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Music by Bud Luckey
Lyrics by Donald Hadley
Date 1971
Publisher Sesame Street Inc.
First Episode 0411

Sesame Street Alligator King

"The Alligator King."

"The Alligator King" is an animated Sesame Street segment about the number 7.

The song tells the story of a mustachioed alligator king who is "feeling mighty down" and offers his crown to whichever of his seven sons can cheer him up.

The first six princes bring their father luxurious gifts, but they end up doing more harm than good, for example, fancy perfume causes the reptilian monarch to break out in a spotty rash "'cause it smelled like cheap cigars." The seventh prince, however, helps the king up after he falls down and is awarded the crown, which is revealed to have been purchased "on sale at a discount store" for seven cents. As a result, not only does "The Alligator King" teach about the number 7, but it also shows that helping others and making one's fellow human beings feel cared for is more important than owning material possessions.

This segment was animated, produced, and directed by William "Bud" Luckey. The music was performed by San Francisco jazz musician Turk Murphy and his band, with Murphy providing the vocals and Luckey playing the banjo.

The song was originally recorded with a slightly different end lyric: "I got it on sale at Monkey Ward's" (a slang term for department store Montgomery Ward). For reasons unknown (possibly legal), the lyric was changed to the generic "discount store." The version heard on the show has the ending line rerecorded with the new lyric, while the original unedited recording is preserved on the 2001 Turk Murphy compilation CD Wild Man Blues.

In Episode 3408, Celina screens the segment for her dance class twice, then has them perform an "Alligator King" pageant. Big Bird gets the title role.

Big Bird can be seen drawing with the Alligator King during the credits of Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration.