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P. T. Bunkum

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DEBUT 1980

P. T. Bunkum is a circus leader from the Bunkam and Ballyhoo Circus who comes to Sesame Street in Episode 1451 looking for someone who can do an act never seen before. Big Bird has been anticipating his arrival, arranging props in the courtyard and preparing his neighbors for the audition process.

Later, Big Bird flags Bunkum down in front of his nest claiming that he's got a wild animal act to show him. Upon entry, Bunkam is surprised to find a kitty-cat named Simba. Big Bird assures him that Simba is trained in a variety of tricks, but the feline refuses to cooperate. After failing to jump through a hula hoop or leap over a book, Simba surprises Bunkam by letting out a fierce lion's roar.

In front of the Fix-It Shop, Bunkam finds Luis who has been practicing juggling. He's not very good, but Bunkam says he can use him: he's got lots of people in his circus who can juggle, but no one who can't juggle. Since he's looking for an act never seen before, Bunkum posits that he can use Luis's talents (or lackthereof).

Bunkam even auditions Oscar, who has been training Fernando, his pet flea. Fernando, according to Oscar, can run over a jellybean, leap through a cigar band, and run around a bottle cap. Bunkam and Gordon can't see Fernando, but the tapping of (what are presumably) his feet can be heard on the aluminum plate, and he makes some very soft squeaking sounds. To prove his abilities, Oscar makes Fernado crawl all over Bunkam and Gordon.

Finally, Bunkam decides he can't use anyone on Sesame Street, and announces that he'll be moving on. Before he leaves, Big Bird departs riding a unicycle, after which Bunkam follows, finally having found his unique act.

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