Sesame Street First and Last

Sesame Street First and Last

1970, video.


Making the 1970 version.


1979 version

"First and Last" is a Sesame Street sketch that originally appeared in Season 1 (First: Episode 0116). A new version was made in the late 1970s. (First: Episode 1307)


A group of Monsters previously seen in sketches on The Ed Sullivan Show, led by a hippie, play a game where they march in a line and then switch direction. A nameless monster (who would later become Grover) wants to be first and not last. The hippie reluctantly agrees, but soon the line turns in the opposite direction, and the early Grover is once again last. This continues on and eventually leads to him being trampled by his friends. Beautiful Day Monster appears but is referred to as "Fred."

A behind the scenes picture of the Muppeteers working on the sketch was used as the cover for the 2005 book Sesame Street and the Reform of Children's Television.



The skit was remade in the late 1970s with Grover and other Muppet monsters. The basic plot and joke is the same as the original version, only this time it's delivered more like a lecture about the two opposites. Grover wants to show what it means to be first in line, but just as he starts to explain it, his friends turn one hundred eighty degrees. Grover runs to the front of the line, and they turn again. This process continues until Grover finally faints with exasperation. Maurice, Harry, and Bruce observe that he is the first one to fall out and join him one by one.