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Law and Order: Special Letters Unit title card.


The cast of Law & Order: Special Letters Unit

BearOnPatrol SPU

Bear on Patrol: Special Produce Unit title card.

Law & Order is a television police procedural and legal drama set and shot in New York City. The award-winning Law & Order and its several spin-off series ("Special Victims Unit", "Criminal Intent", "Trial by Jury", "Los Angeles") are broadcast on the NBC network and syndicated on other networks. The franchise totals more than 700 hour-long episodes. Foreign adaptations include Law & Order: UK, Paris enquêtes criminelles and Russian adaptations of SVU and CI. Several Law & Order franchise cast members (such as Christopher Meloni and Richard Belzer) have appeared in Henson/Muppet productions. Additionally, the format of the shows and the large number of episodes require a substantial amount of non-recurring and incidental characters per episode (witnesses, judges, attorneys, etc.) As a result many Sesame Street cast members have played guest roles in episodes, often returning as different characters. When Sonia Manzano appeared as a trial witness in a 2004 episode, she remarked that "the sound guy kept calling me Maria and telling me he grew up watching me. It was funny."[1]

Muppet Mentions[]


"Mo-Mo," an Elmo parody on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

  • In the sixth season Law & Order episode "Savior" (March 13, 1996), Detective Rey Curtis says of a murder suspect "That guy pulls more strings than Jim Henson."
  • In the Law & Order episode "American Jihad" (October 2, 2002), Detective Lennie Briscoe retorts with the sarcastic wisecrack "I guess I missed that day on Sesame Street" after a suspect makes an overly technical remark about medical research.
  • In the Law & Order episode "Patient Zero" (October 8, 2003), when a uniformed cop uses euphemisms to avoid even mild curse words, Briscoe says, "What precinct are you from? Sesame Street?"
  • In the Law & Order: UK episode "Survivor" (7 October 2010), Sergeant Ronnie Brooks questions a suspect if a prison officer piss off a few of his pals on Fraggle Rock.
  • In the Law & Order: SVU episode "Imprisoned Lives" (September 25, 2013), the detectives are called to an incident involving a Times Square walk-around performer as a colorful monster "MO-MO." Rollins wonders "Again? What is it with these guys?" The character (played by Muppet performer Rick Lyon) is a reference to the many unauthorized Times Square costume characters, including Elmo, and various incidents in which they have been reported as aggressively panhandling, entering altercations with tourists, or been arrested. "MO-MO" later reappeared in the episode "Devastating Story" (April 1, 2015) where he is seen on a poster.
  • In the Law & Order: SVU episode "Dissonant Voices" (November 6, 2013), the detectives are investigating allegations against a popular and openly gay music teacher (Billy Porter) made by his pre-school students. Because he is also a voice coach, some of the squad is a little concerned about the overall nature of the case given his celebrity status and sexuality, to which Tutuola references the similar scenarios involving Kevin Clash by remarking, "That's gonna change. Everyone loved Elmo too."


  • Sesame Street Season 37 brought "Law and Order: Special Letters Unit", a parody of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, to the show's line-up.

In the alphabet system, there are 26 letters. The detectives who investigate these ABCs are members of an elite squad called the Special Letters Unit. These are their stories.

The sketch features Anything Muppet caricatures of Special Victims Unit cast members Meloni, Hargitay, Belzer, and Florek on a case for a missing letter M. The sketch also parodies the show's format and infamous musical sting. As they investigate, they find things that start with the letter M, including a cow named Murray (Eric Jacobson) that makes mmooo sounds and a mallard (Tyler Bunch). In the end, the detectives recognize the missing letter M (Matt Vogel) walking into the police station wearing a phony moustache, and the case is solved.
The sketch appears as a bonus feature on the North American DVD release of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit season six.
In a TV Guide interview, Sesame Street producer Carol-Lynn Parente expressed interest in taping more segments for Season 38, possibly featuring the voices of the original actors. Special Victims Unit is filmed and produced in Kaufman Astoria Studios, the same studio Sesame Street is filmed in. However, while no other Muppets segments have been produced, several cast members appeared in Season 38, mostly filmed behind their desks.
  • As an example of that, in Episode 4148 from Season 38, Christopher Meloni from Law & Order: SVU appeared in a "Word of the Day" segment. He was introduced with the Law & Order series' "chung-chung" transitional sound, and appeared behind a SVU police report to discuss "mail."
  • In the 2011 film The Muppets, the CDE prime-time schedule chart showing all network offerings spoofed the ubiquity of the Law & Order franchise on NBC, with It's the Law, It's the Law: CVS, It's the Law: SUV, and multiple reruns of the franchise.


