Sesame Street… 20 Years & Still Counting
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Sesame Street... 20 Years & Still Counting is a 1989 American television special to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Sesame Street. Hosted by Bill Cosby, the special aired on Friday, April 7, 1989 on NBC.
This special was originally produced by Children's Television Workshop, in association with The Jim Henson Company. (one of the few Sesame Street productions they directly produced, though an "Executive Producer for CTW" credit was included in the end credits) and was meant to air as part of The Jim Henson Hour, but ended up airing as a solo special the week before the premiere episode aired.
In the special, comedian Bill Cosby details the history of the show while interacting with various Muppet characters. Among the subjects featured are the curriculum, the show's adult humor and even the foreign co-productions from around the world (e.g. Plaza Sésamo—now Sésamo—and Rechov Sumsum). There are also guest appearances; opera singer Plácido Domingo sings with Placido Flamingo, and Ray Charles sings Kermit's version of the song "It's Not Easy Bein' Green". Meanwhile, Bert and Ernie are taping the street with their video camera so they can watch Sesame Street on television, but Cookie Monster appears and eats both the video camera and the video tape. Bert, Ernie & Cookie Monster tell everybody on Sesame Street that they'll be sad because they don't like to watch Sesame Street anymore. Then, we cut to Kermit the Frog in his "Sesame Street News" attire asking people (all of which are Grover) how to get to Sesame Street, occasionally running into people who were on the show when they were kids. The show ends with the characters all singing "Sing". The program was dedicated to the memory of Joe Raposo.
- Emilio Delgado as Luis
- Sonia Manzano as Maria
- Bob McGrath as Bob
- Loretta Long as Susan
- Roscoe Orman as Gordon
- Miles Orman as Miles
- Linda Bove as Linda
- Bill McCutcheon as Uncle Wally
- Alison Bartlett O'Reilly as Gina
- Northern Calloway as David
- Jim Henson as Himself
- Caroll Spinney - Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch
- Jim Henson - Ernie and Kermit the Frog
- Frank Oz - Bert, Grover and Cookie Monster
- Jerry Nelson - Count von Count and Herry Monster
- Richard Hunt - Don Music and Placido Flamingo
- Kevin Clash - Elmo and Baby Natasha
- Martin P. Robinson - Telly Monster and Snuffy
- Bryant Young - Snuffy (back half)
- Judy Sladky - Alice Snuffleupagus
- Fred "Garbo" Garver - Barkley
- Fran Brill - Prairie Dawn
- Camille Bonora - Ruby
The special ranked 68th out of 80 shows that week and brought in a 7.7/14 rating/share, finishing third in its timeslot behind ABC's Perfect Strangers (13.0/25, 44th) and Full House (14.6/26, 30th), and CBS's Beauty and the Beast (10.7/20, 55th).