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Sesame Street
Premiere November 19, 1984 (1966)
Finale May 17, 1985 (2095)
Episodes 130
SS Cast & Crew 1984

Group photo from the season 16 wrap party, taken December 21, 1984.

1966 03d

Big Bird convinces three of his grown-up friends that Mr. Snuffleupagus is not imaginary during the season premiere.

1996o

A multi-week story arc features Luis breaking his arm and getting a cast.

2011 03

Big Bird hosts a puppet show with snufflepuppet Gus.

Piri

Piri (played by Eddie Castrodad) makes his debut.

Band

How Now Brown and the Moo Wave, a new-wave rock music band, performs "Wet Paint."

2007e

Shelley the Turtle arrives on Sesame Street to look for a home.

SS-Menudo

Menudo performs "Gotta Get on Movin'."

2024e

Big Bird forms the Birdketeers.

UGotaHold

Smokey Robinson sings "U Really Got a Hold on Me."

GoodNight-WakeUp

Big Bird and Hoots the Owl discuss their nighttime habits in the "Good Night, Wake Up Lullaby."

2944-Herbie

Herbie Hancock demonstrates how he uses his syhthesizer to make music.

2026 01d

Performer Kevin Clash brings Elmo to life for the first time.

Song

"What Do You Do With a Fruit?"

2033b

Cinderella (as played by Jane Curtin) learns there is more to life than sweeping chimneys and chores.

Ernie-ernestine

Ernie and his cousin Ernestine.

2034e

Crystal and Mario give a lesson on breathing.

2042d2

Oscar meets Snuffy in Episode 2042.

KidsLovetoBrush

"Kids Just Love to Brush"

2071j

Musician Dizzy Gillespie plays his trumpet for Oscar and David.

CarlySimon

Additional guest stars include Carly Simon (pictured), Loretta Lynn, John Moschitta, Jr., Billy Crystal, Martin Short, and Sid Caesar.

Amigo

"Amigo"

Cloud02

"If I Was a Cloud in the Sky"

RappinAlphabet-Grover

Grover shows off his breakdancing skills in "Rappin' Alphabet."

2089d

Oscar recalls the day he moved to Sesame Street.

Doo Wop Hop

"Do-Op Hop"

Season_16_credit_crawl

Season 16 credit crawl

credit crawl

Sesame Street Season 16 aired from November 19, 1984, to May 17, 1985.

Overview[]

Season 16 set out to make an "attempt to familiarize children with hospitals and make them less threatening through the situation." In Episode 1996, Luis breaks his arm and as a result is sent to the emergency room and fitted for a cast. Young viewers saw over the course of a few weeks' worth of episodes how Luis was able to cope with only one working arm, as well as his emotions of sadness and anger that arrive from his limitations. The subject of computer literacy (added to the curriculum during season 15) is continued this season to "encourage the development of creative writing skills with the keyboard." Head writer Norman Stiles says, "As a result of working with computers, we know now that kids can create writing before their motor skills are developed."[1]

Vocabulary lessons were also expanded this season, as episodes and segments demonstrated how reading and writing could be enjoyable and useful. One example, from Episode 2073, features Telly Monster discovering that he can spell more than one word using the letters in the word "STOP." Language appreciation and the value of a rich vocabulary is also introduced, often straight from the horse's mouth - Buster the Horse to be exact, who assists in teaching words like "abominable" and "flabbergasted."[2]

Sesame Street hopped onto the trend of music videos and new-wave music this season, including the introduction of How Now Brown and the Moo Wave, a spoof of new-wave rock bands that were relevant at the time. "We don't want older brothers and sisters to come in the room, say that's a baby show and turn it off," said Dulcy Singer.[1] Helping to make the show feel more timely is the new teenager character Piri, who frequently likes to show off his breakdancing skills and encourages others to dance along.

Season 16 was the final year that the grown-ups believed that Big Bird's friend Mr. Snuffleupagus was just in his imagination. After growing evidence, the season premiere established that Big Bird was no longer alone in the belief of his friend's existence - Maria, Linda, and Gordon trusted Big Bird's word and were convinced the Snuffleupagus was real. Though none of them would meet him until the following year, Oscar the Grouch would come face to face with the mammoth creature - but being a Grouch, he decided to keep the new info to himself. Nonetheless, the bird and his best friend's lives stayed busy, as Big Bird founded the Birdketeers club and Snuffy let his imagination run wild in the form of his snufflepuppet Gus.

