|Written by||Jeff Moss|
"Rubber Duckie" is Ernie's signature song, a tribute to his beloved Rubber Duckie. The song enjoyed popular fame, reaching number 16 on Billboard's "Hot 100 Singles" chart in 1970. It was even nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording for Children, but it lost to The Sesame Street Book & Record, which also contains the song.
Ernie originally performed the song in the first season of Sesame Street, singing in a bathtub in a room that resembled his living room. The most common version, filmed for the second season, features Ernie in a bathroom with a plain blue background. (First: Episode 0136) The song has been dubbed into many different languages, a montage of which was featured in the special Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting.
In 1974, Ernie sang the song as "El Patito," with a new Latin arrangement, translation by Wyatt Day, and Spanish-language vocals by Jim Henson. This version was released on the album ¡Sesame Mucho!, and later issued as a single backed with the original English version in 1976.
A new version of "Rubber Duckie" with Ernie was filmed in season 30, using the original album recording with Jim Henson's vocals (First: Episode 3842). Similarly, the same track was also used for a film segment showing various kids taking baths (First: Episode 3811). In addition to Ernie, the song has also been covered by Little Richard, Bob McGrath and other artists.
- Ernie sang a few lines from the song in a segment where he prepares for a bath. (First: Episode 0269)
- The sketch "Best Friend Blues" begins with Hoots the Owl asking Ernie if he wants to sing "Rubber Duckie."
- In Episode 2722, the cast tries to clue Forgetful Jones in on his birthday celebration by saying the day is marked with a special song ("Happy Birthday to You"). Forgetful instead launches into a few lines of "Rubber Duckie."
- In Episode 2741, as Gina and Mike are about to take Oscar's Sloppy Jalopy for a drive, they turn on the radio and come across a station where chickens are clucking the song.
- An instrumental version of the song is heard during a 1996 sketch starring Grover and Mr. Johnson in a department store.
- The tune is briefly quoted in the last few notes of "Songs" in Elmopalooza.
- An instrumental version of the song is used as the music button for a season 30 sketch where Ernie loses Rubber Duckie.
- In A Brief History of Motion Pictures, near the end of the musical number, Ernie squeaks his duckie while singing "Vo-vo-vo-dee-oh!" to the tune of the song which previously has the similar line, "A-vo-dee-oh-doh".
- In Elmo's World: Babies when Elmo is counting ducklings, the tune of the song is played.
- In Episode 3860, Big Bird and Telly try to cheer up his hamster, Chuckie, by singing "Rubber Chuckie", which doesn't work.
- In the Journey to Ernie segment "Disco" (First: Episode 3982), a disco version of the song is played, Big Bird even comments, "That's a catchy tune".
- In Episode 4019, the song serves as the ringtone on Ernie's cell phone given by Maria.
- The song underscores the "Ducks in a Row" game on Play with Me Sesame.
- "Another Sunny Day" from the Sesame Street Live show Out of This World briefly changes to the tune of "Rubber Duckie" as Ernie sings a solo verse about his duck.
- "Rubber Duckie" is quoted musically several times in the Journey to Ernie segment "Musicland." (First: Episode 4031) Ernie and the Two-Headed Monster also sing lines from the song.
- In the Journey to Ernie segment "Jungle" (First: Episode 4033), a tiger named Bernie hums the song after Big Bird finds him with a duckie of his own.
- The song is used in the score of Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic, as Ernie and Bert imagine themselves in a bathtub.
- In a flashback sequence in Episode 4067, The Electric Three (Gordon, Bob and Luis' garage rock band) perform the song.
- A clip of the Season 30 remake is seen in a 2008 promo for Sesamestreet.org. The score quotes a bit of the song as the clip plays.
- At Sesame Street at SeaWorld, a hidden interactive element on the back door of 123 Sesame Street (enabled only by the park's special Elmo wands) has Ernie singing the first verse of the song.
- Jeff Moss squeaked a duckie during the original recording, and has squeaked the duck in all subsequent Rubber Duckie recordings. The same Rubber Duckie has been used because nobody could find a duckie that could match the sound of the original.
- Before the documentary Sesame Street Unpaved aired on TV, Noggin's website featured "Rubber Duckie" and three other classic clips for fans to vote on (with "Rubber Duckie" getting the most votes).
- Sesame Street Songbook Vol. 1
- The Sesame Street Song Book (1971, 1992 and 2007 editions)
- Songs of Sesame Street (1977)
- The Songs of Sesame Street in Poems and Pictures (1983)
- The Reader's Digest Children's Songbook (1986)
- Favorite Songs from Jim Henson's Muppets (1986)
- Jim Henson: The Works (1993)
- Sesame Street Unpaved (1998)