Sesame Street
Plot Ruthie and Elmo sleepover at Big Bird's
Air date May 13, 1997
Season Season 28 (1996-1997)
Written by Judy Freudberg
Sponsors Z, 11


Picture Segment Description
SCENE 1 Elmo and Big Bird finish playing together at his nest, having had so much fun, Elmo doesn't want to leave. Big Bird proposes he sleep over and they call Elmo's mom for permission. She allows it, as long as they have adult supervision. They ask Ruthie to stay over and she accepts, then calls Elmo's mom to explain the situation. Elmo's mom doesn't think he has everything he might need for a sleepover and proposes they change the night, but they insist on tonight and Ruthie supplies Elmo with some basic sleepover amenities. She wonders what she will need for the sleepover, especially having never slept in a nest before.
Cartoon Pirates sing a doo-wop song about how they are preparing for their journey.
Artist: Michael Sporn
(EKA: Episode 2532)
Film At the harbor, kids learn about dolphins, and how to communicate with them using signals.
(First: Episode 3010)
Cartoon I am dry, he is wet (Shark fishing)
Artist: Cliff Roberts
(EKA: Episode 0309)
Celebrity Take 6 sings "Take 6," a song about themselves that counts to the number 6.
(First: Episode 3001)
Cartoon The detective sees a hippo bouncing on a trampoline, and wonders how the hippo can bounce, since hippos are heavy, but the hippo thinks that he is light.
(First: Episode 2537)
Film The letters of the alphabet are found in signs all over the city. (ska music, child voiceover)
SCENE 2 Big Bird and Elmo prepare for their sleepover and sing about the fun of "Staying Overnight with a Friend." Ruthie arrives with tons of supplies they might need and joins in on their song.
Film "Visiting Iesha": Olivia sleeps over at Iesha's house, and spend the morning together. Olivia is white and Iesha and her family is black. Next time, Iesha wants to visit Olivia's family.
(First: Episode 2756)
Animation The Letter Z in various typefaces.
(First: Episode 2855)
Muppets Telly and Zoe display things that begin with the letter Z. Telly brought such things as a (horse dressed like a) zebra, a zucchini, a zipper, and even a zydeco band, but Zoe only brought herself.
(First: Episode 3420)
Cartoon Chant Z/z
(First: Episode 3332)
Song "My New Computer"
(EKA: Episode 2857)
Cartoon A dog-shaped television
Animation inspired by Keith Haring
(First: Episode 3045)
SCENE 3 It's too early to go to sleep, so Ruthie teaches Big Bird and Elmo the traditional "Sleepover Dance."
Owlbirdcompromise Cartoon An owl and a bluebird work out a compromise.
(First: Episode 1493)
Film Bill Irwin performs a dance called "Body Parts Cooperation," which is commented on by Biff and Roxie Marie.
(First: Episode 3624)
Animation Counting up to 11 (African masks)
(First: Episode 3151)
Animation Rubber Stamp #11
(First: Episode 2885)
Animation Clown Honking #11
(First: Episode 3196)
SCENE 4 Everyone settles into Big Bird's nest, as Ruthie reads them Goodnight Moon. They then find things in the surrounding area to say "goodnight" too, including the moon above.
Cartoon Jerry Nelson sings "Moonshine."
(First: Episode 2775)
Film A boy is scared to go to sleep at night, until his dad tells him to use his imagination to calm himself down. He conducts a symphony with his toys.
(First: Episode 3271)
Cartoon Z for Zebu (new music added)
Artist: Bud Luckey
(EKA: Episode 1210)
Muppets Over the Top sing "ZZ Blues."
(First: Episode 2317)
Cartoon Z doesn't like its sleepy Z image -- Z can also be zany, and zip and zoom.
Artist: Fred Garbers
(First: Episode 3607)
Film Wegman's dogs are really sound sleepers - neither an alarm, nor a jackhammer nor an elephant will wake them up.
(First: Episode 3010)
Insert Hoots the Owl sings a special nighttime edition of “The People in Your Neighborhood."
(First: Episode 2619)
Cartoon The moon listens to everyone say "Good night" in different languages.
(EKA: Episode 2243)
Animation Before / after: Designs of a rainforest are painted on a chair.
(First: Episode 3129)

Muppets Ernie & BertThe Count Sleeps Over at Ernie & Bert's (Part 1)
The Count sleeps in Bert's bed while Bert sleeps on the couch. Ernie tells The Count that he can count sheep to get to sleep, but it never dawned on Ernie that the Count never gets tired of counting. He stays up all night counting sheep, to Ernie's detriment.
(First: Episode 0941)

Song "What's Inside?" (Cookie Monster cameo)
(First: Episode 3134)
Muppets Ernie & Bert: The Count Sleeps Over At Ernie & Bert's (Part 2)
It's the next morning. The Count had a good night, but he didn't sleep. His counting kept Ernie up, and now Ernie is walking and counting like a zombie.
(First: Episode 0941)
Cartoon A girl thinks she hears a monster doing a cha-cha outside her window, but it's only the wind and crickets. Her snores frighten the real monster.
Artist: Deanna Morse
(First: Episode 2951)
SCENE 5 Ruthie turns off the light, but struggles to find a comfortable way to sleep in the nest. She finally finds a comfortable (yet silly) position.


SCENE 5 cont'd Gordon and Susan pass by and decide to check on Big Bird's sleepover. They see everything is fine and leave them to sleep in peace. Gordon announces the sponsors.
COMING SOON Coming Soon on Sesame Street: Wolfgang the Seal is visited by his Fairy Godperson.


  • Ruthie's "Sleepover Dance" was recounted later in episode 3978.

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