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Candice Bergen as Murphy Brown in a Sesame Street appearance.

Murphy Brown was a sitcom starring Candice Bergen as the title character, an investigative journalist and anchorwoman. The show aired on CBS originally from 1988 to 1998, and was revived later in 2018. The show became quite political in nature, even drawing the ire of Vice President Dan Quayle when Murphy Brown chose to become a single mother. The character of Murphy Brown was listed by Bravo as number 51 on its list of the 100 Greatest TV Characters.

Bergen appeared in character on Sesame Street as Murphy Brown and interviewed Oscar the Grouch in a Season 21 insert.

Muppet Mentions

  • In the 1992 episode "Winners Take All", Corky helps Murphy become a better parent by quizzing her on the Sesame Street Muppets using flash cards. Murphy's Muppet literacy is poor: she mistakes Big Bird and Cookie Monster for each other and thinks Ernie is Topo Gigio.
  • In the 1993 episode "It's Not Easy Being Brown" (referencing "Bein' Green"), Murphy hires a new publicist who gets her a guest spot on a Sesame Street-style show. "Kelbo" (an Elmo parody performed by Wally Wingert) and "Murphy Brown Bear" (performed by Lisa Sturz) mock the short-tempered Murphy until she tries to attack the puppets on camera, thus ruining her attempt to change her image.
  • In the 2018 episode "Thanksgiving and Taking", Avery says about carrying Murphy's turkey to Miguel's food truck, "I feel like a pallbearer at Big Bird's funeral."


Murphy Brownbag

  • Candice Bergen voiced her Murphy Brown Muppet caricature, Murphy Brownbag, in one Sesame Street sketch entitled "Lunch Talk".
  • In the first episode of Muppets Tonight, "Murphy Prawn" can be seen on the KMUP schedule.
  • In an interview with The Austin Chronicle, Nell Scovell says that writing Miss Piggy on The Muppets was similar to writing Murphy Brown: "There’s something nice about going from early in my career working for Murphy Brown to Miss Piggy. They’re not that different."[1]


Regular / Recurring Cast

Guest Stars / Crew

  • Frances Bergen played Claire Forrest in "Goin' to the Chapel, Pt. 2" (1990) and "Never Can Say Goodbye" (1998)
  • Barbara Billingsley played Mrs. Stritch in "Crime Story" (1994)
  • Larry Block played Al Henderson in "But First a Word from Our Sponsor" (1990)
  • Peter Bonerz directed 93 episodes
  • Pat Crawford Brown played Sister Mary Margaret O'Brien ("Heart of Gold," 1990) and Mrs. O'Brien ("My Movie with Louis," 1994 and "The Good Nephew," 1995)
  • Dan Castellaneta played Tony Lucchesi in "Specific Overtures" (1995)
  • Chubby Checker appeared as himself in "Opus One" (1998)
  • Dick Clark appeared as himself in "Opus One" (1998)
  • Hillary Clinton made a cameo in "Fake News" (2018)
  • Katie Couric appeared as herself in "A Chance of Showers" (1992) and "A Lifetime of Achievement" (2018)
  • Walter Cronkite appeared as himself in "Roasted" (1989), "Ship of Phil's" (1993), and "And That's The Way it Was?" (1997)
  • Dom DeLuise appeared as himself in "Dick and Dottie" (1995)
  • Barry Dennen played a waiter in "The Brothers Silverberg" (1989)
  • Sally Field played Secretary #91, Kathleen Dubek in "Opus One" (1998)
  • Brad Garrett played a SWAT team captain in "Wee Small Hours" (1998)
  • Teri Hatcher played Madeline Stillwell in "Fax or Fiction" (1990)
  • Anne Heche played Nica in "It Came from College" (1991)
  • Michael Jeter played Vic in "You Don't Know Jackal" (1997)
  • Bob Keeshan played Captain Kangaroo in "Brown vs the Board of Education" (1994)
  • Alan King played God in "Never Can Say Goodbye" (1998)
  • Larry King appeared as himself in "Rootless People" (1990) and "Phil's Dead - Long Live Phil's" (1996)
  • Bruce Kirby played the dream judge in "Old Flames" (1996)
  • Charles Kuralt appeared as himself in "All the Life That's Fit to Print" (1993)
  • Michael Laskin played a lawyer in "Murphy's Law" (1995)
  • Cynthia Mace played Diane in "On the Road Again" (1990)
  • Michael McKean played Dennis Page in "Second Time Around" (1998)
  • Kate McGregor-Stewart played Secretary #32 in "But First a Word from Our Sponsor" (1990)
  • Brandon Maggart played Eli White in "Male Call" (1991)
  • Anne Meara played Reena Bernecky in "Bye Bye Bernecky" and "Brown in Toyland" (1994)
  • Bette Midler played Secretary #93, Caprice Feldman in "Never Can Say Goodbye" (1998) and "A Lifetime of Achievement" (2018)
  • Rita Moreno played Dr. Nancy Goldman in "Ectomy, Schmectomy" (1997)
  • Marianne Muellerleile played Secretary #8 in "Baby Love" (1988)
  • Bob Newhart played Dr. Bob Hartley in "Anything But Cured" (1991)
  • Olivia Newton-John appeared as herself in "I Hear a Symphony" (1997)
  • Rosie O'Donnell played Secretary #92, Ann Marie Delany in "A Man and a Woman" (1998)
  • Jenny O'Hara played Lisa in "Baby Love" (1988)
  • Josh Pais played Secretary #18 in "Funnies Girl" (1989)
  • Julie Payne played Phyllis in "It's How You Play the Game" (1989)
  • Suzie Plakson played Jackie in "I Would Have Danced All Night" (1989)
  • Alan Rafkin directed 11 episodes (1994-1995)
  • Sally Jessy Raphael appeared as herself in "All the Life That's Fit to Print" (1993)
  • Clive Revill played Hendricks in "When A. Lansing Loves a Woman" (1996)
  • Don Rickles played Secretary #90, Leonard in "Dial and Substance" (1998)
  • Julia Roberts appeared as herself in "Never Can Say Goodbye" (1998)
  • Morley Safer appeared as himself in "All the Life That's Fit to Print" (1993)
  • William Schallert played Ken Hamilton in "The Murphy Brown School of Broadcasting" (1990)
  • Harry Shearer played Chris Bishop in "The 390th Broadcast" (1990)
  • Martin Sheen played Nick Brody in "Angst for the Memories" (1993)
  • Brooke Shields played Holly Mackin Lynn in "The Coma and the Oxford Comma" (2018)
  • Harry Smith appeared as himself in "Be It Ever So Humboldt" (1991)
  • Yeardley Smith played Phoebe Cramer in "Miles' Big Adventure" (1989)
  • Wendie Jo Sperber played Ann in "Turpis Capillus Annus (Bad Hair Day)" (1998)
  • Jean Stapleton played Nana Silverberg in "All in the Family" (1996)
  • Ben Stein played Williams in "How to Marry a Billionaire" (1997)
  • Elizabeth Taylor played herself in "Trick or Retreat" (1996)
  • Fred Travalena played Don Sarasota in "Buddies Schmuddies" (1989)
  • Vendela appeared as herself in "Model Relationships" (1995)
  • Patrick Warburton played Bo in "A Year to Remember" (1992)
  • Gedde Watanabe played Guru Prem in "The Bitch's Back" (1990)
  • Fred Willard played Dick in "Dick and Dottie" (1995)


  1. The Austin Chronicle "Talking Bullshit With Nell Scovell" by Jen Sorensen, March 16, 2016
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