Muppet Wiki

Kermiteye Welcome to Muppet Wiki!


Logging in offers an uninterrupted reading experience, even if you don't intend to edit pages.


Interested in helping out? Please visit Special:Community to learn how you can collaborate with the editing community.

READ MORE

Muppet Wiki
Advertisement
Muppet Wiki
45,177
pages
LittleJerryandtheMonotones2
SSMadSad

The group's only single, "Mad"/"Sad".

Monotones-Proud

Little Jerry and the Monotones pose for closing shot of "Proud."

MonotonesLineup2000

The band's final appearance in Episode 3898.

Little Jerry and the Monotones are a rock group on Sesame Street that first appeared in Season 2 in 1971.

The members of the band were Little Jerry as the frontman, backed by Big Jeffie along with Lavender and Pumpkin Anything Muppets, usually known as Chrissy and Rockin' Richard.

The band evolved from recurring Anything Muppet hippies that appeared in Muppet inserts, often in musical numbers, as early as Season 1. As with the nature of Anything Muppets, the physical puppets, clothes and facial features were often interchanged. One example is an insert with Grover on the word "exit," which sees the Green AM that would become Little Jerry with black hair rather than red. (First: Episode 0210)

The first appearances of the name "Little Jerry and the Monotones" include a verbal mention in Episode 0216, and on the second Sesame Street cast album. From there, the band members became personalities named after their primary performers; Little Jerry is named after Jerry Nelson, Big Jeffie after Jeff Moss, Chrissy after Christopher Cerf, and Rockin' Richard after Richard Hunt. Although not translated to a segment to show who is who, the members are introduced individually by name in the album-only song "Four."

The band usually consisted of a quartet, but later appearances changed the line up of members, including an extra unnamed Purple Anything Muppet in the song "Body Rhythms." In their appearance in Episode 2452 (1988), the group was reduced to a trio, consisting of Little Jerry, Big Jeffie, and another Fat Blue AM named Richie (performed by Richard Hunt). At this point, the group's previous hippie attire was replaced with more contemporary, yet still flashy clothes. A photograph of the trio later appeared as an autographed picture for Gina in Episode 2595 and again as a framed photo in Jackman Wolf's studio in the 1990 video Rock & Roll. In addition, the entire original group (complete with hippie garb) appear near the end of the video reprising their hit song "Telephone Rock." Little Chrissy of the Alphabeats has also been referenced as a member of the band in Episode 2867 and Episode 2972.

After ten years of absence, in Sesame Street Episode 3898 (2000), the group made a comeback appearance in a concert to perform "When You Move the Mouse." The group again is pared down to a trio, with the lavender member redesigned with an Elvis-like pompadour on the guitar alongside Big Jeffie on piano.

Though the band members have been mostly consistent, their performers have occasionally varied, especially prior to Chris Cerf and Richard Hunt joining the show. The song "Surprise!" features an early iteration of the group; with a black-haired Lavender AM singing for Little Jerry, and Joe Raposo and Caroll Spinney providing backup vocals. Similarly, alongside Spinney, Fran Brill provides backup vocals in "Mad." Thad Mumford can also be heard supplying backup vocals for the song "With Every Beat of My Heart," and Kevin Clash provided Big Jeffie's voice in Episode 2452. On occasions, Jerry Nelson has performed double-duty with providing lead vocals and backup vocals, in the songs "Proud," "Danger" and "Telephone Rock."

While most early appearances of the Monotones as pre-cursor Anything Muppet hippies featured the puppets in musical segments, one major non-musical segment featured the characters unenthusiastically assisting Grover in demonstrating the word "Walk" (First: Episode 0221), where all characters have a different performer than their usual primary ones. Here, Jerry Nelson performs the Fat Blue AM who would become Big Jeffie, Caroll Spinney performs the Lavender and Pumpkin AMs, and Fran Brill performs the Green AM who would become Little Jerry.

The Monotones (without Little Jerry, but Nelson can still be heard providing backing vocals) also sang back-up for Don Music, in the song "Mary Had a Bicycle."

Notes[]

  • In Episode 2722, Gina says that the band had played at Woodstock, but it is unclear if she means the Woodstock Festival.
  • In addition to usually providing two of the back-up vocals, Jeff Moss and Christopher Cerf wrote most of the group's songs.
  • As noted above, while each member is introduced by name in the album-only song “Four,” only Big Jeffie’s name of the three back-ups became more frequently used as the Fat Blue member in later appearances since, usually involving street stories with the band, often due to the Lavender and Pumpkin members replaced by another member. Because of this, it is never fully confirmed who is Chrissy and who is Rockin’ Richard, with the Pumpkin member even referenced as Big Jeffie with Jeff Moss’ voice in “Mountain of Love.” However, instances said members have been referenced by name include the lavender member referred to as “Little Chrissy” in the aforementioned song, the same member referred to as “Richie” in their final appearance in 2000, and the closed-captions in the official YouTube upload of “Proud” identity the Lavender member as Chrissy and the Pumpkin member as Rockin’ Richard.

Songs[]

Book Appearances[]

1977 Who's Who On Sesame Street 30

The group's appearance in Who's Who on Sesame Street.

Advertisement