Sesame Street
Benny Rabbit tries to avoid a surprise birthday party
Air date December 7, 1995
Season Season 27 (1995-1996)
Written by Tony Geiss
Sponsors I, 2


Picture Segment Description

SCENE 1 Big Bird and some kids greet Benny, who refuses to tell them what day it is ... which makes them curious. The only clues he gives are that it's a day that comes only once a year, and that it's someone's birthday. But whose birthday is it, they wonder? Gina's? Barkley's? They pry more clues out of Benny, who says that the one with the birthday has long ears and a little hat, and works in a hotel. They finally figure out that it's his birthday, but he makes it clear that he doesn't want a surprise birthday party. When he leaves for downtown, Big Bird and the kids agree that maybe he does want a surprise party, and decide to make one for him ...
Cartoon The detective sees a lever, and thinks about what might happen if he pulls the lever, being prepared for anything. (new sound effects added)
(First: Episode 2613)
Song Kevin Clash sings "(I Eat With) Chopsticks" over a film of kids doing so.
(First: Episode 3270)
Cartoon Kids sing "Happy Birthday" while the word "happy birthday" is on the screen followed shortly by an animated birthday cake.
(First: Episode 3005)
Muppets Kingston Livingston III sings "A Cat Had a Birthday."
(First: Episode 3331)
Cartoon While fishing one day, a boy catches the letters of the alphabet. Frustrated at not having caught any fish to eat, he decides to use his catch for alphabet soup.
(First: Episode 0004)

SCENE 2 Gina sets Stinky outside to get some sun (which plants need). Stinky appreciates this gesture, even though he'd be fine indoors. Gina tells him to wait for her as she goes to bake a cake for Benny's surprise party, but Stinky becomes worried, because how can a plant get a birthday present for someone? Gina suggests that she buy a present and give it to Stinky to give to Benny, but Stinky thinks Gina already has enough to do, and that he'll obtain a present by "just standing here being a plant ... somehow ..."
When Gina leaves, Stinky ponders what present he'll give Benny. He decides on a pair of socks, which suddenly arrives in front of him! He turns them down, deciding that "socks aren't special enough."
Cartoon "Four Friends" - a reggae song about a group of animals who wash a car together.
Artist: Michael Sporn
(First: Episode 2242)

Muppets Colambo: The Great Plum Plunder
Colambo, in his office, decides to have a piece of Christmas pie, when he notices a plum missing from it. He asks the janitor, Little Jack Horner, some questions about what he was doing in the corner. It turns out that Jack had stuck in his thumb and pulled out the plum.
On the title card, the story is credited to J. Mazzarino.
(First: Episode 3121)
Animation Ornate I's swing through the air to a song.
(First: Episode 2921)
Muppets Monsterpiece Theater: The King and I
(First: Episode 2727)
Animation I / i Gregorian Chant
(First: Episode 3342)
Song "Fixin' My Hair"
(First: Episode 2734)

SCENE 3 Big Bird and the kids smell the carrot cake that Gina is making for Benny's surprise party. They detect Benny coming back, and continue playing hopscotch nonchalantly, wondering out loud what they're going to do next. Meanwhile, Benny smells the cake, and is prepared to be surprised by Big Bird and the kids, especially when he overhears them saying they'll count to 20, and then "do it" - but by "it" they mean "The Snuffle Shuffle" dance. Benny interrupts their dancing, and wonders why they haven't surprised him with the cake. He then shrugs, and Snuffle-shuffles along with them.
Animation In a classic painting, a boy blows a bubble. It pops, and some kids yell "Surprise!"
(First: Episode 3311)
Muppets Ernie & BertErnie brings a surprise home, and he tells Bert to guess what it is. The surprise turns out to be a puppy. Bert wants to call the puppy "Norman"; Ernie suggests "Godzilla the Wonder-Dog".
(First: Episode 1956)
Cartoon A dog-shaped television changes channels until it comes to a channel of itself.
Artist: Keith Haring
(First: Episode 3045)
Film Looking for shapes in a metal junkyard (Maria voiceover)
(First: Episode 2702)
Cartoon The Four Squares sing "It's Hip To Be a Square."
Artists: Vincent Cafarelli & Candy Kugel
(First: Episode 2615)
Film The McDoubles (Batty and Crooky) count to 10 on their fingers.
(First: Episode 3224)
Animation Animated quilt patterns (gradient background)
(First: Episode 1470)

