The Two-Headed Monster is, as the name implies, a monster with two heads. He speaks gibberish that resembles baby talk, and many of his skits have to do with either cooperation or sounding out parts of words that suddenly show up. Skits with the Two-Headed Monster usually take place with the monster behind a brick wall, and in at least one instance, with his mother.
The creation of this monster was inspired by performers Jerry Nelson and Richard Hunt playing around on the set one day, saying that they were a monster with two heads. While right-handed performers use their right hands to perform the heads of characters and their left to perform left hands, whoever performs the left half of the monster performs the head with the left hand, and the right hand with their right hand.
Although the heads don't normally go by names, they have been identified on occasion. In a Sesame Street sketch, Olivia reads a story to the Count about cooperation. It stars the Two-Headed Monster named Horn and Hardart. (SSvideo) They were again called by these names in the end credits for YouTube's 2013 end-of-year video, entitled "YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say?" (YouTube) In The Sesame Street Treasury Volume 13, the pair are featured in a photo answering phones. Their phones are labeled "Frank N." and "Stein" (Frankenstein).
|Bert:||Now, who let the Two-Headed Monster be Santa Claus?|
|Ernie:||Yeah, but, Bert, he said he'd never been in a play before... I mean they said it... um... both of him said it.|
- Richard Hunt and Peter Friedman • (ca. 1978)
- Jerry Nelson and Richard Hunt • (ca. 1979 – 1991)
- Jerry Nelson and David Rudman • (1992 – 2000)
- Joey Mazzarino and David Rudman • (2001 – )
|Picture||Summary / EKA||Description|
| || Cooperation |
| The Count listens to Olivia read the story, "The Two Headed Monster", enacted by the titular monster. The book is about how the monster cannot decide on what to do because both heads want to do different things. Eventually they learn that together, they are able to lift weights, play doctor ("Kildaire! Kildaire!"), play the piano ("Tchaikovsky! Mozart!"), and eat a salami-and-cheese sandwich.
In this sketch, the actual names of the monster are revealed to be "Horn" and "Hardart". The monster also has different performers. Instead, Richard Hunt plays the left half, while the right half is performed by Peter Friedman. This was presumably done so that Jerry Nelson could play the Count live to the Two-Headed Monster's reactions.
|After fighting with each other, the monster reads the word "Love" and forget their feud.|
| Run |
| The monster sounds out the word "run," and starts running.
| Jump Jive |
| Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive" when the Two-Headed Monster can't decide whether to jump or jive.
| Trumpet Practice or Sleep? |
| One head wants to play the trumpet, but the other head wants to sleep.
| Shapes |
|The monster observes different shapes.|
| Pillow |
| The monster shares a pillow.
| Headphones |
|One head is listening to some funky music on some headphones. The other head wakes up and asks to listen to the music, but the first head doesn't want to stop listening. They fight over the headphones, which get longer as they struggle. After seeing this, they both shout share, each head takes a speaker, and walks off-screen while the music becomes completely audible to the viewer.|
| Singing Lesson |
|In Bob's room, Bob gives the Two-Headed Monster a singing lesson: singing "Sing."|
| Snowman |
|The monster has built a two-headed snowman and struggles with how to apply a carrot nose.|
| Hi De Ho Man |
|Cab Calloway sings Hi-De-Ho Man with the Two-Headed Monster and the Anything Muppets.|
| Dance |
|The monster sounds out the word "dance" at a disco.|
| Listening |
|Kermit the Frog explains the importance of listening, using the monster as an example.|
| Emotions |
| The monster shows his emotions.
| Pencil |
| The monster finds a pencil with a broken point, and demonstrates the fun you can have with it.
| Pat |
|After sounding the word "pat," The monster pats each other, and they stop crying.|
| Newspaper |
| The monster finds a newspaper, and uses it to cover itself when it rains, and then uses it as a telescope.
| Lullabye |
| At night, one of the heads of the monster sings his other head a lullaby.
| Car Crash |
|The monster drives an old green jalopy as they sound out "seatbelt" and "safety." They buckle up, and go for a drive that proves to be very short, since they get into a huge auto accident (as an old stock car crash sound effect is heard).|
| Fall |
|The monster sounds out the word "Fall" and leaves fall on them. Then, they fall over.|
| Sad |
|The monster, after telling itself a joke, reads "SAD" and suddenly gets emotional.|
| Honk |
| After sounding out the word "honk," several Honkers suddenly appear and honk their noses. The left half of the monster then honks the right half's nose (and hurts him).
| Mom |
|The monster sounds out the word "mom," and then the viewer sees the monster's mother.|
| Bathtime |
| The Two-Headed Monster shares a bathtub and help each other get clean. They are discouraged when they are finished and empty the tub, but find joy in drying.
| P vs R |
|The monster fights over the letters P and R, one of them displaying P foods and the other one displaying R foods (and a radio). They have a picnic, which is cut short because of another r-word: rain.|
| Shoe Sizes |
|The monster's heads can't agree on which shoes to wear. They eventually agree on something: the shoebox.|
| Hiccups |
|The monster tries to cure itself of the hiccups.|
| Bubbles |
| The monster blows bubbles.
| Telephone |
| The monster finds a TELEPHONE, and reads the word.
| Hat |
|After sounding the word "hat," The monster shares one giant straw hat.|
| Manners |
| The monster learns to use manners while eating with a spoon.
| Same and Different: Hats |
|In a three-part segment, the monster sees a cardboard cut-out of himself wearing cowboy hats. The monster decides to find hats that matches, and copy the picture. Once they have succeeded, the cardboard cut-out falls over, as does the monster.|
| Pop |
| The monster reads the word "Pop" and blows up a balloon so they can pop it.
| The How Many Game |
|The monster appears on one of Guy Smiley's game shows. The monster has to bring in two of something. The monster brings in one bowling ball, four sheep, and three cows, but then realizes that the monster has two heads.|
| Quiet |
| The monster observes the letter Q, then the word QUIET.
| Piano |
| The monster finds a piano and decides to play it. The left half wants to play short notes, while the other half prefers to run his fingers across the keyboard. They decide to cooperate, and both use their notes to play "Chopsticks".
| Story |
|The monster takes turns reading itself a story.|
| Shake |
|The Two-Headed Monster sounds out the word SHAKE, and an earthquake happens.|
| Shadow |
|The monster sounds out the word "shadow" and then sees one of itself projected behind them.|
| Sandwich |
|The left half is about to enjoy a large sandwich until the right half asks for some. The left half becomes selfish until his brother starts crying. They end up splitting the sandwich in two.|
| Hop |
|The monster sounds out the word "hop" and starts hopping.|
| Cheese |
|After sounding out the word "cheese," the monster poses for many pictures.|
| Two Heads Are Better Than One |
| Herry sings with the monster about cooperation.
| Two Headed Baseball |
|Robin Williams asks Elmo and the kids whether they would allow a nonsense talking, horned two-headed stranger to play baseball with them. The Two-Headed Monster shows up to play.|
| Trash Can |
|The Two-Headed Monster finishes a bag of popcorn, and almost leaves it on the brick wall, but then argues over which trash can to throw it in. Finally, it rips the bag in half to "share" the trash.|
| Mountains or Seashore? |
| The monster is in a disagreement about where to go for vacation: the mountains or the seashore. Cookie Monster says he likes both, better than going to Cucamonga for the National Cookie Convention. Two-Head gets inspired, and heads off for Cucamonga, leaving Cookie to choose between the mountains and the seashore.
| Spin |
|The monster sounds out the word "Spin" and watch it spin around, getting dizzy in the process.|
| Toothbrush |
| The monster learns how to use a toothbrush.
| School |
| The Two-Headed Monster reads the sign atop a miniature school building, and observes a small group of children that run out of it. Once they've left, the monster picks up the now empty building, and declares, "School's out!"
| Heavy and Light |
|The monster brings in a suitcase filled with heavy and light objects, and places them on a wall. The right half lays out a feather, a ribbon, and a tissue. The left half puts down a book, a brick, a rock, and a 1000 pount weight, but the more weight that is placed on the wall causes the ground they're standing on to tilt!|
| Tap |
|The monster spells the word "tap," then tap-dances away.|
| Two-Headed Monster School |
| The Two-Headed Monster are the teachers of a two-headed-oriented classroom, with Elmo and Telly as their pupil/pupils (they are sharing the same shirt). The first lesson is to say "Good Morning" in monster language, then how to argue over what to read.
| Surprise |
|The monster demonstrates surprise.|
| Follow Arrows |
|The monster's arrows point in opposite directions, so they straighten the arrows out and follow them.|
| Fast and Slow Music |
|Hoots the Owl convinces the monster that whether music is fast or slow, it's still enjoyable.|
| Feet |
| The monster sounds out "feet," and then the camera trucks back to reveal a pair of live feet on some grass.
| Playground or Zoo |
|The monster argues over whether to go to the playground or the zoo.|
| Milk Carton |
|After drinking cartons of milk, The monster reuses the cartons as toy trains.|
| Same and Different: Mirrors |
| Both heads look at themselves in mirrors, and the right half notices that both of them are the same; they have the same nose, mouth, and hands. The other half points out that they're different: their horns point different ways, their hair is different, and their laughter is different.
| A Fight |
| Part 1: Both heads of the monster argue over which letter is an A. The right head points to the lowercase a ...|
Part 2: The left head points to the capital A ...
