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New York, New York is the original location of the Muppet Workshop, and is the location of Sesame Workshop's headquarters. Sesame Street is taped at the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens. New York City is also the location of the Henson Townhouse.
Sesame Street takes place in a New York City neighborhood. Sesame Street is connected to the New York Subway system, and former mayor David Dinkins visited the street in 1992, to honor Gordon with the city's Good Citizen Award.
The characters have visited Central Park in Manhattan on various occasions, notably the 25th anniversary special Sesame Street Jam: A Musical Celebration. The 35th anniversary special, What's the Name of That Song? was also partly filmed on location in New York. New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art was featured as the backdrop for the TV special Don't Eat the Pictures.
In 1983, Gordon and Mr. Snuffleupagus ran the New York City Marathon in episode 1836. Also in the 1980s, the show's opening title sequence featured footage of kids running through a unique architectural design in the form of a waterfall that runs behind the McGraw-Hill building on the Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue). The waterfall is intercut by a walkway that connects a plaza that runs between West 48th & 49th Streets.
The Muppets Take Manhattan
New York City served as a backdrop in The Muppets Take Manhattan. Locations used in the film include Central Park, the Empire State Building, Sardi's, Bergdorf Goodman and Broadway. Then-mayor Ed Koch made a cameo appearance.
- Waldorf and his wife Astoria are named after the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Statler is named after the former Statler Hotel in New York City, now known as the Hotel Pennsylvania.
- Floyd sings "New York State of Mind," a song about wanting to return to New York City, on The Muppet Show.
- The Boss drinks from a coffee mug that says "I love NY more than ever" (a post 9/11 revamp of the classic "I love NY" logo) in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.
- The Statue of Liberty has been spoofed in several productions and products.
- In the 1993 book I Want to Be President, Betty Lou watches the President make a speech at the United Nations building, which inspires her to become President.
- Broadway has been referenced in several Muppet productions.
- In the Sesame Street song, "I Am the World", Gloria Globe mentions her eyes are in the United States, so she can see the many sights. She sings of how great New York City is and mentions the Statue of Liberty.
- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a cameo in A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa, which was filmed in Brooklyn, New York.
- Fozzie Bear stays at a creepy motel while on his way to Wall Street in episode 108 of The Jim Henson Hour.
- A Grouch from Park Avenue attends the Annual Grouch Picnic in The Sesame Street Dictionary.
- An animated Sesame Street insert showcases music from different locals. New York City is the setting for a jazz tune (The segment is currently shown on international co-productions, despite an image of the Twin Towers appears).
- In a "Super Grover 2.0" sketch, Grover helps a family of robins moving their piano in Brooklyn. In another sketch, Grover aids a mouse working at a restaurant in Redhook.
- Bert and Ernie visit multiple New York City locations in the Sesame Street coloring book Let's Take a Trip!
- The New York City skyline appears in a cabinet in Finders Keepers in the Sesame Street CD-ROM Search and Learn Adventures.
- In a 1994 episode of Sesame Street, the Grand High Triangle Lover tells a story about his he got that position. He states the story takes place in the kingdom of Canarsie, a neighborhood in Brooklyn.
- In a 2005 episode of Sesame Street, Grover and his monster mariachi band sing about Mexcio, then head for a restaurant gig in Astoria, Queens.
- In The Muppet Movie, when Fozzie Bear and Kermit the Frog ran into Big Bird and asked him if he wanted a lift, Big Bird replies back saying that he was on way his to New York City to try to break into public television, meaning that he was going to break in to Sesame Street and be in it.
- En route to Kyoto, Big Bird hears the Imperial Palace is among the city's attractions. He comments that he always wanted to "play The Palace", a reference to the theatre at 1564 Broadway. (Big Bird in Japan)
Appearances & Events
- The Muppets have appeared in special New York Macy's window displays.
- The Muppets have been part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade held in New York City.
- The Muppets took a trip to New York City in two Mastercard commercials.
- Kermit the Frog visited the Rockettes and Radio City Music Hall as part of his 50th anniversary world tour.
- The Muppets' Wizard of Oz premiered in 2005 at the Tribeca Film Festival held in New York City.
- Miss Piggy appeared at the Heatherette show during New York Fashion Week.
- Elmo appeared in the third phase of the "Just Ask the Locals" tourist appreciation campaign by New York City officials.
- Independently of the Muppets, Eric Jacobson has performed live puppet theatre at The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre.
- In the book The Muppets Make Puppets!, the sock puppet Tommy "the Toe" has his birthplace listed as New York City.
- Michael Bloomberg announced the Muppets as the official members of the New York City Family Ambassadors in 2012. On the official NYC website, the Muppets shared their favorite things to do in New York City. Miss Piggy offered the shopping spots, Kermit helps visitors get around the five boroughs, the Swedish Chef offered the dining spots, Gonzo offered the attraction spots and Pepe the King Prawn offered the tours and sightseeing spots. The other three Family Ambassadors included Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer and The Smurfs.
- The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum served as 2012 launch site for Little Children, Big Challenges.
Productions in New York
Many Henson productions have been shot in New York, including Sesame Street, Bear in the Big Blue House, the "Land of Gorch" segments for Saturday Night Live, and A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa.