Muppet Retro Reviews: Sesame Street Sing-Along


Michael Wermuth – Sing-Along is a Sesame Street video themed around songs. The linking footage involves the cast having a sing-along on the roof of 123 Sesame Street. Bob even goes so far as to bring a piano to play. While the sing-along is going on, Biff and Sully are also on the roof, fixing a TV antennae. They fix it early on, but then they keep breaking a TV set, having to fix and re-fix it. The scenes with them testing out the TV allows for transitions to the inserts, though not all segments begin on the TV.

This video focuses more on the linking plot than on segments, however. But for the most part, the linking material is good, and much of it is great. Most of the songs are traditional kids songs, like “The Alphabet Song” and “Old McDonald.” At one point, Big Bird wants to sing a song that Granny Bird had taught him, “Cheer Up,” but Bob (on the piano) doesn’t know that song. Fortunately, Sully does know the song, and gets a chance to play the piano while Big Bird leads the others in the song. And for the big finale, the cast sings a show stopping rendition of “What’s the Name of That Song?” which begins on the roof but soon leads to other parts of the street, with special appearances by Luis and Susan, Oscar the Grouch, the Honkers, and the Two-Headed Monster.

This video only has five inserts from the show, but they are all good choices. The inserts are “Sing After Me” with Madeline Kahn and Grover, “Sing” with Olivia and Linda, “We All Sing with the Same Voice,” “Rubber Duckie” with Ernie, and “Doin’ the Pigeon” with Bert. Most of these segments start when Biff turns the TV on, but one notable exception comes before “Rubber Duckie,” when Ernie can be heard from down in his apartment, saying he has a song but can’t come up to sing it because he’s in the bath tub. Although it’s just a vocal role, this introduction makes this one of the few Sesame Street videos to feature involvement from Jim Henson in the linking footage.

All five of the inserts on this video would go on to appear in later video releases as well. In fact, each of them has been included in one of the three volumes of Sesame Street: Old School. But even if you have all of those segments on other videos, Sing-Along is still worth it for the linking footage, especially the Biff and Sully material and the finale.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier,

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