A Special Sesame Street Christmas

A Special Sesame Street Christmas

A Special Sesame Street Christmas is a 1978 CBS Christmas special, made the same year as the better-known Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. The special was first broadcast on Friday, December 8, 1978, at 8 PM ET on CBS, pre-empting Wonder Woman that week. Starring Leslie Uggams. The special features only three of the Sesame Street Muppets: Oscar the Grouch, Big Bird, and Barkley the dog. Barkley is played by gymnast Toby Towson. The puppet used for the special was different than the one used for the series, making him five feet tall, or higher, at times in the special. Mr. Hooper, David, Bob, and Maria are the only humans from the regular cast to make appearances. Instead, the regulars are replaced by a large, somewhat all-star cast. The special features many plot elements that are very loosely tied together, the most important being Oscar as the "Ebenezer Scrooge" on Sesame Street, as a minor takeoff on A Christmas Carol. They include Leslie Uggams thinking lemonade was hot cocoa, singer Anne Murray and a magic eggnog container, Oscar adopting a kitten with a broken leg, and Ethel Merman calling Imogene Coca an idiot. Also appearing is Dick Smothers (only one half of the Smothers Brothers was hired for the special), Henry Fonda and Michael Jackson. The special was mainly produced for CBS not by the Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop), but by Bob Banner Associates, notable for Perry Como's Christmas specials. The producers paid CTW for the use of the set, some of the adult characters, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, with everything else, including the script and the Barkley costume, provided by Banner staffers. This program was nominated in the 31st Annual Emmy Awards (1979) under the category of Outstanding Children's Program, losing to Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. Both specials are now available on DVD.

Year:
1978
376 Views

Leslie Uggams:
Yoo Hoo! Anybody home?

Oscar the Grouch:
Oh, it's you, huh? Back for seconds. Look, Leslie, I'm glad that someone else agrees with me about all this Christmas nonsense here.

Leslie Uggams:
I don't agree with you, Oscar.

Oscar the Grouch:
You don't? You mean, you're with them?

Leslie Uggams:
Yes, and you should be with them. You would find that Christmas is something very very special.

Oscar the Grouch:
Oh, you mean stop fighting it, huh?

Leslie Uggams:
Exactly.

Oscar the Grouch:
Hmmm, sort of go with the flow. You get my drift?

Leslie Uggams:
And the snow, and the mistletoe.

Oscar the Grouch:
Bleck!

Leslie Uggams:
Oh, Oscar, take it from me, you don't know what you're missing. [singing] Country roads with tractor plows.

Oscar the Grouch:
[singing] Icy bales with shivering cows.

Leslie Uggams:
[singing] City sidewalks. Big Christmas rush.

Oscar the Grouch:
[singing] Ladies stocking slithered with slush.

Leslie Uggams:
[singing] Time for Santa on every street.

Oscar the Grouch:
[singing] Time when landlords turn down the heat.

Leslie Uggams:
[singing] Morning windows sparkled with frost.

Oscar the Grouch:
[singing] Flying snow tires and the high cost.

Leslie Uggams:
[singing] Happy houses festive and bright.

Oscar the Grouch:
[singing] Christmas trees that lean to the right.

Leslie Uggams:
[singing] Crackling yule logs orange and blue.

Oscar the Grouch:
[singing] Three kids all left home with the flu.

Leslie Uggams:
[singing] Christmas cards from old and dear friends.

Oscar the Grouch:
[singing] Christmas bills that give you the bends. Heh heh heh.

Leslie Uggams:
Bleck!

Leslie Uggams:
[off camera] Merry Christmas, everybody! This is Leslie Uggams. You're looking at Sesame Street, and yes, it's the Christmas season.

Oscar the Grouch:
[off camera] Hello, this is Oscar the Grouch speaking. I can't stand Christmas! I'm a 100% Grouch and proud of it.

Leslie Uggams:
[off camera] Oh, Oscar!

Oscar the Grouch:
[off camera] Anyway, I still have orders to say, "Welcome to 'A Special Sesame Street Christmas'". Wanna know what drives me bananas about the holiday season? It's all the unexpected company. For example, our star, Leslie Uggams.

Leslie Uggams:
[on camera] Oh, thank you, Oscar!

Oscar the Grouch:
[off camera] Guest stars Ethyl Merman...

Ethel Merman:
[on camera] Merry Christmas!

Oscar the Grouch:
[off camera]... Anne Murray...

Anne Murray:
[on camera] Merry Christmas!

Oscar the Grouch:
[of camera]... I mean, why do that have to bring all that Christmas cheerfulness to Sesame Street?

Leslie Uggams:
[on camera] Because it's fun, Oscar. We'll also celebrate the holidays with [off camera] Imogene Coca...

Imogene Coca:
[on camera] Merry Christmas!

Leslie Uggams:
[off camera]... Dick Smothers...

Dick Smothers:
[on camera] Merry Christmas!

Leslie Uggams:
[off camera]... Michael Jackson. Straighten that garland, Michael! The one and only Mr. Henry Fonda. And in addition to all that company dropping by, there will be those Sesame Street Muppets and those regular old buddies of yours and mine! Big Bird, Bob, David, Mr. Hooper, and Maria!

Oscar the Grouch:
[on camera] Bah humbug!

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