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Sesame Street Test Show 1

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Sesame Street
Plot Exploration of D words, the number 2, animals, and newspapers.
Air date July 21, 1969
Season
Sponsors D, 2
Syndication
Releases Old School: Volume 2

NETlogo

"The following program is from NET, the public television network."

Sesame Street Test Show 1 was the first of five pilot episodes broadcast in July 1969 to test the show's educational value and appeal to children. The shows were broadcast at 10AM over five days on the Philadelphia UHF station WHUY Channel 33, which was operated by the NET affiliate, WHYY. Researchers from the Children's Television Workshop tested children before and after the week of broadcasts. [1]

Picture Segment Description
SSTS-01
Theme
The full version of the Sesame Street Theme, sung by Bob, is played over film footage of a little boy and girl getting directions from the people in their neighborhood.
SSTS-02

SSTS-03

SSTS-04
SCENE 1
The camera pans across Sesame Street, starting at the famous sign. Two boys pass by Susan, who spends most of the show sitting at the window, not doing much of anything, apart from reading a book. We finally encounter Gordon (played by Garrett Saunders) repairing a cement tier. He greets the audience: "Oh, hello—I'm glad you found Sesame Street. It's not the easiest place in the world to get to." He spots two boys, Donald and David, and thinks they want their initials in the cement. So he draws two Ds in it.
Pitchreel-D
Cartoon
A small man and his assistant, Dudley, attempt to demonstrate both the capital and lower-case letter D.
SSTS-05

SSTS-06
SCENE 2
Gordon leads the boys over to a door (in the area which would soon lead to Big Bird's nest), and gives them some chalk to write Ds with.
SSTS-06a

SSTS-07
SCENE 2
cont'd
Bob passes by Gordon and says hello, then walks past the camera. Gordon says it's important to know how to print letters, and we fade to the next piece—–
SSTS-08
Celebrity
Listen My Brother sings "You Gotta Learn."
SSTS-09
SCENE 3
Susan: "We'll be right back after this important message."
SSTS-10
Cartoon

"The D Commercial:" Two boys notice a D, saying it looks fat. A resonant voice (Gary Owens) informs them that it's the letter D. This leads to a jazzy story about a dog who digs for dice, wins a duck, and buys a dinosaur with a dime. Moral: "If you dig a dinosaur, drop your duck for a dime."
Studio: Ken Snyder; Director: Fred Calvert

SSTS-11
Ernie and Bert
The camera zooms out to reveal the aforementioned cartoon being played on a TV set in a small apartment. A Muppet, Ernie (whose undeveloped voice resembles Rowlf's at this point), loves the cartoon that we just saw, and asks to see it one more time. He gets his wish as it plays again.
SSTS-10
Cartoon
"The D Commercial" (repeat)
SSTS-12
Ernie and Bert
Ernie, now joined by another Muppet, Bert, asks to see the D film one more time, and again gets his wish.
SSTS-10
Cartoon
"The D Commercial" (repeat)
SSTS-13
Ernie and Bert
When Ernie asks for the D film to be played again, Bert promptly shuts his mouth. Ernie realizes they're not going to show it again and, along with Bert, feasts his eyes on the next segment.
SSTS-14
Insert
A magician (James "The Amazing" Randi) produces a series of D cards from the palm of his hand and sticks them on his chest.
SSTS-15

SSTS-16
Cartoon
Superman, carrying a door-like shield, charges towards a giant ape and uses it to block the ape's heat-vision. He punches the ape, knocking it to the ground, and rescues Lois from the ape's hand. The camera then cuts to Superman exclaiming "D!"
SSTS-17

SSTS-18
Insert
The magician, now wearing a tuxedo, tears a newspaper into smaller pieces. Then, by magic, he puts it back together and opens it to reveal a large letter D!
Littlegirlsalphabet
Cartoon

A little girl sings "The Alphabet Song," while continually admonished by an adult in voice-over.
The ending, in which the girl is informed "you may consider yourself unemployed," is not present in this version.

Studio: Ken Snyder

SSTS-19
Celebrity
Listen, My Brother sings their own version of the Alphabet Song.
SSTS-20
SCENE 4
Gordon remarks to Susan that taking care of 123 Sesame Street can keep him busy—right now, he's building a bookcase. Susan asks him to build one for her, but he says maybe he will next week. Then he introduces the viewer to—–
SSTS-21
Film
--film footage of a 1-day-old baby deer taking its first steps.
Music: Joe Raposo
SSTS-22

SSTS-23
SCENE 5
Gordon points out that “deer” is a D word. After a pause, Bob offers to help Gordon with the bookcase, but Gordon says he doesn't need any help—not after the time he asked Buddy and Jim for help—–
Buddyjimhammer
Cast
Buddy and Jim hang a picture.
SSTS-24
SCENE 6
Gordon is now DONE with the bookcase. “Done” is another D word.
Pitchreel-D
Cartoon
A small man and his assistant, Dudley, attempt to demonstrate both the capital and lower-case letter D. (repeat)
SSTS-25

SSTS-26
SCENE 7
With a groovy rhyme, Gordon invites the audience to dance along with him, Susan, Bob, and the kids to some groovy Joe Raposo music.
SSTS-27

