The Word of the Day has been a recurring Sesame Street feature since the 38th season. The segment highlights a particular word introduced before the show with What's the Word on the Street? The standard format for every segment was established by Season 39, in that Muppet characters (usually Elmo) would accompany celebrities in explaining or demonstrating the word.
Originally, the segments were filmed at the stations and sets the celebrities act on, with a small number taped at the Sesame studios. Starting in season 39, the crew and puppeteers spend a week in Los Angeles filming the segments.
|Image||Word / First Appearance||Description|
| Brian Williams reports on the word "squid."
| Matt Lauer demonstrates how to use a newspaper. His favorite thing to do is make hats.
| Conan O'Brien introduces and dramatizes different varieties of dogs.
|Richard Belzer tries to explain the word "lazy," but he's too lazy to do it.|
| Rachael Ray talks about the word "pumpernickel" and what it is.
|Ellen DeGeneres talks about ballet and, donning a tutu, demonstrates the dance.|
| Alec Baldwin explains what a tricycle is before riding one himself.
|Chris Brown demonstrates the word "disappear."|
| Howie Mandel is tickled by the word "ticklish."
|Kelly Ripa becomes frustrated trying to find a paper she wrote explaining the word's meaning.|
| Chad Pennington demonstrates what it means to be prepared.
| Al Roker displays photos of his family.
|Mariska Hargitay explains what a mystery is.|
|Christopher Meloni displays a piece of his mail.|
|Charles Gibson is in a predicament: where are his glasses?|
| Gina demonstrates what it's like when it gets windy.
| Ann Curry apologizes for not knowing how to explain what an apology is.
|Ahmad Rashād loves the word "gigantic."|
|Ice T loves words that rhyme.|
| Rachael Ray thinks a tap-dancing tomato is amazing.
| Diane Sawyer is an expert at blowing bubbles.
| Jon Stewart needs practice at reading the word of the day.
| Meredith Vieira likes to pretend to be a train.
| Sarah Jessica Parker loves to sigh.
| Cuba Gooding, Jr. gets angry when the pesky word won't stay in place for him to talk about it.
|It's a struggle for Tyra Banks to put on her sweater.|
| Jack Black tries to look for an octagon, when Elmo shows him a STOP sign.
| Grover demonstrates a pirouette, with the help of Lorena and Lorna Feijóo.
| Heidi Klum and Elmo (and Elmo's shoe) give each other compliments to demonstrate the word.
| Jenny McCarthy tells the viewer what an insect is, and pretends to be some, attracting a bee.
| Jason Taylor and Elmo demonstrate the word "toss."
| David Beckham explains the word "persistent" while Elmo repeatedly asks to play soccer with him.
| LL Cool J, Elmo and Abby Cadabby try to show "unanimous" by agreeing to go to somewhere, but Oscar intervenes and disagrees with them, making it not unanimous. They turn the tables on him by all agreeing to not go anywhere too, and then when Oscar changes his mind, they agree with him again.
|Randy Jackson plays the glockenspiel with a dog.|
|Chandra Wilson and Murray Monster break things in half, including food, paper and a chair!|
| Jack Black wears various disguises to fool Elmo, but he sees through them each time, until he meets a chicken with Jack’s facial hair.
| Neil Patrick Harris and Elmo show things that are curly.
|Patrick Warburton has a chicken stuck in his shirt.|
| Jonah Hill shows Elmo his mustache.
|Megan Mullally tries to talk about the word "distract," but is distracted by a pig on a pogo stick, a singing stalk of broccoli and a dancing chicken.|
|Jessica Alba thinks a pizza, fruit salad and even a talking cake are scrumptious.|
| Kim Cattrall thinks a fairy with flapping wings that sparkle, a blues-singing shoe and a dancing robot are fabulous!
| Cameron Diaz and some woodland animals describe a habitat.
| Sarah Jessica Parker and Elmo explain what a pair is.
| Nancy O'Dell has a flower friend to help explain what pollinate means, but the flower has no idea what it means. A bee buzzing by to do his job helps out.
| Debra Messing identifies the various parts of nature.
| Adrian Grenier and Elmo use The Season-Bot 3000 to help explain the word "season."
| Tiki Barber goes on a quest looking for a definition of quest, asking Oscar, Grover and Cookie Monster.
| Meredith Vieira talks about the word "hibernate," waking up some animals trying to do so.
| Maggie Gyllenhaal explains the word "surprise" and is surprised by Elmo, Zoe, Rosita, Grover, Telly and Abby.
| Paul Rudd and Grover explain what brilliant means.
| Greg Kinnear tries to explain the word "machine," but cannot figure out how. A real-live machine arrives to aid him.
