Muppet Wiki
Sesame Street
Speedy van Gough paints a mural
Air date January 15, 1992
Season Season 23 (1991-1992)
Production October 11, 1991
Sponsors N, P, 5
This episode guide has been compiled from script materials provided by a trusted source.


Picture Segment Description

SCENE 1 Mr. Handford introduces Big Bird to Speedy Van Gough (Robert Townsend), the world's fastest painter. He's being commissioned to paint something on the blank, brick outside wall of Hooper's Store. Speedy is ready to go, but Mr. Handford tells him to hold off until they have an idea. He intends to consult everyone on the street and see what they'd like a painting of. In the meantime, Big Bird turns Speedy's attention to the following...
Video A family prepares a picnic lunch in fast and slow motion with synthesized music in the background.
Muppets Sesame Street News Flash
Kermit meets Little Miss Muffet, who sits on her water bed, eats crunchy granola, and is not afraid of the spider, who ends up frightening Kermit away.
(First: Episode 0601)
Cartoon P for Pack
(First: Episode 0504)
Song "Ookyook Song," a Joe Raposo song with the Alaskan words for all the things you need to put on when it's ukiuq (winter).
(First: Episode 2360)
Muppets Grover the Elevator Operator demonstrates front and back by telling the passengers on his elevator where to stand.
(First: Episode 0469)
Animation Sand N/n
(First: Episode 0633)

SCENE 2 Gina, Savion, Bob, Kaitlin, Telly Monster, Count von Count, Oscar and Bruno have gathered in the arbor to pitch ideas for the mural. Oscar wants to see nothing but the bricks, but everyone else pitches something different (such as plants, lots of color, plenty of numbers, triangles, a dinosaur and a fish). Oscar thinks this may work better, as nobody can agree on one single idea. Speedy proposes all the ideas combined into one piece. To everyone's shock, the painting is done in a matter of seconds.
Muppets How Now Brown and the Moo Wave performs "Wet Paint."
(First: Episode 2033)

SCENE 2 cont'd Everyone is amazed at Speedy's work and he helps them see their requests embedded into the artwork. He also points out the small selection of unpainted bricks he's left for Oscar, who isn't satisfied. Just as he is about to leave, Mr. Handford requests he stays for the round of applause (mostly) everyone gives him.
Cartoon A lizard sings about how she likes to be "Above it All", as well as below.
Artist: Sally Cruikshank
(First: Episode 2559)
Film The Count (in voiceover) subtracts from five to one to zero children on a park bench.
Muppets Ernie & Bert β€” Ernie and Bert decide to use both Bert's canvas and Ernie's paints to paint a picture of something. Bert wants to paint a bowl of oatmeal, but Ernie wants to paint a purple monster. Finally, they decide to paint a purple monster eating a bowl of oatmeal.
(First: Episode 1446)
It's the ocean.jpg
Cartoon Cap'n Feenie asks, "What is it?" It's the ocean.
Artist: ArtistMike
(First: Episode 2710)
Film Balloons are popped in front of kids' faces, demonstrating surprise.
Muppets The Rainbow Fish counts groups of 5 in the ocean.
Film Slide puzzle - truck
(First: Episode 0403)
Cartoon N is for nose.
(First: Episode 1206)
SCENE 3 Bruno marches back and forth in front of the mural, as Oscar protests with a "NO" sign. Mr. Handford tries pointing out some of the Grouchy things Oscar can interpret from the painting (the bricks, a worm and a wilted flower) to quell his distain. Oscar realizes there's one good thing about the mural he likes: it gives him a chance to say his favorite word, "NO!"
Song Gina and Maria sing The Word is "No".
(First: Episode 2548)
Film A child in a classroom draws a picture of her dog Puck, and goes over the care required to keep a pet.
(First: Episode 2853)
Cartoon Hortense sees 5 waltzing brooms in her room.
Artist: Michael Sporn
(First: Episode 2508)
Muppets Muppet & Kid Moment β€” Herry Monster and John-John on up and down.
(First: Episode 0565)
Song 14 Karat Soul sings about what's "Down Below the Street."
(First: Episode 2556)
Cartoon A letter "P" sits on an island before a rotating sunset. The ridges of the letter "P" moves along the letter and flash in different colors.
(First: Episode 0452)

SCENE 4 Speedy now paints a portrait of Big Bird. At first, he forgets to put in his beak, then he forgets his legs. Finally, he remembers every part of the body, but he gives Big Bird a mustache. He remedies this by sticking a mustache on Big Bird's actual beak, matching the painting.
Cartoon Edgar Turtle plays the banjo as some kids sing the "Bird Song."
(First: Episode 2415)
Film Children on a playground form the letters of the alphabet.
(First: Episode 1966)
Muppets Cookie Monster sings "Healthy Food."
(First: Episode 2404)
Animation OP words (Drop / stop / top / hop / pop)
(First: Episode 2886)
Film A zydeco band plays "Allons a Lafayette" while people dance.
(First: Episode 2498)
Squeal of Fortune title.jpg

Muppets Prairie Dawn and The Count are contestants on "Squeal of Fortune."
(First: Episode 2331)
Film A boy draws a picture of his friend, Kerry.
(First: Episode 2776)
Cartoon Sign Sounds: WET PAINT
(First: Episode 1136)

SCENE 5 Big Bird and Kaitlin announce the sponsors as Speedy rapidly paints them on a series of easels.


  • The original mural on Hooper's was noticeably fading as the series went on. Thus, in a previous season, the mural would be painted over brick by brick following each show taping until it became a blank wall. The producers wished to add a new mural and Nancy Sans volunteered to write an episode around it. "Speedy van Gough" was originally intended to be a Muppet character.[1]
  • In addition to using fast-motion for Speedy's painting process, chroma key is utilized by having a solid color Townsend uses to paint with replaced by whatever finished artwork is needed. The end result makes it appear that a simple brush stroke produces a wide variety of details and color.


  1. ↑ Writing for Television: Sesame Street panel at the Museum of TV & Radio, October 1, 1992.

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