Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences.
Othmar the Grouch, an alien who has traveled to Sesame Street in Episode 1570, bids farewell to its residents after taking Oscar the Grouch for a ride to the Moon. He announces it's time for him to return to planet Zircon, "Sailing through the stars, across the vast universe... Carl Sagan, eat your heart out."
In a March 18, 2014 video for the New York Daily News, a viewer asks Kermit the Frog, "why do you sound exactly like Carl Sagan? Or is it that Carl Sagan sounds exactly like you?" Kermit responds, "the reason that Carl and I sound alike is because... we are one and the same."
In 1990, Candice Bergen introduced Sagan in a segment for The Earth Day Special in which he explains to a crowd how global warming works. The Muppets also appeared in the special in a segment about pollution and animal extinction.
For television viewers, Sagan is remembered both for his recurring appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and his PBS documentary series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, written with his wife, Ann Druyan. The couple worked together on many occasions to communicate science to the public, and Druyan still does to this day, having fielded a comment from Sesame Street writer Emily Perl Kingsley on one occasion.
Sagan was the author of several books, only one of which was a work of fiction. His 1985 novel Contact was made into a movie in 1997 starring Jodie Foster, but not before several years of trying to turn it into a television series with Francis Ford Coppola, which was to have been produced by Children's Television Workshop.