Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: The Martians

WMW Yip Yips

Today’s Weekly Muppet Wednesday article was written by Michael Wermuth, Jr.

Performed by…
Various (1971-present)

First appearance…
Sesame Street Season 3 (1971)

Most recent appearance…
iYipp iPhone application (2011)

Best known role…
Visitors from Outer Space

Also known as…
The Yip-Yips

The Martians are extra terrestrials who visit Earth on a regular basis and often try to interact with objects, which, unknown to them, are not alive. Their language is pretty much limited to “Yip-yip-yip-yip” and “Uh-huh! Uh-huh!”, though they also say single English words, carrying around an English dictionary. There are at least three Martians: A blue one, a purple one, and an orange one, though usually only two appear at a time. They have interacted with such earthly objects as a grandfather clock, a telephone, a radio, various letters and numbers, and a book.


  • “Hi Friend” with Bob
  • “Martian Family (Yip Yip Song)”
  • “Get Along” with Kermit the Frog and others
  • “My Outer Space Friend” with Telly Monster

One of the Martians’ best-known moments is a season three segment in which the Martians try to communicate with a telephone, making the sounds of various animals and getting scared when the phone rings.

Another great moment came one morning when Ernie woke up and found that Bert was already out of bed, speculating that Bert was kidnapped by martians. But then Ernie learned that Bert had woken up early and was making oatmeal. Afterwards, two Martians suddenly showed up, and happily took Bert’s offer of oatmeal.

In Sesame Street: A Musical Celebration, Big Bird picks two Martians to be “la-la-ers” in his big show, but when Big Bird tells the Martians they’re going to be stars, they look into their book and then decide to go into space (though they do return to earth in time for the big finale).

The Martians are a lot like the toddlers watching the show. They see things that are common to us, but unknown to them, and try to figure out what they are supposed to do with them. Their figuring out words is very much like a child learning a new word. And who can resist those colors?

Yep. That’s why they are needed. Yep-yep-yep, uh-huh, uh-huh!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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