Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) was an English-American director famous for mastering the suspense thriller genre of films from the 1930s through the 1960s. Trademarks within the film's narratives and types included his use of the "macguffin," an object which is the catalyst for a chain of events but unimportant of itself, atmospheric music (often supplied by former Orson Welles composer Bernard Herrmann), and cynical humor.
Hitchcock also became a familiar personality through cameo appearances in his films and later as the droll, silhouetted host of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Through such films as Dial M for Murder, Psycho, The Birds, and Rear Window, Hitchcock became nearly synonymous with crime and suspense, and lent his name and likeness to such print ventures as Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and the juvenile book series The Three Investigators (in which Hitchcock was a regular "character," discussing cases with the title characters).
- In a Disney Xtreme Digital video, Kermit the Frog does an impression of Alfred Hitchcock, hunching down and delivering a breathy "Good evening."
- In an Entertainment Tonight interview, Jim Henson jokingly referred to his appearances at the end of A Muppet Family Christmas and The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years as his Alfred Hitchcock, alluding to the director's penchant for cameos.
- The opening to Sesame Street Film Festival starts with a spoof of the show's intro, featuring Big Bird and uncooperative outline of himself.
- Hitchcock appeared in archive footage used in Apple Computer's "Think Different" campaign alongside Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog.
North by Northwest
- The sequence in Follow That Bird in which Ernie and Bert try to get Big Bird's attention by flying their plane over him in a cornfield, was inspired by North By Northwest.
- In the Play-Along Video, Neat Stuff To Know & To Do, a lost carrier pigeon thinks one way of getting back home is going "north by northwest".
- In episode 113 of The Muppet Show, Bruce Forsyth is overwhelmed with birds, and shouts "Mr. Hitchcock!" (in a reference to the director's 1963 film The Birds).
- In the extended home video version of The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, when the Scarecrow asks an attacking crow if he's seen The Passion, the feathered fiend replies that he prefers The Birds.
- In episode 3870 of Sesame Street, an animal comments that Big Bird's alphabet film is "the best bird film since Hitchcock."
- In Elmopalooza, when Bert is appointed the director, he is inspired by his favorite director, Alfred Sweatsock, who directed The Pigeons.
The 39 Steps
- The "Monsterpiece Theatre" sketch "39 Stairs" spoofs the Hitchcock film The 39 Steps. Alistair Cookie explains that it was made by "some guy named Alfred."
Dial M for Murder
- An episode of "Mysterious Theater" spoofs Hitchcock's film with the Sherlock Hemlock sketch "Dial M for Mother".
- In episode 104 of Muppets Tonight, Andy and Randy Pig show up on the set of Roseanne and announce to John Goodman that they are now working for the show, to which shrilling strings are played in a nod to Bernard Herrmann's classic Psycho score.
- In the Elmo's World episode "Games," the Game Channel advises viewers to stay tuned for "Jump Rope" directed by Alfred Hopscotch.
The Man Who Knew Too Much
- The Elmo's World episode "Drawing" has the Drawing Channel telling viewers to stay tuned for "The Man Who Drew Too Much."
Several actors have worked with both Hitchcock and the Muppets/Henson.
- Julie Andrews played Dr. Sarah Louise Sherman in Torn Curtain (1966)
- Roscoe Lee Browne played Philippe Dubois in Topaz (1969)
- Raymond Burr played Lars Thorwald in Rear Window (1954)
- John Forsythe played Sam Marlowe in The Trouble with Harry (1955), Michael Nordstrom in Topaz (1969) and Michael Barnes in The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode "I Saw the Whole Thing" (1962)
- Henry Fonda played Manny Balestrero in The Wrong Man (1956)
- Bonnie Franklin played a young girl in The Wrong Man (1956)
- Mariette Hartley played Susan Clabon in Marnie (1964)
- Tippi Hedren played Melanie Daniels in The Birds (1963), Marnie Edgar in Marnie (1964), and appeared in a segment of Alfred Hitchcock Presents
- Wolfgang Kieling played Gromek in Torn Curtain (1966)
- Ted Knight played a policeman in Psycho (1960)
- Martin Landau played Leonard in North by Northwest (1959)
- Will Lee played Rogers, an injured plant worker, in Saboteur (1942)
- Jean Marsh played Monica Barling in Frenzy (1972)
- James Mason played Phillip Vandamm in North by Northwest (1959)
- Anthony Perkins played Norman Bates in Psycho (1960)
- Vincent Price played Charles Courtney in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "The Perfect Crime" (1957)
- Olan Soule played the assistant auctioneer in North by Northwest (1959) and appeared in six Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes (1955-1962, including the Hitchcock-directed "Bang You're Dead" as Darlene's father) and two Alfred Hitchcock Hour episodes (1962-1963)
- Harry Dean Stanton played a guard in The Wrong Man (1956)
- John Stephenson played a State Department interrogator in Topaz (1969)
- John Vernon played Rico Parra in Topaz (1969)
- Billie Whitelaw played Hetty Porter in Frenzy (1972)
Others have appeared in posthumous revivals of Alfred Hitchcock Presents or other Hitchcock remakes, sequels or spin-offs.
- Sandra Bernhard played Karen in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "The Night Caller" (1985)
- Anne Heche played Marion Crane in Psycho (1998)
- Eric Peterson played Hank Stewart in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "Hippocritic Oath" (1988)
- ↑ ""Director Ken Kwapis reflects on his Sesame Street masterpiece Babble.com, Ada Cahoun. March 27, 2009