|Premiere||November 15, 1971 (0276)|
|Finale||May 12, 1972 (0405)|
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 culture. 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."
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 to Sesame Street this season. 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)
- Episode 0276 -- Season 3 premiere; Big Bird meets Mr. Snuffleupagus.
- Episode 0277 -- Tom and the mystery of the open ice cream bin.
- Episode 0278 -- Mr. Hooper misses Mr. Snuffleupagus.
- Episode 0279 -- Grover climbs the Sesame Street sign.
- Episode 0280 -- Construction workers fill Sesame Street.
- Episode 0281 -- Oscar says "sorry."
- Episode 0282 -- Big Bird becomes a fireman.
- Episode 0283 -- Molly imagines being on a ranch.
- Episode 0284 -- Everyone helps Tom clean Hooper's Store.
- Episode 0285 -- Molly explains the mail process; Big Bird and the chair delivery.
- Episode 0286 -- Tom wonders why there aren't any customers at Hooper's Store today.
- Episode 0287 -- Molly’s feet hurt.
- Episode 0288 -- Oscar puts himself in charge of Mr. Hooper's recycling bins.
- Episode 0289 -- A day of rain.
- Episode 0290 -- A new library on Sesame Street; Grover's crush.
- Episode 0291 -- Trash Collection Day on Sesame Street; Big Bird helps when Mr. Snuffleupagus gets his trunk stuck in the mailbox.
- Episode 0292 -- Big Bird asks Tom not to use the bug spray.
- Episode 0293 -- Molly's noisy packages.
- Episode 0294 -- Big Bird tries to get everyone to stop littering.
- Episode 0295 -- Grover tells Molly that he'd like to try being a letter carrier.
- Episode 0296 -- The fire inspector teaches Gordon how to prevent fires.
- Episode 0297 -- Oscar puts up too many "NO" signs.
- Episode 0298 -- Mr. Snuffleupagus is afraid of fruit.
- Episode 0299 -- Oscar has an "OPEN" sign; Mr. Snuffleupagus gets a cold.
- Episode 0300 -- Big Bird makes a mess in Hooper's Store.
- Episode 0301 -- Big Bird's paper airplane is stuck in a tree.
- Episode 0302 -- Big Bird gets a present from his mommy.
- Episode 0303 -- A day of finger painting.
- Episode 0304 -- Mr. Snuffleupagus wants a glass of water.
- Episode 0305 -- Big Bird wants to imitate a rooster, and plans to wake Susan at 8 o'clock.
- Episode 0306 -- Big Bird finds a suitcase outside of 123 Sesame Street.
- Episode 0307 -- Big Bird gets a pet triangle.
- Episode 0308 -- Oscar wants Mr. Hooper's rotten apples; Molly's favorite K word is "kiss."
- Episode 0309 -- Mr. Snuffleupagus sprays water on Susan's laundry.
- Episode 0310 -- Big Bird sits on the lower-case letter h; Maria tries to help Oscar remember what kind of dessert he wants.
- Episode 0311 -- Big Bird finds four legs on Mr. Snuffleupagus.
- Episode 0312 -- Oscar decides to move away from Sesame Street.
- Episode 0313 -- Big Bird learns that people have supper and go to bed at about the same time.
- Episode 0314 -- Big Bird uses a Sound Machine to make strange sounds.
- Episode 0315 -- Gordon puts up a neighborhood bulletin board.
- Episode 0316 --
- Episode 0317 -- Maria pretends that she can't speak.
- Episode 0318 -- Big Bird falls asleep and has a bad dream.
- Episode 0319 -- Oscar and Bob both like the rain, but for different reasons.
- Episode 0320 -- A tired Snuffy looks for a place to sit.
- Episode 0321 -- Big Bird hears a dripping sound.
- Episode 0322 -- The Big Bird Button.
- Episode 0323 -- Big Bird takes a picture of Snuffleupagus to prove that his friend exists.
- Episode 0324 -- Cookie Monster is left alone with Susan's cookies.
- Episode 0325 -- Oscar decides to move his trash can.
- Episode 0326 -- Linda moves to Sesame Street.
- Episode 0327 -- Mr. Hooper has a kid imagine being the only person on Sesame Street.
- Episode 0328 -- Oscar wants a job that allows him to blast a siren; Big Bird the lion tamer.
