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Evening at Pops was a long-running PBS series that aired from 1970 to 2005. It featured select performances of the Boston Pops.

Two such episodes over the years featured the cast of Sesame Street.


Arthur Fiedler watches Big Bird conduct the Pops.

Boston Pops program for the source concert, May 11, 1971

Boston Pops 1971 03.jpg

Evening at the Pops: A Special Program with Arthur Fiedler and Friends from Sesame Street aired on PBS on September 12, 1971.

This one-hour special was part of a series of music programs featuring the Boston Pops Orchestra. In this program, conductor Arthur Fiedler and the orchestra are joined by some of the Sesame Street regulars for an evening of entertainment, performed for an audience of children. The original concert was given the afternoon of May 11, 1971 and, per the program notes, "recorded by WGBH-TV for later telecast." A nearly identical concert, with some additional selections, occurred for an adult evening audience the previous night, May 10.

The orchestra opens the program with a selection of musical offerings, including Julius Fucik's "Entrance of the Gladiators" and Franz von Suppe's "Light Cavalry Overture." The orchestra then plays "Kid Stuff" (a medley arranged by Richard Hyman, including "The Mickey Mouse Club March" and used by the Pops as far back as 1959) and Burt Bacharach's "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head."

Then the music from Sesame Street begins in earnest. The orchestra plays the theme song; the soloists from Sesame Street (Gordon, Susan, Bob, Mr. Hooper, and Cookie Monster) give a performance of Leopold Mozart's Toy Symphony; Bob, Susan, Gordon and Mr. Hooper sing "I've Got Two"; and Kermit the Frog solos on "Bein' Green." Bob and Susan sing "The People in Your Neighborhood"; Big Bird delivers a mouthful with "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ"; Gordon and Mr. Hooper sing Everybody Wash", and while still bath-minded, Ernie sings "Rubber Duckie." Big Bird conducts the orchestra in "Count 5," and the entire cast sings the theme song, this time with lyrics.

The rebroadcast of the program on August 30, 1981 featured an introduction by John Williams. This version is available for viewing at the Paley Center for Media.

From Sesame Street Unpaved: "According to Danny Epstein, musical coordinator for Sesame Street, when the cast played ["Rubber Duckie"] with the Boston Pops (Big Bird conducted), the musicians were not allowed to squeeze rubber duckies in addition to playing their own instruments unless they were paid extra. Apparently, a rubber duckie was considered to be a second instrument, and each musician was supposed to receive additional pay if they played a second instrument. When it came time for the actual performance, only the percussion players squeezed the ducks. It was determined that the rubber duck was to be considered a percussion instrument."

Also from Sesame Street Unpaved: "During the performance [of "Rubber Duckie"] with the Boston Pops, Will Lee (Mr. Hooper) was to play a triangle. But he couldn't read sheet music, so he didn't know when his cues were. After trying several solutions, someone decided to tie a rope to Lee's leg. Offstage, Danny Epstein, the current musical coordinator, and Joe Raposo tugged the rope and flashed a signal flashlight whenever Lee was supposed to play."


Executive Producer/Producer/Director: William N. Cosel
Writer for Sesame Street: Jeff Moss
Symphony Orchestra: Boston Pops Orchestra
Conductor: Arthur Fiedler
Music Director: Joe Raposo
Muppet Performers: Jim Henson, Caroll Spinney, Frank Oz
Cast: Matt Robinson, Loretta Long, Bob McGrath, Will Lee



James Moody, Keith Lockhart, Hoots the Owl and Gordon (Roscoe Orman).


Rosita and Maria (Sonia Manzano)

Elmo and Keith Lockhart for Evening at Pops website promotion.

Thirty years after Big Bird conducted the Boston Pops, Sesame Street returned to Boston Symphony Hall to record a concert that aired on August 9, 2001.

The episode was advertised with the following solicitation:

β€œMany of the 1970s Sesame Street fans in the audience now have families of their own, making the reunion show a treat for the kid in everyone. The musical Muppets help Keith Lockhart and the Pops play a selection of lively tunes from the Sesame Street book of favorites. Also on the bill, a live sneak preview of an upcoming Children's Television Workshop video performance featuring music from Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, starring everyone's favorite furry red monster, Elmo. Other special appearances include Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Rosita, Hoots the Owl, and their human friends, Maria, Alan, Bob, and Gordon. Jazz vocalist Diane Schuur fills out this imagination-driven program, singing a delightful rendition of "From Your Head." Saxophone great James Moody joins the show for the Sesame favorite, "Put Down the Duckie."”


Sonia Manzano as Maria
Bob McGrath as Bob
Alan Muraoka as Alan
Roscoe Orman as Gordon
And starring Jim Henson's Sesame Street Muppets:
Kevin Clash as Elmo & Hoots
Caroll Spinney as Big Bird & Oscar
Carmen Osbahr as Rosita
with Matt Vogel

Concert Program

  • Elmo, Bob, Gordon, Maria, and Alan:
"Elmo's World Theme": Words and music by Tony Geiss, arranged by Mike Renzi
"The People in Your Neighborhood": Words and music by Jeff Moss, special lyrics by Christine Ferraro, arranged by Lee Norris
  • Rosita and Maria:
"Sing/Canta": Words and music by Joe Raposo, Spanish lyrics by Emilio Delgado, arranged by Dave Conner
  • Big Bird:
"Sing After Me": Words by Tony Geiss, music by Sam Pottle, arranged by Sam Pottle
  • Elmo, Rosita, Bob, Gordon, Maria, and Alan:
"What Makes Music?": Words and music by Joe Raposo, special lyrics by Christine Ferraro, arranged by Mike Renzi
  • Oscar the Grouch:
"Noise": Words by Emily Kingsley, special lyrics by Christine Ferraro, music by Sam Pottle, arranged by Mike Renzi
  • Hoots and Gordon with James Moody on saxophone:
"Put Down the Duckie": Words by Christopher Cerf and Norman Stiles, music by Christopher Cerf, arranged by Mike Renzi
  • Conducted by Big Bird:
"The Stars and Stripes Forever!": Composed by John Philip Sousa
"From Your Head": Words and music by Jeff Moss, arranged by Mike Renzi
  • Rosita and Alan:
"Imagination Song": Words and music by Joe Raposo, arranged by Mike Renzi
  • Elmo and Bob:
"Peter and the Wolf": Composed by Sergei Prokofiev
  • Sesame Street sing-along with the cast and audience:
"Rubber Duckie," "'C' is for Cookie," "Bein' Green," "Somebody Come and Play," "I Love Trash," "ABC-DEF-GHI," "Sesame Street Theme": Arranged by Mike Renzi