDonald brings the machine back to the farm, where he and the Grouches sing variations of "Old MacDonald" as they produce lots and lots of pickle candy...and smoke. First, the smoke drives away all YukDonald's neighbors; he couldn't care less. The smoke soon gets heavier, driving away all his livestock; he still doesn't mind. Finally, the smoke gets so dark and thick, it blocks out the sunshine, forcing all the plant life of the farm (the trees, flowers, and crops) to take their leave as well. YukDonald still doesn't mind, until he and the Grouches realize the cucumbers have left too, meaning they no longer can make pickles. They sing and cry in distress.
SCENE 3 cont'd Telly, the Grouchketeers, and even Oscar are brought to tears by this development. Telly reminds Oscar of what he said earlier - it's just a story. Oscar thinks they may get their pickles back and, through tears, continues to read...

SCENE 3 cont'd As the Grouches cry in anguish, Old YukDonald gets an idea - if they turn off the machine, the smoke will stop and maybe the cucumbers will return. The Grouches do just that and the smoke begins to clear, allowing the sunshine to return to the farm. Soon, the vegetation migrates back, including the precious cucumbers! The animals and neighbors soon follow; "Oh well, you can't have everything," shrugs YukDonald. Together, everyone assembles to dispose of the machine once and for all.

SCENE 3 cont'd Everyone celebrates the happy ending of the story. Telly, feeling so joyous, asks for Oscar to read it again. Oscar agrees, but once he reads the title, Telly begins to weep once again. He runs off to get another box of tissues, then Mr. Handford announces the sponsors.

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