Sesame Street
City-wide water shortage
Air date May 3, 1991
Season Season 22 (1990-1991)
Written by Tony Geiss
Directed by Emily Squires
Production January 17, 1991
Sponsors R, W, 15


Picture Segment Description

SCENE 1 Gordon, Telly, Big Bird and Mr. Handford see the latest newspaper headline in Hooper's Store - "WATER SHORTAGE IN CITY." Mr. Handford turns on the TV to see if there's anything in the news about it.
On TV, weatherman Caspar Pfluegy (Kevin Clash) explains and demonstrates how rain and reservoirs work, and what happens when there's not enough rain. He presents a filmed report on wasting water...
Cartoon "Water Conservation": Frank the fish calls Carl and tells him not to leave the water running while brushing his teeth, otherwise the lake will be dry.
Artist: Peter Chung
(First: Episode 2689)
The segment is shown on the Hooper's TV set. This airing is the only known use of the full ending of the cartoon, which was removed from all other episodes.

SCENE 1 cont'd Caspar advises the public on how to conserve water and concludes his report. Telly asks Mr. Handford if he can save his glass of water for the time being.
Song Jerry Nelson sings "Don't Waste Water."
(First: Episode 2804)
Cartoon R for Rhinoceros
(First: Episode 2518)
Muppets Grover sits in a park and recites a poem about a butterfly that he sees.
(First: Episode 1967)
Film A film of butterflies
Music: Joe Raposo
(First: Episode 0406)
SCENE 2 Telly conservatively sips from his glass of water, then chides Oscar for wasting water with his skunk fountain. He argues with Oscar over keeping it on and finally convinces him to shut it off by pointing out that if there's no water, there won't be any mud. Oscar is shocked at the potential for a mud shortage and turns his fountain off, as well as emptying his pool (unnecessarily, however). Telly takes a sip from his glass, earning scorn from Oscar for wasting water by drinking it.
Cartoon "Mother Brown's Farm (Number Fifteen Song)"
(First: Episode 2693)
Film A boy who lives in the Congo (in Africa) narrates a film of the kinds of games he and his friends play.
(First: Episode 2668)
Cartoon W - wallpaper
(First: Episode 0291)
Muppets Four monsters, including Elmo, sing "We Are All Monsters." (redubbed version)
(First: Episode 2731)
Film How Crayons are Made
Music: "Water Course A" and "Exchange" by Richard Harvey
(First: Episode 1579)
Muppets Muppet & Kid MomentBert and Sherlock Hemlock ask John-John if he wants to count, and John-John enthusiastically rises to the occasion.
(First: Episode 1474)
Cartoon A pencil tries to write the word DANCE.
(First: Episode 1966)

SCENE 3 Biff, Sully and Stella answer a call to Hooper's, where the sink faucet is dripping even when turned off. Biff gives it a few good whacks, stopping the leak. Biff echoes Mr. Handford's explanation of wasting water to Sully, wasting water anyway in the process.
Cartoon "The Wasteroon Song" - three water drops complain about people wasting water, calling them "Wasteroons."
Artist: ArtistMike
(First: Episode 2851)
Muppets Cookie Monster does a taste test to compare square shaped cookies, triangle shaped cookies, and circle shaped cookies.
(First: Episode 1750)
Cartoon Number creatures 15
(First: Episode 2693)
Film Kids talk about how many things they can do now that they're five years old.
(First: Episode 1403)
Cartoon Blue and pink characters fight for a spot on the subway, until Pink spots an open seat.
(First: Episode 1580)
Song Gina and Maria sing "The Word is "No"."
(First: Episode 2548)
Cartoon A group gives a newcomer funny looks, which hurts his feelings, but then they invite him to play marbles with them. He turns out to be a good player.
Artist: Joanna Priestley
(First: Episode 2840)
Celebrity Billy Joel sings the alphabet with Anything Muppets and kids.
(First: Episode 2562)
Film Alphaquest: R
Running down a road past a rabbit, a radio, some rocks, and a rainbow.
(First: Episode 2726)
Muppets Forgetful Jones needs something to ride around the ranch. Clementine gives him clues: it has four legs, a bushy tail, eats hay, and neighs. It's his horse Buster, who arrives with the jeep.
(First: Episode 2081)
Cartoon W for Wilhelmina
(First: Episode 0512)
Muppets Kermit sings "On My Pond."
(First: Episode 2328)
Cartoon When a bird pops a balloon, the balls represent Sad and Happy.
(First: Episode 2102)

SCENE 4 The Count has an idea on how to make it rain - if one Count can cause a little thunder and lightning when counting, many people counting together can bring on a storm. Everybody counts to 40 together and a large thunder clap occurs. Their plan doesn't cause any rain, but does make a pair of agitated birds fall out of the sky.
Film A film insert about washing elephants at the Bronx Zoo. The song "Splish Splash" is used in part of the segment.
(First: Episode 1934)
Cat dog toon.jpg
Cartoon Two kids argue over a cat and a dog, who chase each other around the fence.
(First: Episode 1210)
Funny Book.jpg
Muppets Ernie & Bert — At night, Ernie reads a book that becomes sad, funny, scary, and then surprising. The book elicits the same reactions from Bert.
(First: Episode 2341)
Cartoon Dot Bridge #1
(First: Episode 0001)
Film A group of kids pick apples in an orchard, and take them into the cider mill to make apple cider.
(First: Episode 1585)
Muppets The Two-Headed Monster sounds out the word "hop" and starts hopping.
(First: Episode 1482)
Cartoon "Up and Down with Captain Brown"
(First: Episode 2493)

SCENE 5 Everyone hopes it will rain soon, when Caspar Pfluegy strolls by, as he always picks up the paper at Hooper's on his way home. Telly begs him to make it rain, but that's out of Caspar's control. He forecasts a bright, sunny day, just as a downpour begins. "Nobody's perfect," he shrugs. Mr. Handford invites him in for a glass of water and Caspar announces the sponsors. Telly remains outside, catching rain in his water glass.


  • This episode's plot line is adapted from an earlier episode, Episode 1740.
  • Scene 2 would later be used as a stand-alone Muppet segment on several international co-productions, including Sesamstrasse.

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