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Sesame Street's 40th Birthday Party was an event to celebrate Sesame Street’s 40th Anniversary. The event, hosted by the Smithsonian's' Discovery Theater, began at 1:00 PM on Sunday, November 15, 2009 at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
Kevin Clash (with Elmo), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (with Abby Cadabby), and Fran Brill (with Prairie Dawn and Zoe) joined Carol-Lynn Parente (Executive Producer of Sesame Street) and Sonia Manzano to discuss the show's 40 year history and share clips from the past four decades. As originally billed, Eric Jacobson (with Grover) had been scheduled to attend, but in a November 11, 2009 email sent to ticket holders, Jacobsen's name had been removed from the list of guests, and no mention of his absence was made at the event. Copies of Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street that had been autographed by Clash, Carrara-Rudolph, and Brill were sold at the event for $42 each.
The event got underway by 1:30 PM and lasted approximately one hour, consisting of about twenty minutes of video clips and remarks by the guests, and a forty-minute question-and-answer session. Carol-Lyn Parente and Sonia Manzano remained in the theater to sign autographs, while the Muppeteers posed for group photos with the attendees. All of the guests left by 3:30 PM, with the exception of Kevin Clash, who remained to pose for photos until the last attendee had had a photo opportunity with Elmo.
The program given out at the event consisted of one letter-size sheet of paper with the lyrics for "Sunny Days" printed on one side and those for "Sing" printed on the other. The audience was invited to sing "Sunny Days" at the beginning of the event and "Sing" at the close.