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Itzhak Perlman

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Itzhak Perlman Oscar the Grouch

Perlman and Oscar the Grouch in Sesame Street Season 12.

ItzhakPerlman with girl

Perlman and a girl compare their strengths and challenges.


Perlman in Hooper's Store, playing "Put Down the Duckie".


Perlman and Telly Monster play together.

Itzhak Perlman (b. 1945) is an Israeli virtuoso violinist and teacher. He is one of the most famous violinists of the late 20th century.

Perlman has made several appearances on Sesame Street, and the Shalom Sesame home video series.

Sesame Street

In 1981, Perlman appeared in a poignant segment demonstrating that people with disabilities in one area can have exceptional abilities in others. A little girl runs up steps to a platform and sits down with her violin. Perlman, who was born with polio, climbs up using his crutches. "Some things that are really easy for you," he says while getting in the chair next to her, "are really hard for me." Perlman then plays his violin very quickly and masterfully, to which she responds, "Yes, but some things that are easy for you are hard for me," as she plays at a more beginner level. (EKA: Episode 1563) This segment was included in VH1's special, The Greatest TV Moments: Sesame Street Music A-Z.

In another segment, Perlman plays a Beethoven duet with Telly Monster, who accompanies him on the tuba. (EKA: Episode 1446) Perlman also appeared in the celebrity version of "Put Down the Duckie", and made a Season 12 appearance with Oscar the Grouch.[1]

Shalom Sesame

In 1986, Perlman appeared in several episodes of the home video series Shalom Sesame, a co-production between Sesame Street and the Israeli Sesame show, Rechov Sumsum. In episode 3, Perlman discusses fruits and vegetables, introduces a Muppet song, and counts to four on his violin.


  • In the Sesame Street video Sing Along, Sully warms up his piano-playing fingers to ready himself for a song. The panache with which he plays prompts Big Bird to note that "he's a regular Itzhak Perlman."


  1. Sesame Street 20th Anniversary Press Kit, CTW Archive

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