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Sesame Street Pilot Episodes

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Before Sesame Street began regular production, five test pilots were produced and shown to children. In these pilots, the Muppets were kept separate from the street and human cast. Jim Henson was involved in material shot on July 9-18, 1969.[1]

One recurring series of sketches that appears in these pilots is "The Man from Alphabet." These segments didn't test well, and never appeared on the show as broadcast.

Celebrities appearing in the pilots include James Earl Jones, Carol Burnett, magician James Randi, and the singing group Listen, My Brother. Batman and Superman also make appearances, in animated form.

Among the topics taught in the test pilots include the numbers 2 and 3 and the letters D, W, and R.

Audience testing revealed that kids were more interested in the Muppet and animated segments than in the street segments.[2] Because of this, it was decided to have the Muppets appear on the street along with the human cast.

Episode Guide


  1. Jim Henson's Red Book, 7/9-18/1969 - Tape CTW - Sesame Street. Pilot shows
  2. Sesame Street Unpaved, David Borgenicht, Hyperion Books, 1998.

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