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PBS promos are short promotional spots, often featuring the cast of Sesame Street. Similar to commercials on network television, they serve to advertise or raise awareness of the program and other ventures. Some promos feature the characters among characters from other PBS shows.

Picture Date Description
1969 Ethel Kennedy joins the cast on the stoop of 123 Sesame Street to promote the program.
1969 Pat Paulsen describes all one can learn by watching Sesame Street. He even shows how he's learned the alphabet, though not all the way through.
1969 Pete Seeger describes the importance of music and how it helps Sesame Street.
1969 Ruby Dee strolls down the street as she describes the importance of the program.
1970 Big Bird wants to mail his Granny Bird the teaching guides from the first season, but the grown-ups point out that they can be re-used as the show goes into summer re-runs. They allow him to mail his copies and will provide him with new ones upon his return.
1970 Susan, Gordon, Bob, and Mr. Hooper rush over to Oscar's trash can to remind the viewer that they'll all be back on November 9th. "I can't wait!" Oscar sarcastically remarks.

Directed by Robert Myhrum.

1971 Gordon informs the viewer that some children don't have access to TV sets to watch Sesame Street. As a result, Channel 13 (WNET) will provide day care centers with television sets thanks to contributions from membership donations.

Directed by Joost Van Rees.

1971 Sitting on the stoop, Gordon and Susan discuss Channel 13's TV donation program.

Directed by Joost Van Rees.

1973 Big Bird promotes the new season as if it were a record album, showcasing clips from "Mad," "Count It Higher," "The People in Your Neighborhood" and "Doin' the Pigeon."
1973 Oscar doesn't want to hear anything about the new season of Sesame Street, so he puts on his noisy radio to avoid the local announcer.
1978 Oscar tells the viewer the key to having a "rotten Christmas" is to miss the premiere of Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.
1970s Kermit asks the viewer to contribute to their local station, and expounds on the costs for broadcast equipment. Each expensive item Kermit lists off is devoured by Cookie Monster when he's not looking (including a Teletape camera).
1970s Kermit talks to a young girl named Cathlin. Kermit says that Cathlin is a spokesperson of Sesame Street and asks what are her favorite television programs. Cathlin replies that her favorite programs are Emergency, Adam-12, and The Waltons. Kermit becomes nervous with each answer until he gets Cathlin to say her favorite program is Sesame Street. Kermit then urges viewers to call PBS to keep Sesame Street on the air.
1970s The Country Trio sings a song to the tune of "Sweet Betsy from Pike" urging viewers to "keep our kids learning" through public television with programs like Sesame Street, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and The Electric Company.
For this appearance, Richard Hunt performs the Jerry puppet.
1970s Big Bird paints the American flag while "The Star-Spangled Banner" plays for the WNET sign off.
1987 Oscar is driving Telly and Grundgetta in the Sloppy Jalopy, when the car breaks down. Telly worries that this will affect the new season, but Oscar gets all the grown-ups to push from behind.
1989 In celebration of the show's 20th anniversary, Big Bird and Susan promote a contest to visit the Sesame Street set.
1991 The Two-Headed Monster sings "Happy Birthday to You" to Big Bird in anticipation for the special, Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake.[1]
1992 Accompanied by clips from the show, Count von Count names five of the best things in life - adventure, snacks, surprise, wild parties and love. The promo is underscored by "Take 6."
1992 Elmo conducts Telly, Rosita, Colambo and Polly Darton, who sing the "Sesame Street Theme" in front of a stock-footage audience. Their song is intercut with real people in the city singing along.
1993 Hoots the Owl delivers three steps of success over clips of the show, set to "Feel the Beat."

1993 Promoting the show's 25th anniversary, Elmo and Zoe discuss things they like to do.
1997 Promoting the 29th season, Nathan Lane appears as the number 2, describing how he got to work on the show.
1997/1998 Rosie O'Donnell plays an uppercase A with a message on why her fellow letters support Sesame Street.
Sesame promo Gregory Hines.jpg
1997/1998 Gregory Hines appears as the number 1 ("Sesame Street has always counted on us numbers") to promote the show airing on weekdays and Sundays at 7am.
1998 PBS spot astronaut.jpg
1998 Upper and lowercase anthropomorphized letter "A"s tease that season 29 will feature words like astronaut (with an image of Slimey and his trip to the moon) and will help kids discover science.
Early 2000s One "Be More" interstitial features Oscar along with Liam Neeson, Jane Kaczmarek, LeVar Burton, Jamie Lee Curtis, Virginia Madsen, Fred Rogers, Raquel Castro, characters from Between the Lions, Zoboomafoo, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Arthur, and a bunch of kids. The interstitial plays to the song "You Gotta Be" by Des'ree. In a later airing, the song would alternate with "Only You", performed by the "New Rhythm and Blues Quartet" (NRBQ). This interstitial was filmed and aired before Fred Rogers' passing in early 2003.
Early 2000s Oscar and Maria appear to discuss the social goals of PBS programming, but Oscar beats Maria in saying the whole speech. "What do you want from me? I'm a 'Type G' personality - G for 'Grouch'."
Early 2000s An alternate version of the above promo which starts with Oscar interrupting Maria's speech, and her thanking him for completing it, much to his chagrin as he goes back into his trash can.
PBS Kids Use Your Imagination.png
Early 2000s A music video with the PBS Kids theme song, "Use Your Imagination". It features Elmo (who was cut out in later airings) along with Barney and characters from Dragon Tales, Arthur, Between the Lions, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Zoboomafoo.
Early 2000s Big Bird appeared in a one minute sequence in which he appears at the home of a child and ventures to the Berlin Wall, a landing on the Moon and other locations. The announcer says "TV can be a child's window to the world. What will they see?" Rachel Portman's score for The Cider House Rules is used.
2002 Promoting season 33, Bert walks around the street looking for Ernie, who appears upside-down on the top of the frame.
2002 Ray Romano explains how he uses the letters "h" and "a" to make people laugh.
Laura Bush PBS promo 2003.jpg
2003 Laura Bush talks to Elmo about the importance of reading.
2004 Zoe appears with Al Roker about reading and imagining good thoughts.
ca. 2007 The interstitial plays the song "With My Own Two Hands", featuring newly recorded footage of the Count, among children and characters from other PBS shows. The video plays out in the style of a sing-a-long clip, displaying the lyrics at the bottom of the picture.
2009 Grover appears making a fort with a little girl out of bedsheets. (YouTube)
Sesame 2-600x429.jpg
2014 Elmo, Abby, Cookie Monster, Grover and Big Bird appear in a 2014 interstitial promoting the new afternoon, half-hour edition of Sesame Street. (YouTube)

See also


  1. ↑ A 1990 installment of Learning Matters briefly shows the filming of this promo.