0294-Color

Episode 0294

0012 script sample 01

Sample page from the Episode 0012 script.

0261-02

Oscar delivers mail from his trash can in Episode 0261.

BigBirdPete0270b

Cleavon Little in Episode 0270.

OscarGordon0297

Episode 0297

SlimeytheWorm

Episode 0202 marks the debut of Oscar's pet worm Slimey (pictured here later).

Jesse Jackson 123 stoop

Jesse Jackson performed three orations in Episode 0402. One of them — "I Am - Somebody" (which was never repeated in another episode) — was released on DVD as a stand-alone segment. This indicates that the material exists in Sesame Workshop's archives outside of the lost Episode 0402, possibly in the form of raw footage.

Count and Little Theatre of the Deaf

The Little Theatre of the Deaf (pictured here in Episode 0687) feature in two missing episodes, one of which (Episode 0243) marks the debut of regular cast member Linda.

Peteseegersesamestreetseason1

Three of Pete Seeger's appearances (of which he would make several) are missing.

0256 07

Season 2 featured a Puerto Rican character named Maria a year before the debut of Sonia Manzano's Maria. Carla Pinza (pictured here in Episode 0256) played the character in two episodes; her first of two appearances (Episode 0234) is missing.

Bob.Dontyouknow.single

Bob sings "Don't You Know You're Beautiful?" to a Muppet girl in Episode 0239; the song would later be released as a single.

LP-Seeger

"Brother Kirk" (pictured here on the cover of a 1974 Sesame album) sings "The Ballad of Harriet Tubman" in Episode 0362.

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble early edition

An early edition of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble was read by Mr. Hooper, Bob, and Gordon in Episode 0105.

Sesame Street has produced over 4,500 original one-hour episodes of television over the course of fifty years. Most TV shows consider it a huge landmark if they're able to pass one hundred episodes, an achievement that Sesame Street has reached forty-five times over.

Given the vast volume of content produced in this time, it's expected that not every production would survive (for example, the BBC's Doctor Who has famously lost a number of early episodes due to broadcaster practices during the 1960s). YouTube channels and wikis (such as lostmediawiki.com) have dedicated themselves to unearthing lost media, however the use of the term "lost" in many of these instances is something of a misnomer. "Elusive" may be a more appropriate term in the case of Sesame Street segments due to the fact that many older episodes simply haven't been rebroadcast in decades, but the segments were often repeated several times over in later episodes. More often than not, segments that have been assumed "lost" from the perspective of fandom have merely been tucked away in the archives waiting to be rediscovered.

However, a select number of Sesame Street episodes have indeed been revealed to have gone missing over the years. The reasons range anywhere from the source materials being misplaced to having been the result of some accident that caused irreparable damage (fires, floods, etc); there is no evidence that negligence on the level of the aforementioned BBC practices occurred at CTW during the 1970s, nor were they the product of having been intentionally destroyed. While working on our project to build the world's first and only complete Sesame Street episode guide, at least sixty episodes have been found to be missing from the Sesame Archives — a significantly small amount considering the total number of episodes and the thousands of them that have, until recently, remained elusive for decades.

Episodes

The following is a complete list of those episodes accompanied by a brief summary of what is currently unaccounted for. In all cases, the Street Scenes are lost, and some episodes feature segments that are not likely to have been inserted into later episodes. Each linked episode guide has been pieced together using archival scripts and may not perfectly reflect the finished product. Visuals for the lost content have been provided when available in the form of set photos.


Season 1 (3 episodes)

Episode 0012


Episode 0105
  • Street Scenes — The cast reads Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.


Episode 0108
  • Street Scenes — Pete Seeger returns.
  • Songs — seven songs with Seeger


Season 2 (24 episodes)

Episode 0146
  • Street Scenes — Oscar's lost ribbon.
  • Songs — "Special"


Episode 0155


Episode 0157
  • Street Scenes — Gordon paints a chest; The Monkey and the Crocodile.


Episode 0164
  • Street Scenes — Miguel has Big Bird and some kids guess what the Spanish word "silla" means.


Episode 0180


Episode 0202
  • Street Scenes — First appearance of Slimey.


Episode 0214
  • Street Scenes — Oscar's grouch poem service.


Episode 0231
  • Street Scenes — Big Bird speaks in poems; Susan and Big Bird make bacon & eggs.


Episode 0232
  • Street Scenes — Frannie, a little girl Muppet, does an errand at Hooper's Store.
  • Songs — Bob sings "Special"


Episode 0233
  • Street Scenes — Frannie picks a doll at Hooper's; a grandma buys food for pet monster.


Episode 0234
  • Street Scenes — First of two appearances by Carla Pinza as "Maria".


Episode 0235
  • Street Scenes — Bob and the kids make a soapbox racer for Big Bird.
  • Songs — Bob sings "Up, Up and Away"
  • Segment — Arte Johnson talks about noses and eyes (two segments).


Episode 0237
  • Street Scenes — Tom imagines himself as Oscar.


Episode 0238


Episode 0239


Episode 0240


Episode 0241


Episode 0243


Episode 0246


Episode 0248
  • Street Scenes — Susan's missing flowers.


Episode 0259
  • Street Scenes — Big Bird delivers ice cream for Mr. Hooper.


Episode 0261


Episode 0262
  • Street Scenes — Sesame Street holds a pet show.


Episode 0270


Season 3 (30 episodes)

Episode 0284
  • Street Scenes — Cleaning Hooper's Store.
  • Songs — "We've Gotta All Work Together"; Bob and Rafael sing "Sing / Canta"


Episode 0286
  • Street Scenes — Tom wonders why there aren't any customers at Hooper's Store today.
  • Songs — "Everyone Makes Mistakes"


Episode 0288
  • Street Scenes — Oscar takes charge of Mr. Hooper's recycle bins; Gordon, Big Bird, and the kids talk about fear.


