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Shalom Sesame
Air date 1991
Writer Louise Gikow
Director Moti Aviram
Sponsors the aleph-bet, 20


Picture Segment Description

COLD OPEN Jerry Stiller arrives on the street and meets Kippi Ben Kippod, who tells him about their dilemma – all the letters on Rechov Sumsum are disappearing! Jerry is appalled at the situation and wonders why it wasn’t in a newspaper, so Kippi gives him the current (blank) newspaper.


SCENE 1 Jerry introduces the β€œAleph-Bet Telethon” and sings a song about why they need the aleph-bet ("What is So Great About Letters?"). He then brings on his first act – Avi the Magician, who plans to make an aleph appear, but makes things that start with aleph appear instead - an efro'ach (chick), arnevet (rabbit) and esh (fire). When he leaves the stage, they see the letter has appeared on his back.
Muppets "Telephone Rock"/"Χ˜ΧœΧ€Χ•ΧŸ Χ¨Χ•Χ§"
The operator's lines are dubbed to make reference to the telethon.
Portions are dubbed in Hebrew.

SCENE 2 Joan Rivers calls to donate her daughter’s Lamed, while her daughter searches for it. When she tells her mom she’ll just have to buy a new one, Joan instantly gives it to her, wondering why she wants it. She replies that she was going to give it to a telethon too. So they both give it to the telethon. Jerry thanks them and remembers lamed and aleph make a word he knows, β€œlo”, which means no, which is made very clear by Moishe Oofnik.
SCENE 2 cont'd An announcer (Bill St. James) tells viewers to race through places in Israel to get to a phone to call.
SCENE 2 cont'd

Anne Meara calls the telethon, wishing to plant her tree in Israel. Moishe tells her she has the wrong number and hangs up. She consoles her plant, saying she can plant him in Brooklyn.


Animation Kippi floats through space, meeting a Kuf and a Tet and inviting them to the telethon.

SCENE 3 Jerry receives a call from Mrs. Naftali's speed reading class, who donates a Zayin, Samech, Ayin, αΉ’ade, Shin and a Tav.
Cartoon A woman looks at a line-up of shapes to find her purse.
SCENE 4 Moishe receives a call from Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street, who demands the telethon go off the air. When Oscar realizes that Moishe is on the phone, he is disgusted that he is a grouch helping out. Moishe denies helping, but Oscar sees different. He instantly makes his way to Israel in order to help Moishe redeem himself.
Muppets Ernie & Bert β€” Ernie reads a story for Bert that he's written on his typewriter. It turns out to be a dramatic reading of the alphabet.
The Hebrew aleph-bet is dubbed over the English alphabet.
SCENE 5 Ben Seaver from Growing Pains (Jeremy Miller) calls to try to donate a Chet his sister’s boyfriend gave to her, but Carol (Tracey Gold) gets back at him by trying to donate his Hay. Kippi gets confused about which one they’re donating, so he accepts them both.
SCENE 5 cont'd The announcer tells viewers to call quickly.

SCENE 5 cont'd Backstage, Oscar and Moishe finish making their fake letter (the "YuαΈ₯aleαΈ₯ale") that they’ll use to screw up the telethon. But when they find a Yud, they hide it on their fake letter so no one would notice.
Cartoon A man sings about Uncle Ned, a cook who likes to make his less than famous "20 Pickle Pie".
Artist: Jeff Hale
Partially dubbed in Hebrew.

SCENE 6 Kippi receives a call from Nell Carter, who gives him a special surprise – a Pey, which was the only letter that room service has to offer.
Muppets Cookie Monster performs "Healthy Food"/"ΧžΧ–Χ•ΧŸ בריאוΧͺ."
Portions are dubbed in Hebrew.
SCENE 6 cont'd Nell shows that the letter Pay is the first letter in the word β€œpita.”
Film A boy talks about how his Arabic friend and he and his mom make pitas together.
SCENE 7 The Beged Clothing Factory of Tel-Aviv donates a Bet, a Gimmel and a Dalet, which spell beged (clothing) in Hebrew.
Film Ballet dancers in Israel get a special teacher. They learn a lot from him, but don't forget the telethon and donate a Mem.
SCENE 8 Kippi thanks the ballet dancer for their donation. Itzhak Perlman calls, speaking with his violin, to donate a Kaf, a Nun, a Vav and a Reish, which spell kinor (violin). Itzhak comments, "Music - the universal language."
Cartoon A boy tells a story about how his father, Rabbi Akiva, became a student at his school because of his lack of formal education. He then became one of the great teachers of Israel.
SCENE 9 Kippi points out they’re only one letter away from their goal.
Muppets The Count sings about his first day of school "יום Χ¨ΧΧ©Χ•ΧŸ Χ‘Χ‘Χͺ Χ”Χ‘Χ€Χ¨."
Portions are dubbed in Hebrew.

SCENE 10 Moishe comes on stage to give them the fake letter but Jerry isn’t very convinced that it’s a real letter. He consults Kippi about it, but he notices that the Yod is part of it. Jerry sings a song thanking for the letters.
Kippi announces the sponsors – the letters of the aleph-bet and the # 20. Moishe yells for no more letters, then asks if anyone will his fake letter cheap.
Backstage, Oscar and Moishe groan as the letters on the street sign re-appear. The Rechov Sumsum theme music plays over the ending credits.


  • During the sequence where Oscar calls the telethon from Sesame Street, the set is noticeably not the actual street set from the show but rather a replica. The red door behind Oscar, which was one panel on the show at the time, has two panels.
  • Before and after the episode on the original VHS, a disclaimer reads, "The telephone number that appears in this program is fictitious. Please do not attempt to use it."


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