| Adam Sandler tries to explain the word "crunchy," but finds it hard while Cookie Monster munches on a crunchy cookie.
| While Jennie Garth describes what a garden is made of, Abby Cadabby makes them appear.
| Elisabeth Hasselbeck wants to explain what camouflage means, but she can't find her frog assistant. She discovers he has been camouflaged the whole time.
| Jake Gyllenhaal separates an octopus from his head.
| Patricia Arquette and Abby explain what metamorphosis means. Abby visually demonstrates this by turning Patricia into a penguin.
| Abby Cadabby tries helping Cedric the Entertainer show what a canteen is by making one appear, but instead conjures up a hose, a fish tank and a bucket. Exhausted, she takes a drink from her own canteen.
| Brendan Fraser talks about the word "speedy" as he watches Grover run around fast, looking for a restroom.
| Ricky Gervais explains what a stumble is, with Grover providing an accidental visual demonstration.
| Jimmy Fallon and Elmo inspect each other and the viewer.
| Matthew Fox explains to Elmo what bones are and displays a "funny bone."
| Abby Cadabby helps Kobe Bryant show what miniature means by making miniature copies of a book, painting, hot dog and even himself!
| Christina Applegate and Elmo introduce the word "booth" and name the different kinds of booths.
| Hugh Jackman and Elmo explain how they concentrate.
| Judah Friedlander describes the word "spectacular," which happens to be on his hat. Telly comes by and thinks his hat is spectacular, earning him a chance to wear it.
| Debi Mazar looks for something humongous and a large dragon arrives to help.
| Eva Longoria and Elmo showcase things they find exquisite.
| Amy Poehler tries to show what a challenge is by attempting to lift a cow in the air and spin it on her finger. When she can't do that, she tries the "Pat Your Head and Rub Your Tummy Challenge."
| Wanda Sykes explains what a journal is. She shows Elmo her own journal, who starts to reveal her private entries himself.
| Jason Bateman tries to comfort someone to help explain the word's meaning, but no passing animal needs his help. Elmo finds Jason sad and comforts him himself.
| A group of animals cling to Jude Law.
| Kara DioGuardi and Chef Elmo show the various kinds of pasta.
| Chris O'Donnell tries to activate a robot, but keeps hitting the wrong remote button, instead activating the music, alarms and sprinklers.
| Colin Farrell and Elmo don't know what the word of the day is and investigate to find out. They are led to a big orange guy with lots of fur, who always knows the word.
| Reggie Bush explains what appetite means, when two monsters appear with a strong hunger for his food.
| Julie Bowen and Elmo show what binoculars are.
| Abby Cadabby aids Natalie Morales in showing what float means by making a pumpkin appear (so it can float on water), then making them both float.
| Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel try to explain what allergic means, but their animal assistants cause them to break out.
| Abby helps Ty Burrell show what a hexagon is, but conjures up a circle and triangle, before finally turning Ty into a hexagon.
| Abby helps Rebecca Romijn show what accessories are by using magic, but gives her more than she needs. "You can never have too many accessories," Abby states.
| Jim Parsons has been called upon to talk about the word "arachnid," but has no idea what the word means. He gets chased by a spider trying to help.
| Terrence Howard shows Elmo what incognito means, with visual aids from some disguised animals. Terrence then disguises himself as a certain red monster.
| Alton Brown shows Abby what a recipe is and has her help him with one. She conjures up some music, balloons and friends; a recipe for fun!
| Jennifer Garner and Abby show what galoshes are.
| Sherri Shepherd and Abby show what identical means.
| Ellen Pompeo and Elmo explain ways to get yourself healthy.
| Elmo becomes a reporter to help Samantha Harris explain the word, but there's nothing to report on. So, Samantha cooks up a story for him.
| Elmo and Anna Faris try to talk about the word "gem," but are constantly interrupted by a prince, presenting "the gorgeous Honey-Bunny Ms. Anna" with various jewels.
| LaDainian Tomlinson and Elmo explain what a celebration is.
| Usher shows Elmo different ways to volunteer as they see some animals help Luis and Susan.
| Rachel Griffiths shows things in a dozen, including eggs, a tray of bagels and some singing penguins.
| Zoe Saldana and Elmo pretend to be various types of transportation.
| James Marsden and Elmo engineer a spaghetti-serving device.
| To demonstrate the word "experiment," Elmo and Craig Ferguson see how many chickens is takes to lift Craig.
| George Lopez, Abby and Elmo provide visual aids of liquids.
| Jerry O'Connell observes a pie Murray has baked and discovers he's used pepper instead of sugar.