SCENE 4 Big Bird and the kids are playing hide-and-seek - at least, that's what Benny thinks they want him to believe. He thinks they're hiding so they can jump out and surprise him with a party. Big Bird finishes counting to 40, and calls out, "Anyone around my base is it!" Benny attempts to sabotage their supposed plan by jumping out and yelling "Surprise!" but Big Bird just tags him. Benny remains confused, but gives in to their game and starts counting while Big Bird and the kids hide.
Cartoon A man counts 40 stars at night.
(First: Episode 2243)
Song "Elbows and Knees"
(First: Episode 2641)
Muppets Grover's Health Minute: Kermit the Frog and Grover talk about teeth. Grover notices that Kermit does not have any teeth at all, so he puts a pair of teeth in Kermit's mouth. Grover says to see a "tooth checker," to eat crunchy things like bananas and to clean teeth with a "tooth comb."
(First: Episode 1949)
Cartoon Some yucky little teeth sing praise of Mr. Toothbrush, who brushes them.
Artist: ArtistMike
(First: Episode 3211)
SCENE 5 Stinky, inspired by the previous segment, decides to get a toothbrush for Benny. But how can a plant get a toothbrush if plants don't walk?
Mr. Handford overhears Stinky moaning, and sees if he's okay. Stinky says he wants a toothbrush for Benny, but Mr. Handford says Benny already has one. Mr. Handford offers to help Stinky think of another present, but Stinky politely turns him down. Once he leaves, Stinky asks the viewer, "Got any ideas?"
Animation The word TOY is displayed, followed by a wind-up drum-playing panda.
(First: Episode 3002)
Film Lucia, who lives in Argentina, narrates a segment where she visits her abuelo's chocolate factory, where they make candy out of chocolate and mazapan.
(First: Episode 3171)
Cartoon Super 2 solves problems by doubling things.
(First: Episode 1643)

Muppets Game Show: The How Many Game??
Guy Smiley tells The Two-Headed Monster to find two things in 30 seconds. They bring one bowling ball, four sheep and three cows, all of which don't count. Suddenly, they realize they have two heads, which means they win! Little Bo Peep appears looking for her sheep, a train appears out of nowhere, and the scene ends in chaos.
(First: Episode 2076)
Cartoon The Bellhop is told that there are two kids, Betty and Bobby Blobby, who are lost in the lobby, and he must help them find their parents.
(First: Episode 2503)
Muppets / Celebrity All the kids are too busy to enjoy looking at Telly's triangle with him. He runs into John Goodman, who happens to be a hardcore triangle lover himself.
(First: Episode 3202)
Film The floating kids form a square
(First: Episode 3132)
Animation Sand I/i
(First: Episode 0619)
Muppets Harvey Kneeslapper asks a man, "Do you want me to keep an eye on your hat?" The man says yes. Harvey then puts a letter I on top of the man's hat, crushing it in the process.
(First: Episode 0288)
Animation I / i candles
(First: Episode 3107)
Muppets Cookie Monster goes to the bakery for a special birthday cookie. The baker lists all the ingredients of the cookie, as Cookie visualizes it. The visualized image looks so delicious that he eats it.
(First: Episode 0283)
Animation Stop-motion representation of "Happy Birthday," with balloons, gummi bears, glitter, etc.
(First: Episode 3358)


SCENE 6 Benny notices Stinky, Gina, Big Bird and the kids gathered in the play yard. His watch beeps, which means he has to get back to the hotel. He wonders out loud if there is a surprise waiting to happen. Gina does have something to say, and Benny thinks he beat her to it, but instead, she announces the sponsors. Benny suddenly feels sad that it's time to say goodbye, when Gina and the rest of them yell out "SURPRISE!" Benny acts like he knew all along that they were going to surprise him, but he becomes enticed by the 24-carrot cake Gina presents.


Stinky finally presents his own gift: a flower! "This bud's for you, Benny!" Benny almost leaves for downtown, but Gina insists that he stick around, so he does. Instead of bunny slippers, Gina gives him a pair of Benny slippers - which he likes. Everyone gathers around for cake, and Gina announces the sponsors again.
COMING SOON Coming soon on Sesame Street: When Baby Bear finishes drawing a picture of Elmo, Elmo becomes relieved that he doesn't have to stand still anymore.


  • One of the socks in scene 2 would later be used for Lyle on Big Bag. His cohort has a similar design to the later Argyle McSock, who would be recreated in an argyle pattern.

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