Characters and segments[]

In addition to Piri, season 16 welcomes Shelley, a shy turtle who discovers that his shell makes the perfect home. Jazz musician Hoots the Owl also makes his debut in one episode to sing about his nocturnal lifestyle, and Ernie explores the differences and similarities he shares with his baby cousin Ernestine. Two Muppet children make occasional appearances: the assertive but endearing Crystal and her soft-spoken friend Mario.

These latter two characters are performed by newcomers Pam Arciero and Kevin Clash respectively, who also take over several of the Muppets that were previously played by Brian Muehl. While Muehl's Telly and Barkley were given to Martin P. Robinson and juggler/mime Fred Garbo respectfully, Arciero was assigned Grundgetta and Clash got Dr. Nobel Price and Clementine. When veteran performer Richard Hunt attempted to make Muehl's Elmo a recurring character, he grew frustrated with the puppet and gave him to Clash, who went on to perform the little red monster for almost 30 years.

A series of animated guessing games were interspersed throughout the season, asking the viewer "What is it?" and "What's missing?" Computer animation was also utilized in inserts to demonstrate the word "CASA" as illustrated houses were drawn for a human (Maria), a bird, and a Grouch (Oscar).

Episodes[]

Episodes 1966 - 2095 (130 episodes)

Cast[]

Cast
Linda Bove, Northern Calloway, Emilio Delgado, Loretta Long, Sonia Manzano, Bob McGrath, Roscoe Orman, Alaina Reed (Uncredited: Micki Barnett, Eddie Castrodad, Bill McCutcheon, Loretta Tupper)
Jim Henson's Muppets
Caroll Spinney, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Martin P. Robinson, Kevin Clash, Pam Arciero, Bryant Young, Fred Garbo (Uncredited: Fran Brill, Ed Christie, Jim Kroupa, Noel MacNeal, Kathryn Mullen, Gabriel Velez)
Guest Stars
Sid Caesar, Billy Crystal, Jane Curtin, Ron Darling, Ron Foster, Dizzy Gillespie, Ellen Greene, Herbie Hancock, Geri Jewell, Rosetta LeNoire, Loretta Lynn, Menudo, John Moschitta, Jr., Mandy Patinkin, Smokey Robinson[1][3]

Characters[]

Humans
Gordon, Susan, Maria, Luis, Linda, Bob, David, Mr. Macintosh, Olivia, Piri, Willy, Uncle Wally, Micki, Miss Trump
Muppets
The Amazing Mumford, AM Monsters, Anything Muppets, Bad Barney, Barkley, Bert, Betty Lou, The Big Bad Wolf, Big Bird, Bip Bipadotta, Bruno the Trashman, Buster the Horse, Clementine, Cookie Monster, Count von Count, Crystal, Don Music, Dr. Nobel Price, Elmo, Ernestine, Ernie, Ferlinghetti Donizetti, Fluffy, Forgetful Jones, Gladys the Cow, Grundgetta, Grover, Grover's Mommy, Guy Smiley, Herry Monster, Honkers, Hoots the Owl, How Now Brown and the Moo Wave, Irvine, Kermit the Frog, Little Bird, Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats, Mario, The Martians, Max the Magnificent, Nick Normal and the Nickmatics, Nora Nicks, Oscar the Grouch, Osvaldo, el Gruñón, Pearl, The Rockheads, Shelley the Turtle, Slimey, Mr. Snuffleupagus, Sully, Telly Monster, The Three Little Pigs, Two-Headed Monster

Credits[]

Sources[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Times-News: 'Sesame Street' turns sweet 16, November 19, 1984
  2. Truglio and Fisch. G is for Growing. p. 32
  3. The Miami News: 'Sesame Street,' 15, keeps youthful zest, November 7, 1984


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Season 15 (1983-1984) Season 17 (1985-1986)
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