The Late Movies: Musicians and Their Awesome Sesame Street Appearances


I keep coming across musicians who have appeared on Sesame Street (usually singing the Alphabet Song), and the performances are uniformly awesome. (One of the best videos from my Late Movies segment last week was Stevie Wonder live on Sesame Street, and in a previous week, Paul Simon was on Sesame Street.) I've collected some favorites here for your viewing enjoyment.

Feist, "1 2 3 4"

Feist performs her hit "1 2 3 4" with a twist -- it's now more specifically about counting than about growing up. Totally adorable.

Queen Latifah, "The Letter O"

Safari Sisters in the house! "Now, one day I was chillin' on Sesame Street, hanging wit' my homegirls, rockin' to the beat, when Telly came along and he was feelin' kinda blue, he said, 'I lost my Letter O, what should I do?'" Latifah's advice: learn some words that include the letter O!

R.E.M., "Furry Happy Monsters"

They pulled some monster Muppets out of storage (including a B-52's Kate Pierson monster) for this Sesame Street-ified rendition of their hit "Shiny Happy People."

Norah Jones, "Don't Know Y"

This is pretty cute -- "Don't Know Why" becomes a song about missing the letter Y, spelling words like Yarn and Yet.

Ray Charles and Friends, "The Alphabet Song"

Only Ray Charles can make the Alphabet Song soulful and sort of wistful. Includes guest appearances by Patrick Stewart, Ellen Degeneres, Tony Bennett, and more. "Won't you sing along with me?"

Patti LaBelle, "The Alphabet Song" (Gospel Version)

Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Kermit the Frog, "African Alphabet Song"

Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, "The Alphabet Song"

Slightly similar to the above, but with no Kermit and no fancy visuals.

Spin Doctors, "Two Princes"

Um. I guess the Spin Doctors' singer got a haircut and kinda needs work.

Tilly and the Wall, "The Alphabet Song"

Indie rock band Tilly and the Wall, most notable for its lack of a drummer (they use tap-dancers instead to keep the beat), perform a modified Alphabet Song.

Who Did I Leave Out?

Share your favorite musical memories of Sesame Street in the comments!