Feist Makes 1234 A Sesame Street Counting Staple
When Feist released the video for the song 1234 off 2007's album The Reminder, many loved it for its simultaneous spontaneity and choreography. However the singer struck gold when she revamped the song for Sesame Street's 39th season. The children's version features monsters, penguins and chickens with Feist counting four of each, concluding with a big singalong. The Sesame Street YouTube clip has over 24 million visits. Sadly, Feist doesn't body surf over the puppets a la her own video. "It was just pure joy, simple, ridiculous fun, stupid joy," she said in 2008 of the experience.
Andrea Bocelli Tells Elmo It Is Time To Go To Bed
Tenor Andrea Bocelli made a memorable cameo on the 36th season of Sesame Street with "Time To Say Goodnight," trying to coax a stubborn Elmo to get to sleep. Bocelli performed the revised version of the signature lullaby "Time To Say Goodbye" by revamping the lyrics to talk about Elmo playing, singing, counting and looking forward to a new day tomorrow. But Elmo insists he's not tired, asking for one more story and water without throwing a tantrum. Bocelli belts out the closing lyrics which has the exact opposite effect. "Mr. Bocelli, please, Elmo's trying to sleep," Elmo says.
James Blunt Pays Homage To Bizarre Love Triangle
British singer-songwriter James Blunt fortunately didn't jump off a bridge when he heard Sesame Street might want him to perform in 2007. Blunt, known for "You're Beautiful," reworked the lyrics and described his acute pain about losing his brilliantly-shaped, three-sided friend with the "base oh so wide." With character Teddy beside him who adds a line about the hypotenuse, Blunt ends "My Triangle" without much fanfare. "A career high, being on Sesame Street," Blunt said in an interview, adding having "the word 'hypotenuse' in any song, I would call that a triumph in anyone's book."
India Arie Runs The Alphabet Gamut With Elmo
R n' B singer India Arie appeared with Elmo for a few successful attempts at the alphabet. After Elmo's radio conks out (what Elmo, no iPod?) when Arie shows up to perform the 26-phase ditty in a soothing, dreamy manner. Arie, who appeared on a Sesame Street direct-to-video special on healthy habits called Happy Healthy Monsters, is humorously one-upped in the diva department with Elmo holding his note a furry hair longer. On a related note, the singer's 2005 song "I Am Not My Hair" partially inspired the 2010 Sesame Street song "I Love My Hair."
A Far From Flat Performance In Monster Music Class
After playing with Hoots The Owl in 1985 on Sesame Street, jazz icon Wynton Marsalis returned to teach the monsters to tune their instruments during "Monster Music Class." The nearly six-minute segment has Elmo, Zowie and others learning about playing in tune with each other. Marsalis begins by giving the class an A note, with some more talented than others. But really, that's a lot to expect from a three-fingered monster playing a brass instrument! The Honkers are tuned thanks to Marsalis tugging on one of their ears. Finally, the band jams out on a New Orleans-styled jazz rag. A plus!
Norah Jones Doesn't Know Y Didn't Come
Spelling words like yearn and yet, Norah Jones did a funny take on her breakthrough single "Don't Know Why" with Elmo beside her. "We used to spell great words together," Jones says as Elmo sees the missing 25th letter running around but is unable to show Jones "Y" is actually nearby. The singer said the performance, which came during the mania of her smash debut album, was a "no-brainer" to agree to do. "Everybody's grown up on that show," Jones said in a Hulu interview in 2009. Jones, Elmo and the letter end the three-minute tune by of course, yodeling.
Paul Simon Finds Young Singer But Not Julio On Sesame Street
Paul Simon has appeared on Sesame Street many times, but this particular performance is quite funny. For nearly two minutes Simon has his hands full sitting on a stoop with a little girl coming up with her own lyrics to "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard" singing "dance, dance, dance, everybody dance, you can dance with me." A few little children dance in front of them but it's the little girl who is the song-stealer. The song was featured in the program's eight season, with the girl belting out the last lines. Unlike with longtime partner Art Garfunkel, there's no reunion planned here!
R.E.M. Have No Problem With Furry Happy Monsters
As irritating as "Shiny Happy People" was to some critics when R.E.M. issued it, this Sesame Street reworking to "Furry Happy Monsters" is a bit more palatable. The trio of Mike Mills, Peter Buck and singer Michael Stipe sing as a stream of monsters dance in front of them. Oddly enough, the band's version also featured the B-52's Kate Pierson, but here a puppet resembling Pierson is used in her place. Stipe reportedly suffered horrible nightmares the night before going to the set to perform the song, but was in a cheerful mood but the time the monsters came alive to sing.
Katy Perry Ends Up Creating Controversy With Elmo
In one of the oddest Sesame Street segments (or non-segments), Katy Perry and Elmo had a "play date" reworking one of her songs in September, 2010. However parents had a problem with Perry's low cut "party dress," causing the segment to never air on television but remain online. Elmo (and the show's executives) appeared on The Early Show on CBS soon after to discuss what happened. Perry got her own digs in on the controversy days later while appearing on Saturday Night Live. The singer was wearing a t-shirt with Elmo's face covering her cleavage which soon made headlines.
The Man In Black Gets Nasty With Oscar The Grouch
The late Johnny Cash appeared on season five (1973-74) of Sesame Street with Oscar The Grouch supplying his own thoughts on "Nasty Dan." The unwashed, dirty character ends up living with his nasty wife Pearl and their nasty children. "Wow, that was really great. And say, aren't you Johnny Trash," Oscar quips before The Man in Black corrects him. Cash also performed "Five Feet High And Rising" and "Tall Tale" on different occasions over the years on Sesame Street. And fortunately Cash didn't depress the youngsters with "Hurt" or "Folsom Prison Blues" during his guest spots.