Don't Eat the Pictures

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Cover of VHS release

Don't Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (commonly shortened to Don't Eat the Pictures) is a one-hour Sesame Street special that aired on PBS on November 16, 1983. The title comes from a song in the special, "Don't Eat the Pictures,"[1] sung by Cookie Monster.[2] It was available as a video tape by Random House in 1987,[3] and it re release vhs by Paramount Home Video in 1996. and to DVD in 2011. During the program, five splendid songs. The special has everybody reprising their roles from the children's television series, Sesame Street. The story takes on getting locked in an American Metropolitan Museum of Art overnight as they embark on an adventure to find their friend Big Bird,[4] who has gotten lost finding Snuffy.[5] They must stay there until the morning while avoiding a security guard. The special features the regular human cast of Sesame Street along with several of The Muppets, including Cookie Monster, Telly,[6] Bert[7] & Ernie,[8] The Count,[9] Grover,[10] and Oscar the Grouch.[11] Snuffy also appears, even though his names are revealed to be Mr. Snuffleupagus and Aloysius Snuffleupagus; however, at this point in the show's history, he is still the imaginary friend of Big Bird, never seen by the other characters on Sesame Street.


The Sesame Street gang have gone on a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Big Bird has arranged to meet with Snuffy at the museum but before he can, it is closing time. Big Bird decides to go off and look for Snuffy. Before the group can leave, they realize Big Bird is missing and run all through the museum looking for him. The chase has them going through different exhibits at high speed and missing, spotting, and chasing him. After a bit, they give up, only to find that they are locked in the museum overnight. They decide to go back out and look for Big Bird and look at all the exhibits while they are at it.

Big Bird eventually finds Snuffy and they wander the Egyptian exhibit and encounter an Egyptian prince named Sahu (Aram Chowdhury) and his cat who have been cursed to remain on Earth and not be able to become a star like his parents until he answers the question "Where does today meet yesterday?" Every night at midnight for thousands of years, a demon (James Mason) appears to ask Sahu that and he has answered wrong every night. Big Bird suggests Sahu remain on Earth and become "the only 4,000 year old kid on Sesame Street", but later agrees with Snuffy that they should work together to get the answer right.

Meanwhile, the group has split up and are all in different exhibits. Bob and Cookie Monster find themselves looking at pictures with food in them. While Cookie Monster tries to eat the pictures, Bob points out to him a sign that says "Please don't eat the pictures." He replies with "Oh, this going to be a long night." He later sings the song "Don't Eat the Pictures" about this. Oscar finds an exhibit of Greek and Roman statues that have been broken by natural disasters. He looks in and breaks into song on how beautiful they are to him. Grover finds an exhibit filled with armor from medieval times and thinks a suit of Maximilian armour is a guy named "Max" and tries to befriend him by changing into his Super Grover costume and singing a song. Bert and Ernie view the painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware, to which Bert comments on the dedication of Washington and his men, but Ernie comments how he was very silly to cross in the winter and should have waited until Easter or taken the George Washington Bridge.

As the night passes, Big Bird and Snuffy continue to try to figure out the answer to the question. Soon just before midnight Big Bird unknowingly figures out the answer is "a museum." When the demon appears that night, the question is answered correctly and Sahu is sent to Osiris (Fritz Weaver) to have his heart weighed. When the feather to weigh his heart doesn't appear, Big Bird offers one of his to help. But when Sahu's heart is too heavy, Big Bird claims that it wasn't fair since Sahu was on Earth for 40 centuries and he was so alone his heart would be heavy, so he can't become a star.

After this, Sahu's heart becomes lighter and he is now ready to join his parents and take his cat. Big Bird and Snuffy then exit the museum, look up into the night sky, and see four stars in a straight line (representing Sahu, his parents, and his cat), and are glad that they reunited Sahu with his parents. When morning comes, Big Bird finds the group and Snuffy is not there. He got up early and left to get to "Snufflegarden." Cookie Monster promised anything on a hot dog stand as a special reward for not eating anything in the museum, and decides to eat the entire stand.

After the credits, Big Bird pretends to be a statue. He encourages the viewers to visit their local museum, and comments on how staying perfectly still is tiring and wonders how statues can do it.

Song list[edit]

  • "Broken and Beautiful"[12] — sung by Oscar when he sees things that are broken, or beautiful (Caroll Spinney)
  • "I Want to Be Your Friend"[13] — sung by Grover's alter ego, "Super Grover" while making friends at the museum (Frank Oz)
  • "Don't Eat the Pictures"[14] — sung by Cookie Monster. In the end, he loves to devour something else if possible (Oz). Also sung by three angel monsters.
  • "You're Gonna Be a Star" — sung by Big Bird when he asks his friend to be a star (Caroll Spinney). Also sung by his friend, Sahu (Aram Chowdhury).
  • "Mothers and Children"[15] — sung by Olivia when she learns all about mothers and their little children (Alaina Reed)

The title song from Don't Eat the Pictures begins with Cookie Monster and his human friend, Bob McGrath in front of Still Life with Ham, a painting by Philippe Rousseau which Cookie Monster tries to devour. Bob holds Cookie Monster back and reminds him that he promised not to eat anything in the museum. Then Cookie Monster breaks into song, with angelic choral accompaniment, about paintings, statues, and mummies, and how he understands how important it is to not devour them.[14]


Muppet performers[edit]

Human cast[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Don't Eat the Pictures".
  2. ^ "Muppet Bios: Cookie Monster".
  3. ^ "Product Details".
  4. ^ "Muppet Bios: Big Bird".
  5. ^ "Muppet Bios: Aloysius Snuffleupagus".
  6. ^ "Muppet Bios: Telly Monster".
  7. ^ "Muppet Bios: Ernie".
  8. ^ "Muppet bios: Bert".
  9. ^ "Muppet bios: Count".
  10. ^ "Muppet bios: Grover".
  11. ^ "Muppet bios: Oscar the Grouch".
  12. ^ "Don't Eat the Pictures: Broken and Beautiful".
  13. ^ "Super Grover Sings "I Want to Be Your Friend"".
  14. ^ a b "Sesame Street: Don't Eat the Pictures".
  15. ^ "Mothers & Children".
  16. ^ "Jon Stone".
  17. ^ "Arlene Sherman".
  18. ^ "Tony Geiss".
  19. ^ "Lisa Simon".
  20. ^ "Dick Lieb".
  21. ^ "Stephen Lawrence".
  22. ^ "Christopher Cerf".
  23. ^ "Danny Epstein".
  24. ^ "Dave Conner".
  25. ^ "Emily Squires".
  26. ^ "Victor DiNapoli".
  27. ^ "Kermit Love".
  28. ^ "Caroly Wilcox".
  29. ^ "Edward G. Christie".
  30. ^ "Don Sahlin".
  31. ^ "Noel MacNeal".
  32. ^ "Chet O'Brien".
  33. ^ "Bill Kellard".
  34. ^ "Nat Mongioi".
  35. ^ "Blake Norton".
  36. ^ "Dick Maitland".
  37. ^ "Dulcy Singer".

External links[edit]