Weekly Muppet Wednesday: Abby Cadabby

WMW Abby Cadabby

Written by Ryan Dosier.


Abby posePerformed by…
Leslie Carrara-Rudolph

First appearance…
Sesame Street Season 37 (2006)

Most recent appearance…
Sesame Street Season 45 (2014)

Best known role…
Fairy god-child, doer of magic, Fairy School student, fan of pumpkins

Famous quote…
“That’s so magic!”

Best friends…
Elmo, Rosita, Zoe, Big Bird

Abby Cadabby is a relative newcomer to Sesame Street. She is a fairy god-child and the daughter of Cinderella’s fairy godmother. She is currently a fair-in-training and she possesses amateur magical skills, mostly involving turning things into pumpkins. She has been known to fly into the air when she is excited or elated. Her magic spells usually go haywire, causing some havoc among her friends on Sesame Street. She has made gravity disappear, everyone sing and dance, everyone wear tutus, turned Chris and Baby Bear into bees, made Elmo huge, made Big Bird small, among many other things, learning lessons about life all the while.

Abby Cadabby first moved to Sesame Street in Season 37 in 2006. The first person she encountered Oscar the Grouch, who told her to scram. Abby grows concerned about moving away from home and meeting new people. It takes reassuring comments and a song from Big Bird and Snuffy, who teach her to play hide and seek, to make Abby come around. She later meets Elmo, Zoe, Count von Count, Maria, Luis, and the kids, to whom she demonstrates her magic powers, finally making friends in her new home.

In the next episode of Season 37, Abby attended her first day of Storybook Community School with Baby Bear. Taught by Mrs. Goose, Abby encountered all sorts of other characters, including Mary and her little lamb and Red Riding Hood. In Season 40, however, Abby either moved up to the next level of fairy schooling or transferred schools as the recurring segment “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” debuted on Sesame Street. At Flying Fairy School, Abby and her classmates Blögg and Gonnigan go on magical adventures in school with their teacher Mrs. Sparklenose. They have encountered trolls, fairies, genies, and a Macaronisaurus in school. Flying Fairy School segments became part of every episode of Sesame Street since Season 40.

Since she first arrived on Sesame Street, Abby has made many friends. The friends she spends the most time with include Elmo, Big Bird, Telly, and especially Zoe and Rosita. Together, Abby, Zoe, and Rosita, have bonded and become great friends. They have celebrated the Number 7, had arguments, made up, and sang songs about the four seasons and what they can do because they’re friends. Abby’s magic powers have turned her and Zoe into twins, and Rosita is teaching Abby Spanish while Abby teaches Rosita to speak a language called Dragonfly.

Elmo and Abby are also great friends, playing together nearly every day. They have operated a counting booth for The Count, played knights with Telly, played superheroes with Telly, rode tricycles together, and much more. Together, Elmo and Abby are the two most prevalent Muppets seen on Sesame Street daily, with “Elmo’s World” and “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” appearing in every episode of the show. Yet, Abby and Elmo’s friendship is wonderful, as the two solve mysteries, problems, and have a great time.

In 2008, Abby starred in her first Sesame Street direct-to-DVD special, Abby in Wonderland, where she and the other Sesame Street gang play characters from the classic “Alice in Wonderland” stories. Abby encounters the Count-erpillar, Elmo the Red Rabbit, Grover the Mad-Hatter, Zoe the Doormouse, the Cookie Monster Cheshire Cat and Oscar the Grouch of Hearts. Abby is joined in her adventure by her traveling companions, a talking cookie and bottle of milk.

Abby Cadabby has quickly risen to the ranks of one of the most popular Muppet characters on Sesame Street. Not only does she appear in every episode in “Abby’s Flying Fairy School,” but she also appears in nearly every Street Story as well, using her magic to cause/solve problems.

Abby Cadabby is the first major character performed by Muppeteer Leslie Carrara-Rudolph. When she was cast as Abby, Leslie proved why she was the only performer who could truly bring this character to life. Leslie’s energy, spirit, and passion makes Abby more than just another girly-girl fairy character, it makes Abby real and magical. In an interview with The Muppet Mindset, Leslie revealed that when she first saw the Abby puppet, she fell in love. “I told them, you’re going to have to cut this puppet off my arm.” But what Abby has given Leslie is a life-changing thing: “I love piloting Abby. We have Make A Wish kids on set, we do military outreach, we deal with kids who deal with issues of hunger.” Truly, Leslie and Abby are a match made in heaven.

Since she arrived in Season 37, Abby Cadabby has been a major part of Sesame Street episodes. Here are just some of the episodes where Abby plays a major part.

  • Season 37: Episode 4109 – Abby comes to Sesame Street
  • Season 37: Episode 4110 – Abby’s first day of school
  • Season 38: Episode 4139 – Abby plays the Letter “P” game
  • Season 38: Episode 4140 – Abby gives everyone tutus with a magic spell
  • Season 38: Episode 4157 – Abby learns to make believe
  • Season 39: Episode 4173 – Abby thinks Oscar is a prince
  • Season 39: Episode 4177 – Abby’s first sleepover
  • Season 40: Episode 4189 – Abby turns Chris and Baby Bear into bees
  • Season 40: Episode 4191 – Abby changes the seasons
  • Season 40: Episode 4199 – Abby comes down with a case of Sparkle Speckle Fairy Freckles
  • Season 40: Episode 4210 – Abby rides her tricycle
  • Season 40: Episode 4238 – Abby helps Leela get ready for a party

Abby Cadabby brings a new, magical perspective to Sesame Street. Not only is she the first prominent female character in over a decade, she is also technically a foreigner in that she comes from somewhere new and must learn new things. Her magic spells have given the Sesame Street writers a fun new device for their stories as well, using the magic to either start the plot or finish it.

But what makes Abby so special and necessary is that she represents the curiosity and the energy of the children watching. Although she is a pink girl fairy, Abby still appeals to the young boys watching because she is energetic and a ton of fun. Her interactions with every character on Sesame Street are wonderful. Whether she’s driving Oscar batty with her cuteness, keeping Telly sane, or using her magic to help Elmo or Big Bird, Abby works with everyone in a funny, adorable, and magical way.

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

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