Episode 0291
  • Street Scenes — Trash collection day on Sesame Street; Snuffy gets his trunk stuck in the mailbox.
  • Songs — "I Love Trash"


Episode 0294
  • Street Scenes — Big Bird tries to stop litter.


Episode 0297
  • Street Scenes — Oscar puts up too many "NO" signs.


Episode 0298
  • Street Scenes — Mr. Snuffleupagus is afraid of fruit.
  • Songs — "ABC-DEF-GHI"


Episode 0305
  • Street Scenes — Big Bird wants to imitate a rooster.


Episode 0339
  • Street Scenes — Big Bird imagines Upside Down Street.


Episode 0345


Episode 0346
  • Street Scenes — Big Bird tries to help a little lost boy get home.


Episode 0347
  • Street Scenes — Pete Seeger visits the street.
  • Songs — "Seek and You Shall Find," "God Bless the Grass," "My Hat Has Three Corners"


Episode 0353
  • Street Scenes — Oscar makes a deal with Bob to be nice and helpful all morning.
  • Songs — "San Serenin"
  • Segments — Bob acts like a tour guide, showing off a large letter Y.


Episode 0360
  • Street Scenes — Big Bird sends himself a package.
  • Songs — "The Grouch Song"


Episode 0361
  • Street Scenes — Big Bird is convinced Snuffy is imaginary.


Episode 0362


Episode 0363
  • Street Scenes — The Bronx Boy's Club visits.
  • Segments — The Peaceful Hour Restaurant


Episode 0364
  • Street Scenes — Big Bird takes Oscar's place as the resident Grouch.


Episode 0365


Episode 0366
  • Street Scenes — Little Theatre of the Deaf returns.


Episode 0367
  • Street Scenes — Ernie guesses pajaro and plays sounds.
  • Songs — "Play Along"


Episode 0369
  • Street Scenes — Snow on Sesame Street.


Episode 0371
  • Street Scenes — Gordon accidentally knocks down Big Bird's house of cards; Luis makes a sign reading "Please Don't Pick the Flowers"
  • Songs — "What Makes Music?"


Episode 0379
  • Street Scenes — Snuffy blows bubbles.
  • Songs — "I Love Trash"


Episode 0385
  • Street Scenes — Oscar watches the Fix-It Shop.


Episode 0389
  • Street Scenes — Another visit from Pete Seeger.
  • Songs — several Seeger songs


Episode 0395
  • Street Scenes — Big Bird accidentally locks himself in the garage.
  • Songs — "Same and Different Song"


Episode 0397
  • Street Scenes — The Mudman gets a mud mobile to make mud deliveries.
  • Songs — "Everybody Brush"


Episode 0401


Episode 0402


Season 5 (1 episode)

Episode 0576
  • Street Scenes — The Count distracts Luis; Big Bird rhymes.
  • Songs — "Which of These is a Square?"; "The Sound of the Letter A"


Season 11 (1 episode)

Episode 1444
  • Street Scenes — David trains Barkley.


Season 14 (1 episode)

Episode 1814
  • Street Scenes — Gordon prepares for a recital (script may not be final version)[1]

Potential outlets

Sherlock archive

Sherlock Hemlock is on the case.

While the revelation of missing episodes is discouraging with concern to building a complete Sesame Street episode guide, not all is lost. There are several avenues through which they may be found. In 2011, Sesame Workshop reached out to the public in order to identify the actor who originally played Gordon in a series of test shows produced in 1969 (the saga of this endeavor is covered at The Case of the Missing Gordon). The feat proved successful and demonstrated the power of social media in discovering information misplaced even at its source.

Below is a list of potential outlets through which these materials may be recovered:

  • Broadcaster archives — local PBS affiliates who may not have purged their catalogue. For example, in 2017, Nashville Public Television published a video from their archives on Instagram.[2]
  • Raw footage — when we refer to "lost (or missing) episodes", that (usually) means final ready-for-broadcast edits including Street Scenes with segments. It's possible that raw footage still exists in the archives somewhere, waiting to be discovered.[3]
  • Kinescopes — in the days before VCRs became common, elementary school educators would record TV broadcasts with a black-and-white 16mm camera, to be screened later in classrooms when convenient. Episodes 172 and 179 (which are not lost), as well as some episodes of The Electric Company, have circulated in this format.
  • Academic libraries — writers and other CTW crew have donated scripts and video materials to libraries in the past, oftentimes entrusted to their own alma mater. Examples include the Beinecke Library and Syracuse University.
  • Collectors — while home video recording didn't become commonplace until the VCR was introduced in the late 1970s, it's possible missing episodes may be among some private collections.
  • Family estates — guest actors who appeared on the show would sometimes get copies of their episodes, or acquire them on their own. Pete Seeger and Cleavon Little appeared in multiple lost episodes each; both individuals have passed away, but it's possible their estates have kept copies of their work.
  • Imagery — in the event that no material for a given episode can be found, still images may be available in the form of production photographs, storyboards, illustrations, published episode guides, etc.

See also

Sources

  1. no VTR date // no runtimes for Street Scenes and no total runtime // Ernie & Cookie sketch (milk and cookies) appears to have never been repeated // script for Episode 1929 says "Monsterpiece Theatre: Sound of Music" was in 1814, but it's not here (while the script for 1829 says it originated in that episode)
  2. @nashvillepubtv January 12, 2017
  3. "I Am Somebody" from Episode 0402 was released on the Old School: Volume 1 DVD set.
  4. archived Sesamstrasse fan site with screenshots

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