A recurring Sesame Street skit paid tribute to silent film star Charlie Chaplin. Maria (dressed to resemble Chaplin's standard film persona) would engage in silent film antics, sometimes as stand-alone sketches, and at other times within the context of other sketches. The sketches appeared on the show as early as season five.
Sonia Manzano reflected on the sketches in a 2003 interview on Art Express:
“I loved Charlie Chaplin when I was a college student, and I have been able to write myself as Charlie Chaplin. So, I was able to fulfill a little fantasy of my own on Sesame Street and I was happy that I was able to fulfill their education goals with that as well.”
|Picture||Summary / EKA||Description|
| Top and Bottom Drawers|
| A voiceover instructs Charlie Chaplin (Maria) where to put the shirts and the towels.|
Later airings of this sketch replace the music and narration.
|Chaplin tries to throw away a newspaper into a rapidly moving litter can. When she finally does, the exit door also moves and she breaks down the wall.|
| Long, Longer, Longest|
|Maria as Chaplin tries to get to the door, but the suspenders are hooked to the wall.|
|Chaplin tries to leave through the door marked EXIT, but the sign keeps moving, and a brick wall appears behind each opened door. Finally, she makes her own exit through a hole in the wall.|
|Maria makes a cameo as the Tramp during an ensemble song about surprises.|
| Maria as Chaplin looks in a mirror and sees "ME." Maria's reflection is played by Linda.
| Tuxedo Thread|
|Chaplin notices a short thread on Luis' tuxedo, which becomes long as he pulls it, unraveling Luis's trousers!|
| One Way|
|Chaplin tries walking against a stream of foot traffic following a sign that reads ONE WAY.|
| Don't Walk|
|The Tramp is unable to cross the street, as the WALK sign changes to DON'T WALK every time he tries. He finally covers the word DON'T with cardboard, allowing him to cross.|
|The two Chaplin impersonators open umbrellas. Linda plays the other one.|
| Bench Balancing|
|Two Tramps (Maria and Linda) find ways to balance both sides of a see-sawing park bench.|
|The Tramp finds a HAT sign near a hatrack with a new hat. He tries replacing his crummy, worn-out one with it, but the sign falls apart each time.|
| In the Rain|
| Chaplin leaves a store on a rainy day. When Chaplin's umbrella doesn't work well, he looks for something else to keep him dry. He first hides under a woman's (Linda) poncho, then buys a newspaper from a store keeper (Luis), but as soon as Chaplin puts the newspaper over his head, it stops raining.
| Number Six|
|The Tramp illustrates the number 6 using balloons.|
|The Tramp is out in the cold.|
|Charlie Chaplin obeys the word HOP, then switches it to STOP.|
|Maria as Chaplin falls in love with a painting at the art museum. The woman in the painting periodically changes her pose.|
| The Picnic|
| Ernie and Bert go to the movies to see a silent movie, "The Picnic," starring Chaplin and his date (played by Linda Bove).
| What Happens Next|
|Gordon hosts "What Happens Next," with help from the Dinger and Maria (as the Chaplin character). The viewer has to guess before Gordon rings the bell. On the first round, Maria slips on the banana peel on the ground. On the second round, Maria sits on a bench with only three legs and it collapses. Then on the third (and final) round, Maria uses the cane to push the cloud into the game show studio, drenching Gordon and causing him to sneeze a lot.|
- A new sketch was scripted for use in Episode 2912 (originally planned to be Episode 2888), entitled "Chaplin and the Litterbug." Set in a park, the sketch would feature Chaplin (Maria) attempting to get a villainous litterbug (Gina, portraying a male character) to throw his crumpled piece of trash into a can instead of the ground.