- Episode 0329 -- The Mudman tries to sell his mud to Oscar and Tom; David fills the sidewalk with cement.
- Episode 0330 -- Luis and Rafael open a Fix-It Shop.
- Episode 0331 -- Molly and Oscar catch colds; Mr. Snuffleupagus celebrates his 2nd birthday
- Episode 0332 -- Big Bird looks for something to do.
- Episode 0333 -- Everybody celebrates Antonio's birthday with a traditional Mexican fiesta
- Episode 0334 -- Mr. Hooper asks Oscar to take care of the trash in his store.
- Episode 0335 -- Oscar is locked out of his trash can.
- Episode 0336 -- Luis fixes things "the grouchy way" at the Fix-It Shop.
- Episode 0337 -- Big Bird is mad because Lillian won't play with him.
- Episode 0338 -- Oscar is afraid of Tough Eddie.
- Episode 0339 -- Big Bird imagines an upside-down Sesame Street.
- Episode 0340 -- Fixing Susan's leaky faucet.
- Episode 0341 -- Mr. Snuffleupagus helps to find Rafael's glasses
- Episode 0342 -- Mr. Hooper teaches Big Bird about paying bills
- Episode 0343 -- Measles vaccination.
- Episode 0344 -- Molly has two packages with no address.
- Episode 0345 -- Mr. Snuffleupagus wants to surprise Big Bird
- Episode 0346 -- Big Bird tries to help a lost boy get home
- Episode 0347 -- Pete Seeger visits Sesame Street
- Episode 0348 -- Big Bird and Snuffy play softball; Oscar cleans the street with a vacuum cleaner attached to his trash can
- Episode 0349 -- Oscar hires Cookie Monster to make grouch food
- Episode 0350 -- David saves Maria's ring from getting lost in the drain
- Episode 0351 -- Big Bird sets up a spaghetti trap for Mr. Snuffleupagus
- Episode 0352 -- Cookie Monster loses his memory.
- Episode 0353 -- Oscar makes a deal with Bob to be nice and helpful all morning
- Episode 0354 -- Maria shows Big Bird how to plan his chores
- Episode 0355 -- A big rainstorm hits Sesame Street.
- Episode 0356 -- Oscar disguises himself as a little girl named Melody.
- Episode 0357 -- Oscar throws a Grouch party.
- Episode 0358 -- Molly loses her shoes.
- Episode 0359 -- Bert leaves Ernie.
- Episode 0360 -- Molly delivers packages.
- Episode 0361 -- Big Bird is convinced Snuffy is imaginary
- Episode 0362 -- Brother Kirk visits Sesame Street
- Episode 0363 -- The Bronx Boy's Club visits
- Episode 0364 -- Big Bird takes Oscar's place as the resident Grouch
- Episode 0365 -- David, Herry, and the kids play a memory game.
- Episode 0366 -- The Little Theatre of the Deaf returns.
- Episode 0367 -- Ernie guesses pajaro and plays sounds.
- Episode 0368 -- Grover helps at the Fix-It Shop.
- Episode 0369 -- Big Bird shovels snow.
- Episode 0370 -- Snuffy sees a snowman.
- Episode 0371 -- Big Bird's house of cards. / Don't pick the flowers.
- Episode 0372 -- Oscar's crush on Matilda the bus driver
- Episode 0373 -- Oscar watches the Trashball game.
- Episode 0374 -- Big Bird looks for a job.
- Episode 0375 -- Maria and Susan miss seeing Mr. Snuffleupagus; Tom cleans his air conditioner.
- Episode 0376 -- Kermit gets sick.
- Episode 0377 -- Mr. Snuffleupagus dances the Snuffy Shuffle; Luis plays “La Víbora de la Mar” with the kids.
- Episode 0378 -- Rafael's burglar alarm.
- Episode 0379 -- Snuffy blows bubbles.
- Episode 0380 -- Big Bird helps Luis at the Fix-it Shop
- Episode 0381 -- Gordon's broken vacuum.
- Episode 0382 -- Oscar builds an automated Grouch.
- Episode 0383 -- Oscar looks for a quiet place to nap.
- Episode 0384 -- Oscar's trash can lid goes missing.
- Episode 0385 -- Oscar helps at the Fix-It-Shop.
