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The Ringmaster

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The Ringmaster was a character seen in a series of eleven animated sketches on Sesame Street. He was a character very much like the ringmasters seen in most circuses. The sketches he appeared in taught children how to count numbers of various animals.

Each sketch began (and ended) with a number of red dots appearing on-screen, which then turned into whichever numeral was to be featured in the sketch. Then the numeral became part of a 3-by-4 grid of squares and flickered as it appeared.

In the Ringmaster sketches, the top-hatted character boldly announced however many animals would be performing whatever tricks. With a whip he made the animals rearrange themselves in many patterns, despite the fact that their number remained unchanged.

Additional sound effects were added to the sketches when they were rebroadcast during the 2000s.


2 - The Ringmaster enchants two green snakes while playing his silver saxophone.

3 - The Ringmaster presents a trio of high-flying felines (cats to us) who fall into a barrel of water. (EKA: Episode 2164)

4 - Four lordly lions perform a balancing act. (EKA: Episode 2228)

5 - Five fantastic floating fools fall from the big blue blimp. (EKA: Episode 2227)

6 - The Ringmaster displays six marvelous monkeys who do stunts. (EKA: Episode 2396)

7 - The Ringmaster introduces seven swimming seals. (EKA: Episode 2059)

8 - Eight polar penguins show off their skating prowess. (EKA: Episode 2293)

9 - Nine blue elephants emerge from a small pink two-door sedan. (EKA: Episode 1854)

10 - The Ringmaster treats us to the balancing feats of ten brown bears. (EKA: Episode 2481)

11 - Eleven purple dogs perform after racing out of a doghouse.
This segment was included in Old School: Volume 2. (EKA: Episode 1800)

12 - The Ringmaster takes off his top hat, and twelve yellow finches fly out of it. (EKA: Episode 1575)

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