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Sesame Street
Premiere November 15, 1971 (0276)
Finale May 12, 1972 (0405)
Episodes 130
Sesame Street season 3 cast

Season 3 cast

Season 3 cast stoop

Molly, a kid, Rafael, Maria, and Tom.


Big Bird meets Mr. Snuffleupagus.


A three-part story arc shows Sesame Street in wintertime.


Comedy duo Wally and Ralph.

Season 3 cast

Season 3 cast


"C is for Cookie"


"I in the Sky"


The Amazing Mumford and his "assistant" Grover


"Would You Like to Buy an O?"


The Mad Painter first appeared during the third season.


The Martians discover a telephone.


"J Friends"


Harvey Kneeslapper debuts.


Big Bird fights litter in Episode 0294.

Welcome-Bienvenidos Luis-Bob

Bob and Luis prepare to go to a party in Episode 0333.


Oscar takes care of the trash in Hooper's Store... by using it to redecorate the store in Episode 0334.

Jesse Jackson 123 stoop

Jesse Jackson recites several inspirational poems to the children in Episode 0402.

Sesame Street Season 3 aired from November 15,[1] 1971, to May 12, 1972.


The curriculum for Season 3 focuses on the subject of ecology. In an interview, Jon Stone said the ecology segments will "stress the interdependence of living things and the finiteness of the earth's resources. Pre-schoolers are extremely curious about the world around them, so we think they'll be very interested in how things they see are related to each other." Season 3 will also focus on Spanish language and Latino culture.[2] Examples of the ecology theme includes Big Bird's attempt to fight litter in Episode 0294, and the three-part serial "The Girl, the Trees and the Terrible Troll."

Head writer Jeff Moss says, “You’ll find an awful lot less of an adult telling a child that’s the right, or that’s the wrong answer. The kids will come up with solutions more often. And on every show we will have a 3-year-old. We haven't had children that young before, but surprisingly, they’re not that hard to manage before the camera. They really participate." He also says that this season will attempt to inject more real life into street scenes: "People will get annoyed with one another; will sometimes yell at one another. People will talk about pollution on the street."[3]


Spanish-speaking neighbors Luis, Maria, Rafael, and Antonio all join the cast, with Antonio becoming the show's first child cast member. Molly the mail carrier also makes appearances throughout the year. Linda, who previously appeared in Episode 0243, moves closer to Sesame Street this season having previously lived across the street the year before. David and Tom, seen in a few shows during season 2, become full-time cast members. Larry and Phyllis are replaced by another comedy duo, Wally and Ralph, whose segments will be kept in insert rotation by the end of season 5; some of their segments are remakes of the first season's Buddy and Jim bits.

Kermit the Frog returns in new material, having been absent the previous year.

A new Muppet character, Mr. Snuffleupagus, is introduced for the street scenes. Since his first appearance Mr. Snuffleupagus is thought by the adults to be Big Bird's imaginary friend as they never meet him, and due to Snuffy's shy nature. The character's look during this season is quite different, sporting green lizard-like eyes; these would eventually be modified with long, black eyelashes before the puppet would be redesigned next year.

Other Muppets who debut this season include wild-eyed prankster Harvey Kneeslapper, magician The Amazing Mumford, the extraterrestrial Martians, and Mr. Johnson (the recurring customer whom Grover waits on at Charlie's Restaurant).


In addition to Wally and Ralph, this season features the debut of The Mad Painter, a film series starring an eccentric man who would paint numbers on various objects. A recurring series of animated segments created by Bud Luckey features Donnie Budd, a country fiddle player who sings about the numbers 2 through 6. Other well-known animated segments produced this year include the Luckey-produced "The Alligator King" and "Ladybugs' Picnic," though both would make their debut the following year. Grover would serve up his first meal as a waiter, and the Anything Muppets are featured in a series of sketches that take place in the Old West. Many songs and sketches from 1971's The Muppet Alphabet Album would be taped as Muppet bits, most famously being Cookie Monster's anthem "C is for Cookie."

Since the Spanish language and culture is a curriculum focus this season, it was not uncommon to see Spanish-language inserts, usually either fully dubbed segments (including a few featuring Muppets), re-animated translations of cartoons, or street scenes in which the dialogue is all or partially in Spanish.


Episodes 0276 - 0405 (130 episodes)


  • This is the first season where the credits acknowledge that Caroll Spinney performs both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, and credit him with the human cast instead of with the other Muppet performers.
  • Fran Brill, included in the previous season's credits, is omitted from the roster, but still performs.
  • Season 3 was set to air on "about 300 stations, more than broadcast any other program on American TV."[4]
  • This is the last season to feature Matt Robinson as Gordon.
  • This is the last season in which, for Friday episodes, the street story's closing scene would continue under the credits. Starting with Episode 0295, a new illustrated credit crawl (designed by Peggy Owens Skillen)[5] was introduced.
  • The Numerosity segment series was not shown in this season.


Matt Robinson, Loretta Long, Will Lee, Bob McGrath, Northern Calloway, Emilio Delgado, Sonia Manzano, Raul Julia, Charlotte Rae, Larry Block, Panchito Gómez (Uncredited: Linda Bove, Vinnette Carroll)
Jim Henson's Muppets
Caroll Spinney, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson (Uncredited: Fran Brill, Jane Henson, Richard Hunt,[6] John Lovelady)
Human Characters
Gordon, Susan, Mr. Hooper, Bob, David, Luis, Maria, Rafael, Molly, Tom, Antonio, Linda, Lillian, Willy, Mr. Macintosh
Muppet Characters
The Amazing Mumford, Anything Muppets, Bert, Betty Lou, Big Bird, Big Jeffie, The Busby Twins, Cookie Monster, Ernie, Farley, Granny Fanny Nesselrode, Grover, Guy Smiley, Harvey Kneeslapper, Herbert Birdsfoot, Herry Monster, Mr. Johnson, Kermit the Frog, Lefty the Salesman, Little Bird, The Martians, The Mudman, Oscar the Grouch, Prairie Dawn, Professor Hastings, Roosevelt Franklin, Sherlock Hemlock, Simon Soundman, Sinister Sam, Mr. Snuffleupagus, Tough Eddie, Tony, The Twiddlebugs
Guest Stars
The Bronx Boys' Club, Nydia Caro, Bill Cosby, Jesse Jackson, Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick, Little Theatre of the Deaf, John McCurry, The New York Knicks, The New York Mets, Pete Seeger, Nina Simone



Season 3 credit crawl

credit crawl


  1. newspaper listings; Old School: Volume 1 displays an incorrect date on the menu for Episode 0276
  2. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Revamped 'Sesame Street' Opens 3rd Season Nov. 15
  3. Chicago Sun-Times TV Prevue: ”Alternate routes for a new season,” November 7-13, 1971.
  4. Andrew H. Malcolm (New York Times Service), "Educators gearing up for Sesame Street 'alumni'" St. Petersburg Times, October 18, 1971.
  5. Skillen's original design at the Heinz History Center
  6. Episode 0401 cast list, per script documents provided by a trusted source
  7. Henson directed "C is for Cookie" (source) and "The Miss Muffet Play" (source).

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Season 2 (1970-1971) Season 4 (1972-1973)