Sesame Street
Ruthie's birthday
Air date April 30, 1998
Season Season 29 (1997-1998)
Written by Sonia Manzano
Sponsors Z, 11


Picture Segment Description

SCENE 1 Ruthie enters Finders Keepers, and is surprised at the amount of mail she has today. She opens a few birthday cards, and remembers to tell the viewer that it's her birthday today. She then decides to close the shop and take some time off for herself. Oscar enters, and upon learning that it's her birthday and she's closing the shop, asks her if he can grab a few things upstairs, just so he can waste her time and make a mess of the place, and then change his mind at the last minute.
Song John Pizzarelli sings about feeling "happy and proud" on your birthday.
(First: Episode 3421)
Muppets Ernie & BertErnie won't let Bert into the apartment. At first, Bert is sad -- but then he thinks Ernie might be hiding something, which makes him mad. He demands to be let in -- and finds that Ernie has thrown him a surprise party. Guests at the party include Roosevelt Franklin, Herbert Birdsfoot, Prairie Dawn, Sherlock Hemlock, Grover, Guy Smiley, and a Mailman.
(First: Episode 0461)
Film Girls sing a jump-rope rhyme about naming a puppy.
(First: Episode 3279)
Cartoon Three characters try to watch a baseball game over a fence, then cooperate by stacking their blocks.
(First: Episode 0478)
Celebrity Big Bird and some kids have run out of ideas for a game to play. Jason Alexander shows them a fun game, causing him to miss his bus.
(First: Episode 3557)
Cartoon Three scribbles exercise.
Artist: Fred Garbers
(First: Episode 1579)
Film Kids dance around at gymnastics to "Rockin' Robin."
(First: Episode 3147)
Animation A television reveals many Z words.
(First: Episode 3699)
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 Birds pop balloons of all the letters of the alphabet, making them lowercase. (new music added)
(First: Episode 2552)
Cast "Between You and Me" (Gina and Savion)
(First: Episode 3133)
Cartoon A mouse demonstrates between by squeezing between two elephants.
(First: Episode 2750)

SCENE 2 Oscar notices Miles, Gabi, Gordon, Susan, Maria, Luis, Baby Bear and Papa Bear gathered on the steps, and accidentally informs them that it's Ruthie's birthday today. Luis decides that they should give her a surprise party. Oscar thinks Ruthie closing the shop will make it inconvenient for them to do so, but he's wrong. Everyone divides up jobs, and Baby Bear learns that his job is to stall Ruthie and keep her in the store. Will he do a good job?
Fido's birthday.jpg
Song "It's Fido's Birthday" - a song about a birthday party for a goldfish.
(First: Episode 3609)
Animation Five goldfish, take away 2, leaves 3. (new music added)
(First: Episode 2252)
Muppets The Count, dressed up as Elvis, sings "You Gotta Count My Blue Suede Shoes."
(First: Episode 3231)
Cartoon Footprints move over to the tune of "Here Are Some Things".
(First: Episode 0505)

Insert "Professor Television" (Bill Irwin) tries to demonstrate open and closed, but his efforts backfire.
(First: Episode 3637)
Cartoon CLOSED (sheep running through door)
(First: Episode 3743)

SCENE 3 Baby Bear approaches Finders Keepers, and is disappointed when he finds the store closed. He sees Ruthie inside the store, and does the best he can to keep her inside the store by asking her to dance, arm-wrestle etc. He then "feels" a hibernating nap coming on, and falls asleep in her arms, which makes it hard for Ruthie to move around. She calls Papa Bear and tells him her problem, but he tells her to make Baby Bear as comfortable as possible. She and Baby Bear lie down on the couch.
Song Joe Raposo sings "Everybody Sleeps" (re-filmed version)
(First: Episode 3026)
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 Kid jungle explorers sight a wild letter Z.
(First: Episode 3496)
Cartoon The Typewriter: Z for Zoo
(First: Episode 0776)
Muppets Snuffy sings "Bubble on My Snuffle."
(First: Episode 3338)
Film Jerry Nelson, Roscoe Orman and Fran Brill narrate "Great Moments at the Sink," in which mud-pie champion Sasha Smith washes her hands.
(First: Episode 3665)
Cartoon "Big Kid Photo Album"
(First: Episode 3441)
Song "Do the Jelly" with Celina
(First: Episode 3160)
Animation Amelia likes to pretend she can fly.
(First: Episode 2902)
Muppets Kermit explains the importance of listening, using the Two-Headed Monster as an example.
(First: Episode 1767)
Pinball 11.jpg
Cartoon Pinball Number Count #11
Artist: Jeff Hale
(First: Episode 0988)
Film Milo Counting: 11
(First: Episode 3585)
Animation Clown Honking #11
(First: Episode 3196)
Muppets Zoe, Herry, Grover and Elmo sing "Fur."
Animation Stop-motion representation of "Happy Birthday," with balloons, gummi bears, glitter, etc.
(First: Episode 3358)


SCENE 4 Baby Bear wakes up, and notices that Ruthie has fallen asleep. He gives the signal, and everyone quietly enters the store and hides behind the furniture. He wakes her up, and everyone pops out and yells "Surprise!" and then sing "Happy Birthday to You." Ruthie shows them the cards she got from her family, and everyone says they count as her family too. Oscar announces the sponsors and reports the status of Slimey's spaceship (and wishes he would hurry), and everyone treats themselves to cake.
COMING SOON Coming soon on Sesame Street: Gordon offers Alice the choice of either blocks or a puzzle to play with. She chooses the blocks, but right when Snuffy chooses the puzzle, she decides she wants the puzzle instead.

Previous episode: Next episode:
Episode 3773 Episode 3775
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.