Written by David Borgenicht
Published 1998
Publisher Hyperion Books
ISBN 0786864605
Ssunpaved ukcover

UK Cover art

Sesame Street Unpaved is a 194-page behind the scenes look at the making of Sesame Street.


Can You Tell Me How We Got To Sesame Street?: The Sesame Street Story

This chapter talks about the early years of the show, with info on the casting process, the original Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and Grover puppets, a list of other shows to be on the air for 30 or more years, and more.

I Can't Hear You-- I've Got a Banana In My Ear: The Classic Moments

Info on the many classic moments from the show, many of which are in script form and accompanied by stills from the sketches. Most moments are included in special sections devoted to the main Muppets from the show (with sections on Ernie and Bert, Big Bird, Mr. Snuffleupagus, Grover, Count von Count, Cookie Monster, Prairie Dawn, Telly Monster, Elmo, Zoe, Kermit the Frog, Guy Smiley, Herry Monster, and Oscar the Grouch (which includes the lyrics to I Love Trash)). Some moments represented include Big Bird learning about Mr. Hooper's death, Grover's Near and Far sketch, Sesame Street News Flash sketches, many Sesame Street Game Shows, many Sesame Street Muppet & Kid Moments, animated inserts such as The Alligator King and the King of 8, and Harvey Kneeslapper's practical joke for the letter B.

Who are the People In Your Neighborhood?: The Cast

Includes info on most of the human cast, Anything Muppets, many supporting Muppets who didn't get their own sections in the previous chapter, characters who are no longer on the show at the time (with explanations of what happened to them), and celebrities who have been on the show.

Sing--Sing a Song: The Music and Poems of Sesame Street

Includes lyrics, pictures, and secret facts on some of Sesame Street's best-known songs, such as Sing, Rubber Duckie, C is For Cookie, Bein' Green, The People in Your Neighborhood and others. Also includes a few poems, such as some of Roosevelt Franklin's.

Psst! Hey, Buddy!": Behind the Scenes on Sesame Street

Includes behind-the-scenes info, such as info on the various types of Muppets, how the Big Bird suit is built, info on the various international versions of the show, a two-page spread listing who performed which characters (mostly just applying to the then-current main performers plus Jim Henson and Richard Hunt) and biographies on Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Caroll Spinney, Fran Brill, Jerry Nelson, Kevin Clash and Martin Robinson.


  • On page 121, the year of Northern Calloway's death is erroneously given as 1989 (Calloway died in 1990). [1]
  • In the performer spread on pages 180-181, Steve Whitmire is listed as having performed Kermit the Frog and Ernie on the series since 1991. Whitmire didn't take up Ernie until 1993. [2]
  • On the same spread, Richard Hunt is listed as having performed Snuffy from 1977 to 1980. After Nelson bowed out (in 1978 rather than 1977), Michael Earl took over the role until 1980 (see Talk:Michael Earl.)
  • In Jerry Nelson's bio on page 187, the book states "And he's been doing it ever since the show began" when Nelson actually joined in the second season. [3]
  • The section on Professor Hastings on page 135 is incorrectly accompanied by a picture of Dr. Nobel Price and Warren Wolf.
  • Page 16 states that Big Bird and Oscar were the first two Muppets seen in the first episode, but Ernie and Bert actually appeared after Big Bird and before Oscar.
  • The section on Gordon incorrectly states that he was played by Matt Robinson from 1969-1971, Hal Miller from 1971-1973, and Roscoe Orman since 1973. The information is off by one year. Robinson was Gordon until 1972, Miller was Gordon from 1972-1974, and Orman has played Gordon since 1974.

See Also


  1. Northern Calloway, Actor, 41, on Stage And 'Sesame Street', New York Times Obituary, January 13, 1990.
  2. Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street, page 135
  3. Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street, page 55

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