10 All-Time Funniest Celebrity Sesame Street Clips

One of the more delightful elements of Sesame Street involves celebrity cameos meant to educate kids and entertain their parents. With over 4,212 (as of the time of this writing) since 1969, the iconic children's program has played host to dozens upon dozens of actors and actresses, journalists, athletes, musicians, public figures and more. Many of these have understandably turned in memorable performances — usually hilarious or heartwarming in nature — that appeal to viewers of all ages for vastly different reasons. A term such as "All-Time Funniest" inevitably comes partnered with heavy subjectivity, so do not be offended by any inclusions or exclusions. It's just harmless fun, nothing more.

  1. Ralph Nader

    Long before he ever decided to run for president as an oh-so-controversial Third Party candidate (Guess he didn't get the memo that America is only big enough for two.), Ralph Nader appeared on a 1988 Sesame Street pledge drive special. With acting chops that can only be described as "unsafe at any speed," he batted terrible, yet strangely sublime, puns back and forth with gentle cast member Bob McGrath. They then joined in a rousing rendition of "A consumer advocate's a person in your neighborhood!" — which McGrath even admits is "a mouthful" — and teach kids about the importance of product safety testing. Although humorously awkward, the scene does perfectly illustrate Jim Henson's talent for understanding the true sophistication of children. Along with Martina Navratilova talking tennis and Barbara Walters gabbing on about journalism, he used Nader to introduce them to the basic concepts behind consumer advocacy and activism, teaching them some interesting new vocabulary words as an added benefit.

  2. Paul Rudd

    Watch Paul Rudd's face and hands as he sings about Earth's awesomeness. He seems to absolutely lose himself in the excitement of sharing the screen with Elmo and Abby, liberally flashing Elvis-inspired facial expressions and miming like he's Les Claypool. And all the while, he bounces around in a foam globe costume and answering to the moniker "Mr. Earth." Rudd clearly enjoys his rockin' role to educate children on caring for the environment. In another fun appearance, he stars as the handsome prince in a thoroughly enjoyable, topsy-turvy interpretation of the Rapunzel folktale. He rides in on a "horse," Monty Python-style and attempts to rescue Princess Penguin. Unfortunately, her lack of hair renders him entirely useless in the rescue mission, and he responds by crinkling up his handsome prince face in a hilariously melodramatic hissy fit. From there, he just keeps failing and failing at pretty much everything he attempts. Certainly a humorous and endearing way to entertain a child without having to hear hyperactive screaming and fart sounds.

  3. Neil Patrick Harris

    Only a man as awesome as Neil Patrick Harris could pull off a stint as the Shoe Fairy with such breezy grace and style. Sesame Street took full advantage of his impressive singing and dancing abilities (not to mention natural charm!) to stage a delightful musical number based around different types of shoes. Although the Shoe Fairy would never make it in the Evil League of Evil, he does see fit to give a pair of mop shoes to a woman. Subtle! The song is so catchy even adults won't mind overhearing it, though watching Harris' gleeful facial expressions comprises most of the fun. He didn't even have kids at the time the sketch was filmed, either. The former Doogie Howser radiates joy and a love for what he does, making him one of the more enjoyable and memorable Sesame Street guest stars in recent seasons.

  4. Jack Black

    For people of a certain age, seeing Jack Black bring his signature Jack Black-ness to Sesame Street may seem a bit jarring at first. Unfortunately, his skit with fuzzy little Elmo has nothing to do with city hall, kielbasa or writing the best song in the world (not even just a tribute). Rather, he pairs up with the scarlet monster to teach children lessons about octagons. Most of the humor comes from Black's spastic joy, though the final 5 seconds' worth of bug-eyed wonderment could probably frighten the very young and/or the very sensitive.

  5. Jason Bateman

    The real stars of Jason Bateman's lesson on the word "comfort" are a happy dancing penguin and a scatting squirrel. So wrapped up are they in their own bliss, they don't seem to realize that the actor just wants to make them feel better. Rejection hurts, and Bateman ironically winds up seeking solace in Elmo's furry and welcoming embrace. They even exchange kisses! Awwwwww!!

    Anybody who does not find that adorable probably enjoys skinning puppies alive and shanking widows as they knit sweaters for orphans.

  6. James Earl Jones

    A young James Earl Jones recites the alphabet in this video. This is all he does. And this is all he needs to do. With the pauses in between each letter so kids can repeat after him, older folks can recite, "'A' is for 'Alderaan!'" "'B' is for 'Boba Fett!'" "'C' is for 'Clone Trooper!'" "'D' is for Death Star!'" and so on. Just watching that intimidating, unblinking look on his face incites the same fit of giggles one gets during a staring contest. For fans who claim they could easily listen to Jones's legendary voice reading the telephone book, this video is pretty much the closest most of them will get.

  7. Will Arnett

    Will Arnett seems a natural choice to play a creepy, unhinged, highly suspect magician. Too bad nobody other than Sesame Street saw such potential in him.

    (It's also too bad that the show probably couldn't get the rights to play "The Final Countdown" during his appearance.)

  8. Batman and Robin

    This may come as a shock to some people, but Batman is capable of more than just crazy preparedness, brooding and fearfully peeing in his suit. Olan Soule and Casey Kasem brought their iconic voiceover performances as the campier early interpretations of Batman and Robin, respectively, to Sesame Street in several animated shorts. In this particular clip, their attempt to foil The Joker's latest heist turns into a valuable lesson on jaywalking. Another one available online introduces the difference between up, around and through. For kids lucky enough, an appearance by one of their favorite superheroes and his trusty boy sidekick alongside the beloved likes of Big Bird, Telly and Oscar the Grouch could make for an educational, enjoyable and memorable day.

  9. Ricky Gervais

    Deliciously dry, cynical comedian, writer, actor and director Ricky Gervais and the sunny, spunky Elmo share a gut-busting and amazing chemistry with one another. This underrated duo complement one another in their contrasts like the best of 'em; they even once gave an amazing interview with the Associated Press. Man and puppet alike are at their best when talking about Gervais' stint on the show, with the former's high-strung overanalysis beautifully juxtaposed with the latter's earnestness and calm. Where else can one hear a cranky British man asking a fuzzy Muppet about necrophilia? On the program itself, the pair riff on the celebrity cameo phenomenon in a hilariously layered, meta conversation. After exchanging kid-friendly witty banter, Gervais attempts to lull Elmo asleep with a lullaby about the letter N. "Attempts," of course, being the operative word here.

  10. Amy Sedaris

    Remove Jerri Blank's outdate stylistic sensibilities, crooked teeth, racism and drug-addled prostitute past and a strange, family-friendly Snow White results. Amy Sedaris' princess displays many of the tics and quirks that launched her career in the first place, making her far more interesting than the bland virtue and beauty of more familiar versions. Along with Elmo and the Seven Dwarves, viewers receive a fun, comprehensive lesson on the basics of counting and subtraction. Thankfully, Ramone the Donkey declined to make an appearance.

    The second half of Sedaris' performance can be found here.

Facebook Comments