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Many Sesame Street sketches depict life in the Old West, and play with various Western movie tropes, often involving seemingly menacing cowboys like Sinister Sam and Bad Bart and often set in stereotypical saloons. Various Sesame songs over the years have also used Old West settings or themes. According to books, the name of the town in most of these skits is Sesame Gulch. For specific recurring Western sketches, see Marshal Grover and Forgetful Jones.

Picture Summary / First Appearance Description

The Great Cookie Thief
Episode 0276
Three Anything Muppet cowboys (led by Sam) put up a Wanted poster for "The Great Cookie Thief," who's been stealing cookies from all the bakeries in these here parts. Cookie Monster is standing in front of the poster, and after the piano player brings it to their attention, the others suspect that he's the Great Cookie Thief -- he has the same googly eyes, the same blue fur, and the same Western hat. They confront Cookie Monster, but he denies the charge: "Not have same mustache!" He shouts, "Look over there!" -- and while they're distracted, he draws a mustache on the poster. They apologize -- but then Cookie Monster takes off his hat, and cookies fall out. The Great Cookie Thief makes his escape.
Big, Bigger, Biggest
Episode 0281
Sinister Sam is looking for the biggest man in the saloon. The frightened customers point him towards Big Barney, who's cowering under the table. When Sam discovers that Barney is the biggest man there, he gives him a hat: "This ol' hat here don't fit me. I thought maybe you could use it, huh? I'll see you, fellers." Sinister Sam leaves the baffled customers behind. "Now, that's a nice gesture," one says. "He's a little weird, but he's okay after all, isn't he?"
Alphabet Kid old west sketch.jpg
The Alphabet Kid
Episode 0307
A couple of cowboy Muppets meet the Alphabet Kid, who claims that he can write the alphabet faster than any man alive. To prove it, he quickly draws his crayon and speedily writes out the whole alphabet.
Doc Holiday
Episode 0318
Sinister Sam comes to the saloon, looking for Doc Holiday. He questions the frightened townspeople, looking for the doctor, but all he can find is a mailman and a fire fighter. Sam says that he needs the doctor, because he's got an itchy trigger finger. He locates the doctor, cowering under a table. The doctor asks what Sam wants with him, and the mean hombre says that his finger is really itchy -- it's driving him crazy. Is it mosquito bite, should he use some lotion on it? Doc Holliday faints. Sam shrugs, and joins the other patrons at the bar for some milk.
Two different takes of this sketch were used on the show.
The James Twins
Episode 0328
The James Twins, who do everything together (even the speaking), arrive at the saloon and demand some "mus" and "ic." The patrons don't understand until they put the two parts together.
Episode 0408
A cowboy who needs a dentist comes to see Adam T. Glaser, who is such a jack-of-all-trades that he forgets what a dentist does.
Episode 0537
Bad Bart is looking for Marshal Earp to give her a big surprise. The terrified townspeople try to warn Marshal Earp -- but Bad Bart explains that a surprise is something that someone doesn't expect. He orders them not to say a word. It turns out the big surprise is a cake for Marshal Earp's birthday.
Forming the Posse
Episode 0554
Five good men are needed to form a posse and catch Bad Bart, the meanest man in the West. The sheriff counts five men in the saloon, and tries to organize them. But it turns out that there are only four good men -- the bad one is Bad Bart!
This is the only sketch in which Bad Bart is intended to be bad the entire sketch.
Echoing canyon
Episode 0698
A Large Lavender Live Hand Anything Muppet cowboy shouts across a canyon to hear the echo. "Yippee ki-yi-yo!" is repeated back to him perfectly. When he shouts "One!", the echo repeats back, "¡Uno!" The cowboy is startled. "Two!" he shouts, and the echo repeats, "¡Dos!" "You s'pose that's Mexico over there?" he asks. He continues to count to ten, with the echo repeating the numbers back in Spanish. Frustrated, he shouts, "How are you?" "¡Muy bien, gracias!" is the reply. "Oh, this is ridiculous," the cowboy says, and throws his cowboy hat into the canyon. A sombrero is thrown back in return.
Doc Meets Mean Manny
Episode 1166
The town doctor ("Doc") comes to a saloon to meet Mean Manny and his gang, even though Manny is the toughest guy in town and plans to have a "shootin' party." Manny and his posse arrive on time and meet with Doc and his medicine...he gives them all measles shots.
A picture of Miss Piggy can be seen on the wall in the background.
The Last Box of Crayons
Episode 1288
Sinister Sam announces that someone has bought the last box of crayons. "Well, I want to know why," says Sam. It turns out that he just wants to borrow a crayon so he can see if he knows how to draw the letter Y.
Weepin' Willie
Episode 1520
Weepin' Willie is sad about something. The horses wonder what he's sad about, but he won't answer. They try cheering him up by telling a joke and singing a song, but nothing works. So, they finally ask Willie why he's sad; it turns out it's because one of the horses is standing on his feet. The horse gets off his feet, which makes him so happy that he could cry... which he does once again.
Bad Bart Gives Somebody What He Deserves
Episode 1940
Clementine breaks the bad news to everyone: Bad Bart is coming to town to "give someone what they deserve"! She says he will come when the cow moos four times. They listen for it, and first hear a train toot four times, then a dog bark four times, and finally the cow. Bad Bart steps into the saloon, looks for the bartender, and reminds him that last week, he ordered something that the bartender didn't have, so he went to another town to get it, and kept him waiting. Bad Bart forgot to pay the bartender for it, so he gives the bartender what he deserves: some coins.
The Fastest Drawer in the West
Episode 2825
Noel Cowherd challenges Billy the Grownup, the fastest draw in the west, to a "square fight" - seeing who can draw squares the fastest. Noel is declared the winner, but Billy ends up becoming friends with him, and the two decide to paint the town red.
Lost in Arizona
Episode 3364
After the Readers of the Open Range sing their theme song, the group wanders into a town whose inhabitants are entirely illiterate, and thus have no idea where they live. Vern sagely asks whether there's a "big ole' sign" in town, and thus is able to determine that the Readers of the Open Range are in Bisbee, Arizona.


  • The bartenders in the sketches that take place in saloons were often made from Fat Blue Anything Muppets (two which closely resembled Mr. Johnson).