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DEBUT 1972
DESIGN Caroly Wilcox builder

The Martians, sometimes called "the Yip-Yips," are interplanetary visitors, presumed to be from the planet Mars, who are terrified by things like clocks, telephones, and computers on Sesame Street. When frightened, they hide beneath their lower lips, which shoot up to cover their faces. They rarely come face-to-face with other characters on the show.

In their skits, these creatures, with squid-like tentacles, large eyes, and antennae, materialize into a room and converse with each other in their native tongue: "Yip-yip-yip-yip... Uh-huh. Uh-huh," done in monotone voices. They often come across common objects and, curious as to their names and functions, the Martians will consult a book presumably containing information about things on Earth, although they sometimes make several incorrect guesses based on their book. In one skit, for example, the Martians call a computer a television and a typewriter before deciding what it actually is.

The first puppets were originally chenille hats, adapted by Caroly Wilcox.[1]


Picture Summary / EKA Description
Episode 0398
The Martians discover a telephone. They say hello to it, and then try mooing, meowing, and clucking at it. None of these bring any response. Then the phone begins to ring. The Martians, thinking it's talking, start making ringing noises back.

Performers: Jim Henson (blue Martian), Jerry Nelson (pink Martian)

Grandfather clock
Episode 0407
The Martians discover a grandfather clock and wonder if it's an Earth person. They consult their book, which says a person is tall, has a face, and has hands. The clock fits the description perfectly. But then the grandfather clock begins chiming the hour, frightening the Martians.

Performers: Jim Henson (blue Martian), Jerry Nelson (pink Martian)

Ernie and Bert Meet the Martians
Episode 1208
Ernie wakes up and tells Bert it's time to get up, but notices that Bert isn't in his bed. He slowly ponders what happened to his best friend, coming to the conclusion that maybe some Martians took him away in their spaceship. As it turns out, Bert just got up early to fix some oatmeal. Ernie is relieved... until a real spaceship lands and the Martians enter the room.

Performers: Jerry Nelson (pink Martian), Richard Hunt (blue Martian)

Episode 1329
The Martians discover a radio. They tune into three different styles of music, none of which they like. Then they tune into some static, which they start joyfully dancing to.

Performers: Jerry Nelson (pink Martian), Richard Hunt (blue Martian)

Sesame Street News Flash: Old MacDonald's Spaceship
Episode 2021
Old MacDonald tells Kermit that a spaceship has landed on his farm. A dog runs in, with a frisbee in its mouth, and MacDonald says that it's the spaceship. Kermit sets him straight. But before long, a real spaceship lands on the farm, and out of it come the Martians. The scene ends in chaos.

Performer: Martin P. Robinson (pink Martian)

BringThatThing 2
Bring that Thing
Episode 2460
The Martians (addressed as Stevie and Jonathan Martian) are the contestants on one of Guy Smiley's game shows. They need to bring him something that involves light (such as a flashlight, a lamp, and the moon, which they have to quickly zoom back into space to get). Their jackpot prize is a pot of lightning bugs.

Performers: Martin P. Robinson (pink Martian), Kevin Clash (orange Martian)

Finding Earth
Episode 2725
The Martians are looking for the Earth and find pigs in space and the Moon along the way.

Performers: Martin P. Robinson (pink Martian), Kevin Clash (blue Martian)

Episode 2731
The Martians come upon a book which they try to eat, smell, and hear before a gust of wind blows the pages open and they realize that they can read it.

Performers: Martin P. Robinson (pink Martian), Kevin Clash (blue Martian)

Leaky Faucet
Episode 2962
The Martians spy a leaky faucet through a kitchen window. As it continues to drip, a Fat Blue woman turns it off, shocked to see that she had been wasting water.

Performers: Jerry Nelson (pink Martian), Martin P. Robinson (blue Martian)

Episode 3350
The Martians examine a fan and are "blown away" by it.

Performers: Martin P. Robinson (blue Martian), David Rudman (orange Martian)

Number 16
Episode 3387
The Martians look at the number 16.

Performers: Jerry Nelson (blue Martian), Martin P. Robinson (pink Martian)

The Letter U
Episode 3387
The Martians find the letter U.

Performers: Jerry Nelson (blue Martian), Martin P. Robinson (pink Martian)

Letter A
Episode 3387
The Martians investigate the letter A.

Performers: Jerry Nelson (blue Martian), Martin P. Robinson (pink Martian)

Other appearances[]

Martians Pizza Box Song

Orange, pink, and yellow Martians sing the "Pizza Box Song"


When You Wish Upon a Pickle promo

  • "Guy Smiley Takes His Audience to Lunch" (First: Episode 2646)
    Two Martians make a cameo appearance as audience members when Guy Smiley takes his entire studio audience to lunch.
  • Journey to Ernie
    A Martian (David Rudman) appears briefly in the segment for "Outer Space."
    An orange Martian (Matt Vogel) floats outside of Telly's spaceship in the introduction of the "Space Day" playlist.
  • Spaghetti Space Chase
    The Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Matt Vogel) appear as animatronics riding a flying saucer in outer space as they notice all the spaghetti around them.
  • Sesame Street at SeaWorld
    An interactive element in the park features a mail slot, which when opened, shows video of the Martians visiting a disco, the beach, and outer space.
  • Common Sense Media
    Two Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Matt Vogel) appear in a video promoting the organization's "DeviceFreeDinner" campaign.

