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Kermit the Frog rejoins his Sesame Street pals in the special.

Kermit Elvis Costello 50th Bein Green

Kermit and Elvis Costello

Sesame 50th special script pages

Script pages


The very first opening sequence played during the special's cold open.


The special includes many characters long retired from the show.


The special's end credits features recreations of favorite Sesame Street animations.


Norah Jones and her Y.

50th crew

Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration is a primetime special commemorating Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary. The special aired on November 9, 2019 on HBO, followed by a November 17th airing on PBS. The special kicked off the show's landmark 50th season, which began on HBO the following Saturday.

The special was announced as early as July 2018,[1] where it was said to feature celebrity guests, along with "new takes on classic segments" and "visits from Sesame Street icons,"[2] while also focusing on "the show’s cultural impact."

The special was released on DVD and digital download on December 3.[3]

Press kit description[]

Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Celebration is an all-ages primetime event that offers a sweeping look back at fifty years on the Street. Hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the special reimagines classic segments and songs as the Sesame Street gang gets ready for a big party to celebrate the neighborhood’s 50th birthday. When the famous street sign goes missing before the party, it’s up to Elmo, Rosita, Grover, and Abby to track it down, while Big Bird and Snuffy plan a surprise of their own.

This star-studded special includes cameos from rare characters like Roosevelt Franklin and Kermit the Frog, and visits from celebrity guests. Joseph Gordon-Levitt serves as the audience’s guide, breaking the fourth wall to talk to viewers about his favorite Sesame Street memories. (He also pops up inside some of those classic moments, discovering a telephone with the Yip Yip Martians, practicing “near” and “far” with Grover, and joining the shocked crowd meeting Snuffy for the first time.)



  • The special was primarily shot during the week of May 14, 2019.[4] Nile Rodgers' performance was shot a week prior on May 6.[5][6] The on-location cold open was shot on June 6.[7][8]
  • The PBS preview clips, published prior to the special's airing on both HBO and PBS, features a slightly different version of "Count Me In" in the opening.
  • The plot of the street sign going missing had previously been explored twenty-one years earlier in Episode 3699.


The special won six 2020 Daytime Emmy Awards, including:

  • Outstanding Special Class Special
  • Outstanding Writing for a Special Class Special
  • Outstanding Technical Team
  • Outstanding Principal Performance in a Daytime Program (for Ryan Dillon)
  • Outstanding Main Title and Graphic Design for a Live Action Program
  • Outstanding Multiple Camera Editing

It was additionally nominated for:


Abby Cadabby, the Amazing Mumford, Baby Bear, Bert, Big Bird, Captain Vegetable, Cookie Monster, Count von Count, Dish, Don Music, Elmo, Ernie, Forgetful Jones, Goldilocks, Gonger, Grover (and Super Grover), Grundgetta, Guy Smiley, Harvey Kneeslapper, Herry Monster, Honkers, Hoots the Owl, Horatio the Elephant, Jacket, Julia, Lefty the Salesman, Letters of the Alphabet (A, B, C, X, Y), Mama Bear, the Martians (archival footage), Mr. Snuffleupagus, Old MacDonald, Oscar the Grouch, Roosevelt Franklin, Rosita, Rudy, Sherlock Hemlock, Spoon, Telly Monster, Two-Headed Monster
Background Muppets
AM Monsters, Anything Muppets, Betty Lou, Biff, Chickens, Clam, the Countess, Ducks, Gabrielle, Gladys the Cow, Hansel and Gretel, Little Bird, Louie, Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Crustworthy, Number 50, Ovejita, Pigeons, Penguins, Prairie Dawn, Sheep, Sherry Netherland, Sully, Zoe
Lost boy and man with yo-yo, Donnie Budd, The Alligator King, The King of Eight, Fruta Manzana, The Bridgekeeper, Martian Beauty, Teeny Little Super Guy, Cecille, Little Girl (I Can Remember), Twiddlebugs, Ladybugs, Suzie Kabloozie, Feff, Dorothy, The Typewriter


Special Guest Stars
Fran Brill, Sterling K. Brown, Elvis Costello, Whoopi Goldberg, Norah Jones, Solange Knowles, Patti LaBelle, Itzhak Perlman, Nile Rodgers, Caroll Spinney, Deborah Spinney, Meghan Trainor
Sesame Street Muppet Performers
Pam Arciero, Jennifer Barnhart, Tau Bennett, Warrick Brownlow-Pike, Tyler Bunch, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Frankie Cordero, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Ryan Dillon, Stacey Gordon, Chris Thomas Hayes, Paul McGinnis, Noel MacNeal, Eric Jacobson, John Kennedy, Peter Linz, Spencer Lott, Carmen Osbahr, Martin P. Robinson, David Rudman, Matt Vogel
Special Appearance By
Rohan Agneshwar, Kaden Anderson, Adrianna Aquavella, Aydin Artis, Mark Christopher, Pierce Cravens, Lailene Delos Santos, Holanda Demeloitz, Saffron Faith, Adian Fong, Veronica Frazier, Kay Gaffney, Kafayat Gboladel, Lukas Gilkison-Parrish, Sheila Glenn, Zoe Glick, Kimberly Gorman, Deborah Grausman, Chris Guttadaro (The Baker),[9] Anika Hatch, Connor Hawke, Leah Horowitz, Joe Huu, Anna Kuchma, Sarah Lockwood, J. Elaine Marcos, Barry Mitchell, Erin Moore, Brianna Growalt, Hudson Loverro, Tayanah Jn Philippe, Kavon Newman, Martin Rohleder, Azra Tahirovic, Christina Williams, David Wong, Leonard Zimmerman
Special Extras
Greer Barnes, Lorenzo Giliberti, Clementine Kline, Hazel Anne Raymundo
The Baker (Voice) By
Jim Henson



See also[]

External links[]