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Written by Jeff Moss
Date 1970
Publisher Festival Attractions
First Episode 0078

"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.[1] 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.

Performances

Image Year Description
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1970 Sesame Street (First: Episode 0078)

Sung by Ernie
A brief clip from this version was featured in The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years.

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1970 The Sesame Street Book & Record

Sung by Ernie

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1970 Sesame Street (First: Episode 0136)

Sung by Ernie

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1971 Evening at Pops

Ernie performs the song with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops.

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1974 ¬°Sesame Mucho! - "El Patito"

Sung by Ernie

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1978 Sesame Street Fever - "Rubber Duckie Disco"

Sung by Ernie with female backup singers.

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1982 Sesame Street (First: Episode 1621)

Sung by Ernie and his statue likeness

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1982 Sesame Street Sing-Along!

Performed as part of a medley of Sesame Street songs, sung by Ernie, Bert, Big Bird and the cast.

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1991 Bob's Favorite Street Songs

Sung by Bob McGrath

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1994 Sesame Street (First: Episode 3263)

Sung by Little Richard

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1997 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Sung by Ernie and the cast

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1998 Elmopalooza

Sung by Ernie, as part of the "Songs" medley

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1998 The Rosie O'Donnell Show on Sesame Street

Sung by Roberta Flack, Rosie O'Donnell, Elmo, Big Bird, Count von Count, Rosita, Baby Bear, Zoe and Telly Monster, as part of a Sesame Street medley

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1999 Sesame Street (First: Episode 3811)

Sung by Ernie, over footage of kids taking baths

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1999 Sesame Street - Episode 3826

Sung by Susan and Gordon

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1999 Sesame Street (First: Episode 3842)

Sung by Ernie, using the original Jim Henson recording

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1999 Big Bird's Sunny Day Camp Out

Sung by Ernie and Bert

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2000 Sesame Street (First: Episode 3887)

Sung by Bert

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2001 Sesame Street - episode 3949

Sung by Ernie

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2002 Sesame Street - episode 3999

Sung by Ernie, Zoe, Maria, The Amazing Mumford, and his duck Louie.

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2004 Elmo's World: Bath Time

Sung by Ernie and Elmo.

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2010 Elmo Rocks

Sung by Ernie.

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2012 Jim Henson's Musical World

Sung by Ernie and Elmo, with Bert, Cookie Monster, Gordon, Bob, Susan, Leela, Gina, Alan, and Maria

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2017 Sesame Street YouTube channel

Sung by Daveed Diggs and Ernie


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2017 Sesame Street - episode 4710

Sung by Ernie, Elmo and Nina

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2017 Sesame Street - episode 4710

Sung by Ernie, Bert, Tori Kelly, James Corden, Jason Derulo, Sia, Anthony Mackie and Daveed Diggs

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2018 The Jim Henson Retrospectacle Live in Concert

Sung by Ernie and Bert

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2019 Tiny Desk Concerts

Sung by Ernie as part of a medley of Sesame Street songs.

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2019 A Swingin' Sesame Street Celebration

Sung by Ernie.

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2019 Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration

Sung by Ernie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as part of a medley.

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2020 The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo - episode 101

Sung by Kacey Musgraves

References

  • Ernie sang a few lines from the song in a segment where he prepares for a bath. (First: Episode 0269)
  • 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 Episode 4019, the song serves as the ringtone on Ernie's cell phone given by Maria.
  • "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 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.

Videos

Notes

"Rubber Duckie" spent 9 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, starting the week of August 15, 1970. The song peaked at #16 during the week of September 26.

  • 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.[2]
  • 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).

Publications

See also

Sources

External links

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