| Johnny Galecki and Abby explain what transform means by having Abby transform their pumpkin into a coach. The pumpkin doesn't transform, but Johnny is turned into a pumpkin.
| Sofía Vergara and Elmo explain what baile means.
| Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Cookie Monster demonstrate the word "fragile" using Tyler's nana's cookie jar. Cookie over-eagerness causes Jesse to drop it.
| Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber and Elmo exchange items and kisses.
| Mila Kunis and Elmo show the word "include" when some dancing sheep include them in their dance.
| Mark Ruffalo tells Murray some sad stories to help him understand the word "empathy."
| Embarrassed |
| Embarrassing things happen to Seth Rogen when he and Elmo try to explain the word.
| Abby introduces Michelle Monaghan to some of her "fascinating" fairy-tale friends.
| Abby helps Jimmy Kimmel show what a sibling is, calling upon Hansel and Gretel, the Three Little Pigs, and poofing in Jimmy's own siblings "Timmy" and "Kimmy".
| Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony "compare" their basketball skills with Grover.
| Amy Adams and Elmo explain the word "ingredient."
| Emma Stone tries to show the word balance by balancing things on her head, but is unsuccessful. Abby provides some magical help.
| Conan O'Brien talks about the word "amphibian," but hasn't brought any visual aids. Abby magically conjures up a toad and newt, before turning Conan into a frog. She changes him back, but finds a few side effects.
| Drew Brees measures how tall Elmo is by using various items, including a ruler, a potato, and a talking football.
| Nicole Kidman and Oscar are going to explain the word "stubborn," but Oscar refuses to help, thus providing an example for her.
| Murray Monster tries to provide John Krasinski with soggy items, but he brings a dry sock and sponge. Murray then brings in an elephant, who provides some water (all over John).
| Elmo asks Ken Jeong to ask a nearby tree if it's deciduous. It drops its leaves in response.
| Maria Menounos talks about the senses, while Oscar tries to get rid of her by giving her Grouchy things to use her senses with.
| Some "prickly" characters aid Joel McHale explain the word.
| Robin Williams wants the Two-Headed Monster to demonstrate conflict, but they (ironically) get along.
| Rico Rodriguez and Elmo demonstrate what "magnify" means.
| Gustavo Dudamel conducts some "stupendous" animal musical acts to show Elmo what the word means.
| Elmo brings Halle Berry some animals to nibble on her snacks. The bird and fish take large bites, while the ferocious tiger takes a tiny bite.
| Abby Cadabby magically pulls Blake Griffin from his basketball game to talk about the word "champion." He faces against a chicken to be the chicken-call champion.
| Abby and Eric Stonestreet explain the word "remember" as Eric remembers a list - "A loaf of bread, container of milk and a stick of butter," who turn out to be his friends.
| Casey Affleck and Murray explain what "careful" means while building a block tower.
| Zac Efron talks about the word "patience" while Elmo waits for him to finish so they can play basketball. They both end up waiting when the ball steps out for some air.
| Ed Helms shows what a grimace is, with a grimace expert judging them.
| Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor explains to Abby what a "career" is, explaining that "princess" isn't one. Abby decides to be a justice like her.
| Jay Mohr learns about the different types of tools.
| Abby introduces Timothy Olyphant to her fairy tale friends (Hansel and Gretel, Humpty Dumpty and the Big Bad Wolf) who illustrate what proud means.
| Wendy Williams and her dog explain what a veterinarian is with the help of some ailing animals.
| Steve Carell, Abby and Elmo take a vote on what snack they should have - cheese or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When a third, pizza-party candidate enters the race, they all pick her.
| Maya Rudolph and Elmo brainstorm ways to explain the word.
| Amy Ryan and Elmo explain what a paleontologist does and meet a real life dinosaur.
| Abby will help Kristen Bell show splatter by using a splatter spell on Elmo, but unknowingly does it on Kristin's clean blouse.
| Abby helps Dax Shepard show "amplify."
| Joseph Gordon-Levitt reinforces his watch so it remains undamaged when Murray brings the hammer down.
| Elmo comes up with some innovations to help Paula Patton explain the word. He first invents a "Word-O-Pad" that displays the word, then a Word-O-Bot, and finally makes himself into a robot that sings and dances.
| Elmo introduces Melissa McCarthy to a penguin choreographer.
| Matt Kemp and Abby show "attach" using a sticker book and sippy cup. Abby wants to magically attach some numbers to his jersey, but instead attaches some stickers, sippy cups and even herself.
| Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shows Big Bird subtraction with four birds who are specially trained to subtract themselves when they hear the word.
| Don Cheadle and Elmo show things one can inflate, including Herbie - Elmo's inflatable friend.
