Sesame Street
Baby Bear learns to count backwards
Air date January 23, 1998
Season Season 29 (1997-1998)
Written by Sara Compton
Directed by Emily Squires
Sponsors U, 0


Picture Segment Description

SCENE 1 At daycare, Gina tells Baby Bear, Zoe and the kids they're going to learn to count backwards today. Baby Bear claims he already knows how, faces backwards and begins counting. He tries doing it the correct way, but can't even make it past 10. He begs Gina to teach him.
Film Farmer McFay counts 40 fruits from the season's bumper crop.
(First: Episode 3228)
Cartoon A boy finds a set of doors with animals that make the wrong sound, and swaps the doors to correct them.
(First: Episode 2711)
Celebrity Melissa Etheridge sings "Like the Way U Does."
(First: Episode 3529)
Cartoon Students raise their hands and name words that begin with "U."
Artist: Fred Garbers
(First: Episode 3553)
Film The letter U dances at the beach.
(First: Episode 3529)
Muppets Ernie & Bert — At the beach, Ernie notices that Bert is missing; all he sees is Bert's hat. Sherlock Hemlock helps find Bert, and in the process, discovers that Ernie accidentally buried Bert under the sand.
(First: Episode 0278)
Film A Japanese boy plays taiko drums in the park.
(First: Episode 3153)
Cartoon "Island of Emotion"
Artist: Sally Cruikshank
(First: Episode 2822)
SCENE 2 Gina sings and plays piano, leading the day care group in a song about "Counting Backwards."
Animation Ocean countdown 10-1
(First: Episode 2848)

Muppets In Search of Fish - Wolfgang the Seal tries to look for fish at the New York Aquarium.
(First: Episode 3528)
Song "Zero Song": A female voiceover sings about the food that keeps being taken away to make 0.
Arist: Jane Aaron
(First: Episode 3003)
Muppets / Celebrity Gladys Ormphby is approached by Cookie Monster, who begs for cookies. Gladys sharply insists that she has zero cookies, so Cookie Monster eats her pocket book instead, then hungers after her sweater and hairnet.
Cartoon A girl's friend tries to guess how many elephants she saw at the zoo today; the answer is zero.
(First: Episode 3609)
Film Footage of kids playing professions, alternating with footage of analogous real-life jobs.
(First: Episode 2811)
Film The floating kids form a square
(First: Episode 3132)
Cartoon The Four Squares sing "It's Hip To Be a Square."
Artists: Vincent Cafarelli & Candy Kugel
(First: Episode 2615)
SCENE 3 Baby Bear attempts to count backwards, until he's interrupted by a visiting Goldilocks, who finishes it for him. Baby Bear gets very infuriated because he did not want any help.
Cartoon A little boy describes a time when he got angry after his toy truck was destroyed by a big kid.
Artist: ArtistMike
(First: Episode 2764)
Song "My Friend U"
Muppets SuperBaby finds the letter U.
(First: Episode 3595)
Cartoon U knocks on the door of P's apartment. When she answers the door, they go UP.
Artist: ArtistMike
(First: Episode 3658)

Muppets Big Bird's Video Postcards
Big Bird visits a Puerto Rican casita in East Harlem. He tries to find out what people do there, but everyone is too busy raising chickens, planting tomatoes, cooking and planning music to answer.
(First: Episode 3018)
Cartoon "Family Dance"
Artist: Karen Aqua
(First: Episode 3487)
SCENE 4 Gina advises Goldilocks to not help Baby Bear while he counts. Baby Bear starts counting and Goldilocks tries hard to restraint herself from joining. Baby Bear is able to count all the way down to 0!
Song Joe Raposo sings "Frog Struggle Song."
(First: Episode 0492)
Animation Two frogs demonstrate up and down.
(First: Episode 3225)

Muppets / Celebrity Gymnast Dominique Dawes demonstrates up, down, fast and slow for Telly.
Song "See Like a Bird" (Robin)
(First: Episode 3682)
Cartoon A bird talks to a girl about what's inside the street. When she questions his credibility, he stammers, "A little worm told me!"
Artist: John Korty
(First: Episode 1918)
Muppets "Elmo's Rap Alphabet"
(First: Episode 3456)
Animation Wooden shapes group themselves by color, then regroup by shape, then assemble themselves into a rocket ship.
(First: Episode 3229)
SCENE 5 Zoe and Baby Bear play "Liftoff!," a game where they count backwards and pretend to be rocket ships taking off into space.
Cartoon Flash Gizmo, Space Cadet
Fast and slow
Film Two kids play drums as animated kid-drawn figures clap with the beat.
(First: Episode 2847)
Muppets While shopping in a China store, Simon Soundman helps Old McDonald find his lost animal - however his animal sounds attract animals to barge into the fragile store. (beginning edited)
(First: Episode 3068)
Song "Learning to Swim"
(First: Episode 3592)
Animation A group of round crayons draws a house, and is hesitant to let a square yellow crayon join, until it draws the sun. They all cooperate to make a rainbow.
(First: Episode 3105)

SCENE 6 Baby Bear shows Gina the different ways he can count backwards while she announces the sponsors and status of Slimey's space journey.
COMING SOON Coming Soon on Sesame Street: Baby Bear pretends to be a teddy bear for Rosita.


Picture Segment Description
INTRO In the 1999 rerun, the season 30–32 intro sequence is used in place of the season 29 opening.
Muppets Muppet & Kid Moment — Grover and Meghan pretend to go to the moon.
(First: Episode 3696)
This segment replaced the Ernie and Bert sketch in the 1999 rerun.
Muppets Worms in Space form shapes.
(First: Episode 3756)
This segment replaced the "Floating Kids" film in the 1999 rerun.
1041newsflash.jpg Muppets Sesame Street News Flash: In a take on the "Hey Diddle Diddle" nursery rhyme, Kermit the Frog interviews Natalie the cow and her cat manager as she prepares to jump over the moon. Natalie plans to break the usual cow stereotype by doing this jump. After the cat plays a fanfare on his fiddle, she makes the jump and crash lands back to Earth, where she is praised and congratulated for her jump.
(First: Episode 0634)
This segment replaced the sketch with Telly and Dominique Dawes in the 1999 rerun.
Muppets Ernie's Show and Tell
Ben shows Ernie his toy calculator that he received from his dad.
This segment replaced the Simon Soundman sketch in the 1999 rerun.
Cartoon Hands embrace the words LOVE. (new music added)
(First: Episode 0926)
This segment replaced the crayons animation in the 1999 rerun.


  • This episode was among a select group of Season 29 episodes that were reran during the last few weeks of 1999, shortly before Season 31 began airing the following January. This particular episode aired on November 18 and December 9, and also retained its closing credits sequence despite airing on Thursdays.

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