Itzhak Perlman (b. 1945) is an Israeli virtuoso violinist and teacher. He is one of the most famous violinists of the late 20th century.
Between seasons 12 and 13, Perlman was joined by Telly Monster on the tuba for a duet (First: Episode 1446), played a Bach Partita for the kids (First: Episode 1484), talked about getting around with disabilities over lunch with Big Bird and a boy named Rafael (First: Episode 1547), took turns playing the violin with a girl who noted that some things are easy for him are hard for her (and vice versa) (First: Episode 1563), and featured on stage with Oscar the Grouch at Grouch Symphony Hall (First: Episode 1658). The segment with the girl playing violin was included in the Developing Self-Esteem series and featured in VH1's special The Greatest TV Moments: Sesame Street Music A-Z as a notable moment in the show's history.
In season 17, he featured prominently in the street scenes for Episode 2217 (playing Pagliacci for Placido Flamingo and letting Slimey ride his bow), and later appeared in the celebrity version of "Put Down the Duckie" (strumming his violin in Hooper's Store).
Perlman returned for Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration participating in new performances of "Put Down the Duckie" and "Sing." While on set, he recorded a "Sesame Street Memory" video with Telly as they recall their duet scene.
In 1986, Perlman was one of the human leads in the first season of Shalom Sesame, a co-production between Sesame Street and the Israeli Sesame show, Rechov Sumsum. Perlman appears in each episode of the first season, typically at the beginning to set up the particular show's theme, and often later gives a violin performance. Perlman later made guest spots in the episodes "Aleph-Bet Telethon" and "Kids Sing Israel."
- In the video Rowlf's Rhapsodies with the Muppets, Rowlf tells Gonzo, "You are standing in the very piano sold to me by Itzhak Perlman when he remembered he was really a violinist!"
- In the Sesame Street video Sing Along, Sully warms up his piano-playing fingers to ready himself for a song. The panache with which he plays prompts Big Bird to note that "he's a regular Itzhak Perlman."
- Episode 2627 of Sesame Street features a Grouch violin virtuoso named Itzyuck Perlmud.
- In a Season 23 sketch on Sesame Street, Elmo and Prairie Dawn attempt to play a minuet together, with Elmo on violin and Prairie on piano. Elmo causes several complications, forcing Prairie to constantly give him orders. He comments that Itzhak Perlman doesn't get the same treatment. (First: Episode 2988)