Part 3: Luis sees the monster arguing, and informs it that both of these letters are the letter A. Relieved, the monster showers him with kisses.
The Two-Headed Monster has reversed performers in this sketch. The right half was performed by Jerry Nelson, while the left half was performed by Richard Hunt.
| Twinkle, Twinkle |
| The monster sings "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."
| Mad |
|The monster gets mad when the word "MAD" appears on-screen.|
| Loud and Soft |
| Elmo wants to play with the Two Headed Monster, but they can't decide on whether to play baseball or hockey. Aaron and Nick Carter pass by and are told what's happening, which the brothers can relate to. They sing "Loud and Soft", and sing of their differences. This resolves the monster's argument; now they want to sing! But what can they sing? They start arguing again!
| 14 |
| Chris (in voice-over) says the monster will show 14. One half shows 7 pigs, while the other has 7 chickens, neither of which are 14. But when added together, they make 14!
| The Number 10 |
|Chris instructs the monster to show the number of the day (10). They each think the number they're holding is the number of the day, until Chris tells them to put the two numbers next to each other.|
| Chris announces the monster who show a rectangle. When they each show a triangle, they learn that they can put them together to make a rectangle.
| The Two-Headed Monster help Robin Williams explain the word "conflict."
| Who Has More Milk?|
| The monster comes across two glasses of milk, but they are of uneven proportions and they try to find a way for them both to be equal.
| Take Turns|
| Chris teaches the Two-Headed Monster how to take turns when playing with a toy car.
| Playing Catch|
|The monster learns to keep trying when learning to catch a ball.|
|Surprise Cakes|| Each half of the monster sleeps one at a time, while the awake half shows the viewer that he has prepared a cake for the other half. Once both are awake, they surpise the other and present their cakes to each other. However, once they taste the other one's cake, they are disgusted, and switch them. Surprise!
A brief clip from this sketch was used during the 1981-1982 opening for the Dutch version of the show.
|Clarinet Cooperation||Bob gives the monster a music lesson on their clarinet with two mouthpieces, but one head wants to play fast, and the other one slow. When Bob suggest they play at different times, the monster impresses Bob by playing different melodies on the same instrument.|
|Coin Flip||The Two-Headed Monster are arguing over which direction to go, so Gordon decides to help by teaching them how a coin flip works. Once the monster learns how it works, they decide to stay and play the coin flip game instead!|
|Alphabet Argument|| The monster disagrees on whether to sing or say the alphabet. Jane Curtin resolves the fight by singing the Alphabet Song. When the monster asks Curtin to join in, all three end up speaking in the same monster language!
|Telephone Booths||Luis teaches the monster how to use the new telephone booths on Sesame Street. Once they've figured out how to use it, one of the heads uses one booth to call the other head on the other booth.|
|Feelings Song||The monster sing about the emotions they have, including mad, happy, and scared. In the end, they decide to surprise a small yellow monster, and all go out for ice cream.|
- Sesame Street (1978-present)
- The Muppet Movie (Rainbow Connection finale)
- Big Bird in China
- The Muppets Take Manhattan (Wedding scene)
- Follow That Bird
- The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years
- Getting Ready to Read
- A Muppet Family Christmas
- Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting
- Basil Hears a Noise
- Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake
- Sesame Street: 25 Wonderful Years
- Sesame Street Jam: A Musical Celebration
- Don't Forget to Watch the Movie
- The Rosie O'Donnell Show (guest appearance, November 11, 1998)
- Quiet Time
- Peter and the Wolf
- Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic
- The Oprah Winfrey Show
- What's the Name of That Song?
- What Do You Do? (1981)
- Monster (1982)
- More Who's Who on Sesame Street (1982)
- Bert's Big Band Paint-with-Water Book (1983 reprint)
- The Sesame Street Question and Answer Book About Animals (1983)
- The Songs of Sesame Street in Poems and Pictures (1983)
- Big Bird Can Share (1985)
- Big Bird's Book of Rhymes (1985)
- Ernie's Finish the Picture (1985)
- The Runaway Soup and Other Stories (1987)
- Splish-Splashy Day (1989)
- Sesame Street 123 (1991)
- Sleep Tight! (1991)
- Pumpkin Patch Party (1997)
- The Monsters on the Bus (2001)
- Clap Your Hands! (2002)
- Monsters Munch Lunch! (2005)