- Episode 0386 -- Big Bird gets a letter from his cousin Monroe.
- Episode 0387 -- Linda shows how she uses her senses while being deaf.
- Episode 0388 -- Big Bird worries that the adults are plotting to get rid of Snuffy.
- Episode 0389 -- Another visit from Pete Seeger.
- Episode 0390 -- Oscar realizes his trash can is missing; Big Bird has a splinter in his foot.
- Episode 0391 -- Jay uses crutches to walk.
- Episode 0392 -- Big Bird guards the confetti.
- Episode 0393 -- Big Bird tries to cure Grover's hiccups.
- Episode 0394 -- Rain for Big Bird's plant and feathers.
- Episode 0395 -- Big Bird accidentally locks himself in the garage.
- Episode 0396 -- Oscar wants to fly.
- Episode 0397 -- The Mudman's Mudmobile.
- Episode 0398 -- Oscar enters The Daily Grouch poetry contest.
- Episode 0399 -- Molly's broken mailbag.
- Episode 0400 -- Nydia Caro visits.
- Episode 0401 -- Big Bird and Chris play with Snuffy.
- Episode 0402 -- Oscar tries to take a silly photo for the Grouch Gazette picture contest.
- Episode 0403 -- Cookie Monster gets his mind off cookies.
- Episode 0404 -- Oscar disguises himself.
- Episode 0405 -- 3rd season finale; Rafael's broken phone.
- 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."
- 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. In the middle of the season, a new illustrated credit crawl 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, 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, The New York Knicks, The New York Mets, Pete Seeger, Nina Simone
- Executive Producer: David D. Connell
- Producer: Jon Stone
- Directors: Joost Van Rees, Robert Myhrum, Jim Henson
- Writers: Jeffrey Moss, and Bob Oskner, Dan Wilcox. Jerry Juhl, Emily Perl Kaplin, Ray Sipherd, Norman Stiles, Jon Stone
- Music Director: Joe Raposo
- Muppet Costume Designers: Kermit Love, Caroly Wilcox
- Muppet Associate Director: Richard C. Pepperman
- Supervising Film Producer: Edith Zornow
- Film Producer: Shyrlee Dallard
- Associate Producers: Dulcy Singer, Joan Lufrano, Aida Monares
- Production Assistants: Lisa Simon, Ozzie Alfonso, Laurie Krosney
- Director of Operations: Ronald L. Weaver
- Production Supervisor: Lynn Klugman
- Music Coordinator: Danny Epstein
- Special Songs: Jeffrey Moss, Joe Raposo
- Film Production: Dorothy Tod, Madeline Anderson, M.M. Murphy
- Art Director: Alan J. Compton
- Costume Designer: Mostoller
- Artists: Elaine Booth Martin
- Illustrations: Peggy Owens Skillen
- Senior Scenic Artist: Victor Di Napoli
- Director of Research: Edward L. Palmer, Ph.D.
- Chairman, Board of Advisors: Gerald S. Lesser, Ph.D.
- Production Stage Manager: Chet O'Brien
- Stage Manager: Jimmy Baylor
- Property Coordinator: Nat Mongioi
- Unit Manager: Glenda Jones
- Associate Director: Emily Squires
- Technical Director: Bob Brooks
- Technical Supervisor: Walt Rauffer
- Lighting Director: George Riesenberger
- Audio: Mike Shoskes, Bob Freeman
- Video: Bob Squittieri
- Sound Effects: Terry Ross, Barbara Wood
- Make-Up: Phyllis Grens Sternick
- Hair Stylist: Mickey Lawrence
- Wardrobe: Ruby Howkins
- Videotape Editors: John Hutchison, Vincent Sims, Jack Langan, Joe O'Dowd, Joe Commare
- Recorded at Teletape's 81st. Street Studio
- newspaper listings; Old School: Volume 1 displays an incorrect date on the menu for Episode 0276
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Revamped 'Sesame Street' Opens 3rd Season Nov. 15
- Chicago Sun-Times TV Prevue: ”Alternate routes for a new season,” November 7-13, 1971.
- Andrew H. Malcolm (New York Times Service), "Educators gearing up for Sesame Street 'alumni'" St. Petersburg Times, October 18, 1971.
- Episode 0401 cast list, per script documents provided by a trusted source
- 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)|