SSTS-28
SCENE 7
cont'd
Mr. Hooper notices everyone dancing after he puts up a sign that reads "DONUTS TODAY." Ernie claps his hands (despite visible puppet sleeves), and Bert does a fancy fandango.
SSTS-29
SCENE 7
cont'd
The music fades out, and Gordon points out another D word: DANCE.
SSTS-30
Cartoon
D for Dog: the roles between dog and master are reversed.
SSTS-31

SSTS-32
SCENE 8
Bob gathers the kids on the steps of 123 Sesame Street, and reads a book to them: "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. The kids attempt to read along with him.
This scene was cut from the DVD release of this show, as was its plug at the end.
SSTS-33

SSTS-34
SCENE 9
After Bob finishes the book, Susan sings "If You're Happy and You Know It" to some of the same kids from the previous segment. During the "mad" verse she quickly notices, "Oh, we're making so much noise—Mother'll turn off the TV set. Let's go to the next verse...." and continues.
SSTS-35
SCENE 9
cont'd
After the song, Susan points to a circle and makes sure the kids know what shape it is. They go on to name as many round things as they can, which leads to --
Pitchreel-circles
Film
-- a live-action film showing circles in everyday life, from Coca-Cola bottle caps, to moving wheels, to yo-yos, bubbles, and balloons, set to a lively soundtrack.
SSTS-36
SCENE 10
When the film finishes, Susan and the kids try to think of things that are triangular. Susan knows a story about a triangle and a square.
Jazzyshapes
Cartoon
A male voice narrates a story of a jazzy triangle who loved to dance, and a square square. The triangle likes being flexible, but the square would rather be stiff and square.
SSTS-37
SCENE 11
Gordon checks on how the Ds in the cement are doing and decides to even them up.
Jazzyspies2
Cartoon
Jazz #2
SSTS-38
SCENE 12
Bob points out some of the things people have two of.
No2
Film
Two Song (Song of Two)
SSTS-39
SCENE 13
Susan introduces another film.
SSTS-40
Film
A montage of film clips with pairs of zoo animals, such as parrots, monkeys, tigers, and penguins.
Music: Joe Raposo
Jazzyspies2
Cartoon
Jazz #2 (repeat)
E&BTwoNoses
Ernie and Bert
"Let's see," says Ernie. "We've got two eyes, and two ears, and two noses..." "Hey, you ding-a-ling!" Bert interrupts. "You've only got one nose." Ernie promptly pulls Bert's nose off, sticks it to his own face, and keeps counting. "Two noses, and two eyes, and two ears ... too bad!"
No2
Film
Two Song (Song of Two) (repeat)
Rocketblowsup
Cartoon
Rocket countdown: The rocket blows up in a shower of soot.
Carolburnettdrawingbd
Celebrity
Carol Burnett: "Well, back to the ol' drawing board!"
SSTS-41

SSTS-42
SCENE 14
Bob goes to Mr. Hooper's store, buys a newspaper, and reads it in front of the doorway where Mr. Hooper is sweeping. He tells Bob to stand away from the door so that customers can come in his store. Gordon wants to see the sports scores section of the paper, so Bob gives it to him. He then proceeds to hand out one newspaper section after another: he gives the Ladies' Page to Susan, and the comics page to two boys (though he rips off "Batman" and hands it to Gordon). Just then, Mr. Hooper says that the last paper initially belongs to him, and demands it be given to him—"Now! Not next year!" He gets his wish—or does he?
SSTS-43a

SSTS-43
Ernie and Bert
Ernie wants to watch Batman, but Bert wants to watch The Man from Alphabet. A quarrel ensues, but then Batman himself starts speaking to them from their TV screen, asking what they watched the day before. Since they watched Batman yesterday, it's only fair that they watch The Man from Alphabet today.
MFA01

MFA02

MFA03

MFA04
Film
The Man from Alphabet is commissioned by his teacher to help solve a series of crimes involving stolen newspapers. The culprit turns out to be Digby Dropout, who, along with his sidekick, Dunce (played by Jim Thurman), hides the papers in his secret hideout, a warehouse. Dropout knows that if no one reads the newspaper, they won't know what he and Dunce are up to. MFA converses with H.B. the paperboy and concludes it was Dropout who done it. Acting on the advice of H.B., MFA looks up the word “bloodhound” in the Alphabet Book and decides to seek the help of one—with the scent of a spare newspaper he had lying around, the dog is sure to track down the crooks. The secret hideout is found, and MFA and the bloodhound force Digby and Dunce to return all the newspapers they stole.
SSTS-44

SSTS-45
SCENE 15
During the last few minutes of the show, Gordon and the kids watch a baby raccoon eat grapes out of a food dish. The raccoon wanders away, and Gordon says goodbye to the audience.
SSTS-46

SSTS-47
SCENE 15
cont'd
Susan announces the sponsors, and the book read on today's show.
SSSignEnding

SSTS-48
CLOSING SIGNS
The closing scene pans to a close-up to the Sesame Street sign and fades to the CTW sign on a blue background.

See also

Sources

  1. Sesame Street and the Reform of Children's Television, Robert W. Morrow, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. p 97.

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