Law & Order[]

Cast Members:

Guest Appearances:

Muppet performers/Sesame Street regulars
Other guests:
  • Stephen Bienskie played Simon ("Deep Vote," 2001)
  • Sônia Braga played Helen ("Genius," 2003)
  • Alan Campbell played Nolan Steel ("Driven," 2008)
  • Chad Carstarphen as Kevin ("Punk," 1998)
  • Chris Cooper played Roy Payne ("Blood Libel," 1996)
  • Claire Danes played Tracy Brandt ("Skin Deep", 1992)
  • Taye Diggs played Sky Bell ("Good Girl," 1996)
  • Julie Dretzin played Laura Bauer ("Golden Years," 1994)
  • Frances Foster played Mary Tillar ("Mother Love," 1993)
  • Keith Hernandez played Drew Harding in ("Wager," 1994)
  • Ellen Greene played Karen Gaines in "Bitter Fruit" (1995)
  • Bob Gunton played Gil Hines ("Happily Ever After," 1990)
  • Russell Horton played Markham ("Prescription for Death," 1990)
  • James Earl Jones played Horace McCoy ("Profile," 1993)
  • Kelly Karbacz played Jenny Snyder ("Dazzled," [2002)
  • John Bedford Lloyd played Jonathan Ryder ("Blood is Thicker," 1992), Dr. Christian Varick ("Double Blind," 1996), and Prentiss's Lawyer ("New York Minute," 2005)
  • William H. Macy played Assistant U.S. Attorney John McCormack ("Everybody's Favorite Bagman" (1990), and Jack Powell ("Sisters of Mercy," 1992)
  • Mary Mara played Sally Knight ("Right to Counsel," 1993) and Ms. Sharkey ("Killerz," 1999)
  • Julianna Margulies played Lt. Ruth Mendoza ("Conduct Unbecoming," 1993)
  • Chris Marquette played Ricky ("Double Down," 1997)
  • Michael McKean played Bill Nolan ("Called Home," 2008), and Elias Grace ("Mega", 2000)
  • Brad Oscar played Paul ("Born Again," 2002)
  • Pippin Parker played Kleinman ("Star Struck," 1992)
  • Mandy Patinkin played Glenn Fordyce/Levi 'The Griffin' March ("Absentia," 2003)
  • Lonny Price played Dr. Lieber ("Sonata for Solo Organ," 1991) and Frank Hoover ("Prince of Darkness," 1991)
  • Kim Raver played Wendy Karmel ("Homesick," 1996)
  • Rex Robbins played Steinman ("Intolerance," 1992) and Kettering ("L.A.: Turnaround," 1997)
  • Sam Rockwell played Randy Borland ("Intolerance," 1992) and Weddeker ("Manhood," 1993)
  • John Spencer played Howard Morton ("Prescription for Death," 1990)
  • Bill Walsh played ESU Policeman #2 ("Soldier of Fortune," 2001)
  • Ellis E. Williams played Ray Bell in "A Death in the Family" (1991)
  • Louis Zorich played Judge Milton Erdheim ("Indifference," 1990) and Judge Edgar Hynes ("Jeopardy," 1995)

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit[]

Cast Members:

Guest Appearances:

Muppet performers/Sesame Street regulars
Other guests:

Law & Order: Criminal Intent[]

Cast Members:

Guest Appearances:

Sesame Street regulars/Muppet performers
Other guests:
  • Tom Arnold played Rev. Calvin Riggins ("Brother's Keeper," 2007)
  • Judd Hirsch played Ben Elkins ("Pravda", 2003)
  • Kelly Karbacz played Renata Virgini ("Unchained", 2005)
  • John Krasinski played Jace Gleesing ("Mad Hops", 2004)
  • Liza Minnelli played Bethany Harner ("Masquerade", 2006)
  • Selena Nelson played Joan Breuer ("Chinoiserie," 2002)
  • Doris Roberts played Virginia Harrington ("Privilege", 2007)
  • Eddie Pepitone played Court Deputy ("The Insider", 2002) and Counterman ("The Pilgrim", 2002)
  • Paul Shaffer appeared as himself ("Vanishing Act", 2008)
  • Bill Walsh played Detective Parsons ("Stress Position", 2005) and Fireman ("Enemy Within", 2001)

Law & Order: Trial by Jury[]

Cast Members:

Guest Appearances:

Law & Order: Los Angeles[]

Cast Members:

Law & Order: Organized Crime[]

Cast Members

Guest Appearances

Sesame Street regulars/Muppet performers
  • Jennifer Barnhart puppeteered Richard Wheatley's octopus in "Say Hello to My Little Friends" and "An Inferior Product" (2021)
  • Martin P. Robinson puppeteered Richard Wheatley's octopus in "Say Hello to My Little Friends"

Video Games[]

  • Julianne Buescher voiced Nicole Beaumont and Claire Thomas in "Justice Is Served" (2004) and Jenna Kirkwood, Jennifer Lee, Carla Meyers, Stephanie Novitsky, Barbara Rodriguez, Rosa Sanchez and Rachael Warren in "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (2005).
  • Barry Dennen voiced a crime scene tech, George Bennett, Frederick Grant, Tom Kirkwood, Tony Piovani, and Gerald Stokes in "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (2005).
  • Sam McMurray voiced Jack Foster and Henry Haskins in "Justice Is Served" (2004)
  • Kevin Michael Richardson voiced Mark Rawlins in "Dead on the Money" (2002) and "Double or Nothing" (2003)
  • Florence Stanley voiced Judge Emily Greenwood in "Dead on the Money" (2002) and "Double or Nothing" (2003), also playing Mrs. Yost in the latter


  1. Madden, Mekeisha. "Sesame Street Celebrates 35 Years of Teaching Kids." The Detroit News. 2004
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