During the first season of Sesame Street, several animated inserts were produced called Speech Balloon,[1] in which a character says a letter and a word that begins with that letter. The word appears in a word balloon, accompanied by an image.

According to the book Children and Television: Lessons from Sesame Street, these segments were inspired by the Muppet piece "Visual Thinking" as performed on The Ed Sullivan Show.

As part of the show's bilingual project, certain segments also aired on Sesame Street in Spanish.

Season 1 (1969-1970)

Picture Segment / First Description
Aisforape
A - Ape
Episode 0006
An ape appears with a menacing expression. Later, the ape wears a wig and plays "Tiptoe Through the Tulips"' on his ukulele.
Toon.Butterfly
B - Butterfly
Episode 0006
A man catches a butterfly in a net, only to find himself captured into another net.
Cat toon2
C - Cat
Episode 0029
After a dog trots into the balloon, a cat angrily boots him out. Also in Spanish (gato).
D balloon
D - Dog
Episode 0016
The roles between dog and master are reversed.
Included in Sesame Street Test Show 1.
1446d
E - Egg
Episode 0002
A cow hatches a chick, which says, "Moo."
F bubble
F - Fly
Episode 0032
A man attempts to dislodge a fly with a swatter, but ends up smacking himself in the face instead.
Gorilla toon2
G - Gorilla
Episode 0085
A man appears instead of a gorilla, but then he unzips his costume, revealing himself to be a gorilla, which growls.
Hisforhole
H - Hole
Episode 0080
A boy gets a pie in the face when he looks out of his speech balloon.
3161s
I - Ice cream
Episode 0033
An ice cream scoop scoops up a bowl of ice cream, runs away with the ice cream container leaving ice cream on the boy's face.
1839zl
J - Jam
Episode 0012
A little boy gets jam poured all over him from within the balloon. But he doesn't mind -- it's strawberry, his favorite flavor.
2125i
K - Key
Episode 0040
A man puts a key into a keyhole, but instead of just opening a door, he opens the entire front of his house. His wife calls to him from the bathtub, "Close the house, Leonard!"
Lisforlunchbox
L - Lunchbox
Episode 0031
When the box is opened, a jack-in-the-box head pops out.
M-Mail
M - Mailbox
Episode 0013
A hand reaches out of the mailbox, attaches a stamp to the man's forehead, and pulls him into the box.
SB--NNail
N - Nail
Episode 0040
A man pulls a nail out of his speech balloon which deflates.
Opencartoon
O - Open
Episode 0014
After the man steps into the bubble through a door on the side, the bubble slams shut and cannot be opened. Also in Spanish (abierto).
Speechballoon.Pin
P - Pin
Episode 0054
An abstract woman pushes a pin into her balloon, bursting it.
SB-Rabbit
R - Rabbit
Episode 0014
A stage magician looks humiliated as a rabbit pulls him from a gigantic top hat.
2096t
S - Snake
Episode 0063
A snake charmer plays a tune on his recorder; the snake doesn't enjoy the tune and decides to play another tune on the recorder. Also in Spanish (serpiente).
500015
T - Train
Episode 0022
A railroad engineer catches a ride on a train. Also in Spanish (tren).
SpeechBalloon.Umbrella
U - Umbrella
Episode 0038
A gust of wind fills a woman's umbrella, pulling her upward through the top of the balloon.
SpeechBalloon.V
V - Violin
Episode 0052
A musician plays a violin, which makes a sawing noise and instantly breaks in two.
SB--WWater
W - Water
Episode 0062
A man's speech balloon becomes a water cooler. He attaches a faucet to the speech balloon and climbs up to the balloon and gets water in the face.
SpeechBalloon.Xray
X - X-Ray
Episode 0064
A bald man steps behind an x-ray machine. When he steps out, his whole mid-section is gone!
Cartoonyoyo
Y - Yo-Yo
Episode 0036
After snipping a boy's yo-yo with scissors, a man becomes the boy's makeshift yo-yo.
ZforZipper
Z - Zipper
Episode 0025
The balloon unzips and falls onto the speaker.

Later Seasons

Picture Segment / EKA Description
SpeechBalloon-Agua
A - Agua
Episode 0510
The Spanish version of "W - Water".
SpeechBalloonBBug
B - Bug
Episode 0137
A woman sprays an insect, which fights back with a cannon.
C- Cap
C - Cap
Episode 0573
A man puts on an oversized cap.
SB--CCarrot
C - Carrot
Episode 0203
A gigantic rabbit eats a man's speech balloon.
1095o
C - Cowboy
Episode 0703
A cowboy strings up his identical twin.
E-End
E - End
Episode 2164
A man falls off of the end of his rope.
2682x
H - Horse
Episode 0474
The horse rides on the cowboy.
2257zc
I - Iron
Episode 0314
An iron irons the word.
Speechballoon.Island
I - Island
Episode 0314
A man discovers that he is standing on the head of a crocodile.
SpeechBalloonLLight
L - Light
Episode 0147
A man turns on a light, interrupting another man's sleep. Also in Spanish (luz).
Lisforlips
L - Lips
Episode 0198
A large pair of lips smooches a man.
1845p
L - Loud
Episode 0783
A man complains that a musician's muted trumpet isn't loud enough; the musician retaliates with a deafening honk on his instrument ("Now that's loud!")
PforPack
P - Pack
Episode 0504
A woman (inside the speech balloon) packs a suitcase and packs her husband in the suitcase, too.
0871o
Q - Quiet
Episode 0675
A man yells for a woodpecker chopping a tree to be quiet. The tree then falls down on the man.
S-sing
S - Sing
Episode 0824
A woman puts her hat down on an off-key man.
Speechballoon.Up
U - Up
Episode 0650
Two men demonstrate "up" on a teeter totter; one man ends up crashing through the ceiling.
W-Wash
W - Wash
Episode 0485
A man watches a woman (inside the speech balloon) hand-wash and hang clothes; she ends by grabbing the man, washing and hanging his clothes while he's still wearing them.

Sources

  1. Lesser, Gerald Children and Television: Lessons from Sesame Street
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