Street scenes[]

  • Episode 0491 -- The Martians (Jerry Nelson and Jim Henson) provide unique words during the rhyming sessions.
  • Episode 0875 -- The blue Martian (here named Snork performed by Nelson) explores Sesame Street.
  • Episode 1970 -- The Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Richard Hunt) enjoy a picnic.
  • Episode 2053 -- The Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Richard Hunt) cause trouble for Big Bird.
  • Episode 2258 -- The Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Kevin Clash) observe Luis's new computer at the Fix-It Shop.
  • Episode 2320 -- The Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Kevin Clash) aid Big Bird with his poem about the letter Y.
  • Episode 2426 -- The Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Jerry Nelson) see Maria and Luis flirting and deduce they're in love.
  • Episode 2435 -- The Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Kevin Clash) spy on Maria and Luis from afar and identify the different emotions the couple expresses.
  • Episode 2478 -- The Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Kevin Clash) do some spying around the street, when Forgetful Jones happens upon them.
  • Episode 2979 -- The Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Jim Martin) encounter a music box.
  • Episode 3039 -- The Martians (Jerry Nelson and David Rudman) discover words and letters all over Sesame Street.
  • Episode 3055 -- The Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Jerry Nelson) use their antennae to play a xylophone.
  • Episode 3226 -- The Martians (Julianne Buescher and Martin P. Robinson) visit Hooper's Store and Angela's home care.
  • Episode 3387 -- The Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Jerry Nelson) observe Biff's 40th birthday party from atop the fence.
  • Episode 3507 -- The Martians (Jerry Nelson and Martin P. Robinson) observe Gordon's doorbell.
  • Episode 3681 -- The Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Joey Mazzarino) repair Bob's lamp while Maria's out.
  • Episode 3880 -- The Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Jerry Nelson) examine the new Fix-It Shop computer and turn it on.
  • Episode 4062 -- A Martian appears in the crowd of people who become part of Elmo's parade.
  • Episode 4081 -- Two Martians (Eric Jacobson and John Tartaglia) appear in the song "Music of the Street."
  • Episode 4504 -- Two Martians are seen amongst Doctor Two's alien pairs.
  • Episode 4635 -- A holographic Martian (Martin P. Robinson) appears briefly in a Galactic Stan-O-Scan product.
  • Episode 4805 -- The Martians (Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Martin P. Robinson, and Matt Vogel) visit Sesame Street to learn about Earth people.
  • Episode 5013 -- Two Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Matt Vogel) appear briefly before "Anyone Can Be Friends."
  • Episode 5212 -- Two Martians (Martin P. Robinson and Matt Vogel) appear in the cold open.


  • "Hi Friend"
    Bob makes friends with the Martians and they all sing together.
  • "Brush Boogie"
    Nonspeaking cameo during the song, sitting on a wall brushing each other with their interstellar brushes.
  • "Adding, Adding, Adding"
    Bert is trying to read his book when Ernie starts singing a song about addition. As Ernie sings, he's joined by Cookie Monster and Grover, some cows, an elephant, and a Martian. At the end of the song, Ernie leaves Bert with a room full of singing monsters and animals.
  • "Adventure"
    Cameo appearance when En Vogue travels on a rocket ship to another planet.


Matt and marty performing martians

Marty Robinson, Matt Vogel, and the Martians recording dialogue for the "iYip" iPhone app.

Around the time of the 35th Anniversary of the program, licensees finally started to notice and recall the characters. In the latter half of 2003, retail outlet Hot Topic led the way with the first-known official Yip Yip merchandising, a "vintage"-looking t-shirt with two Martians (pictured).

This was followed in the fall of 2004 with Gund bean-bag toys (pictured). In 2016, a larger, blue puppet version was produced for sale at Sesame Place theme parks.

In 2008, a second t-shirt was made by Mighty Fine featuring the same artwork as the Hot Topic shirt, but retaining the two puppets' original colors. More t-shirts eventually followed.

Light switch plates and other merchandising were released featuring a vintage art style created for many of the characters in conjunction with the anniversary celebration.

The 2006 Sesame Street calendar features the Yip Yips for the month of November, and they make an appearance on the front cover scene.

Two Martians appeared in "Out of This World," a Sesame Street Live touring show that launched in 2003, and featured in the song "The Yup Yup Boogie." They also make appearances in the CD-ROM game, Get Set to Learn!, during Zoe's "What Size is Your Prize?" game and the CD-ROM Elmo's Reading Basics. They also star in an online game at, Earth Exploration, where they observe nature with their talking guidebook.

In 2011, the Martians were featured on iYip, a soundboard iPhone app in which the Martians recite random phrases and statements. (Martin P. Robinson and Matt Vogel provided the Martians' voices for the app.)

Book appearances[]

See also[]