| Elmo is busy making a visual aid for Jon Hamm's explanation on what a sculpture is, so he finds various ones of different materials (and increasing weights). Just before Jon gets a hernia, Elmo finishes his sculpture - a likeness of himself, which thanks Jon for his compliment.
| Kellan Lutz shows Cookie Monster things that vibrate, though he would rather go out for cookies. Kellan pulls out his cell phone, which Cookie devours; it soon vibrates from within him.
| Abby and Charlize Theron talk about the word "jealous," a feeling Charlize claims to have never felt before. Soon, she becomes jealous of Abby's wings. Abby magically gives her some, and now Elmo becomes jealous of Charlize's wings!
| Henry Cavill and Elmo teach the Big Bad Wolf what respect means and ask him to give some to the Three Little Pigs.
| Elmo and Troy Polamalu look for something with a pleasant fragrance. They smell a stinky skunk, onion and sweatsock before Elmo catches the pleasant aroma of Troy's conditioner.
| John Cho has Abby conjure up things that are sturdy, including a ladder, chair and rope that binds John.
| Lena Headey talks about the word "relax" with an energetic Murray.
| Grover tries to get his robot to help Kunal Nayyar talk about the word "robot."
| Abby helps demonstrate the word "texture" by magically changing Josh Gad into different textural outfits.
| Lauren Graham and Grover demonstrate what an "author" is by writing a short story about a dill pickle.
| Jesse Williams and Elmo meet an easily furious fly named Felix.
| Hank Azaria demonstrates what an "impostor" is by impersonating Cookie Monster, Grover and even Elmo.
| Grover tries to show the word "courteous" with Cobie Smulders. Despite not knowing the word, Grover inadvertently demonstrates courtesy by politely asking Cobie to show what it means.
| Dwight Howard and Elmo talk about the word "strategy." When a tiger takes Dwight's basketball and starts gnawing on it, the two of them have to think of a strategy to get it back.
| Benjamin Bratt demonstrates the word "translate" with Elmo, a French-speaking cheese, and a hungry tiger who communicates in roars.
| Elmo and Sarah Michelle Gellar talk about "disappointed." Sarah tries to help further demonstrate the word, but an Anything Muppet worker brings an unfinished disappointed sign, and she gets a chicken instead of cheerleaders. Both predicaments leave Sarah feeling disappointed.
| Ginnifer Goodwin and Abby imagine several adventurous scenarios and encounter a real dinosaur who wants to play tag.
| Bert shows one of his "unique" paperclips and a prized seltzer bottlecap. However, Usher doesn't think they're as unique as a sombrero wearing shrimp on a pogostick, or a cabbage driving a taxi cab. In the end, Usher and Bert demonstrate the word by showing off their one-of-a-kind dance moves.
| Billy Gardell explains what "cheer" means while Elmo and Abby, who are dressed as cheerleaders, demonstrate. Abby poofs Billy a cheerleading outfit of his own so they can all cheer for the word "cheer."
| Evan Lysacek and Elmo encourage a nervous Stinky the Stinkweed, ultimately giving him the confidence he needs to explain the word "confidence."
| Albert Pujols and Grover talk about the word "athlete." Grover tries to show how great an athlete he is, but fumbles in every sport. He doesn't realize Albert himself is an athlete.
| Rutina Wesley, Abby and Elmo come up with a "plan" to explain the word.
| Forest Whitaker shows "imagination" by pretending a stick is various things, while Count von Count counts the different things he does.
| Anna Kendrick demonstrates "absorb" with Elmo, Abby and Murray; using a sponge, paper towels and Murray's furry fingers to absorb water.
| Wendi McLendon-Covey shows what "strenuous" means by running, lifting a boulder, and playing tug-of-war with a small but very strong chicken.
| Kat Dennings and Abby "repair" the visual aid of the word when it falls over and breaks.
| Lupita Nyong'o and Elmo talk about their skin.
|Zachary Quinto and Grover demonstrate the word "flexible" by having flexible frames of mind and bending some objects, including their own legs.|
| Elmo is "enthusiastic" about helping Mindy Kaling explain the word. Mindy is enthusiastic about dancing, but even more so about dancing with chickens. The chickens, however, prefer to jump.
| Viola Davis gives Elmo some festive clues as to what the Spanish word "fiesta" means.
| Claire Danes and Cookie Monster show off a diagram of a car, then of a cookie, which Cookie Monster naturally devours.
| Grover puts Aziz Ansari in "ridiculous" situations and outfits to help explain the word.
| Ice Cube shows Elmo some "astounding" magic tricks; like making a penny disappear, pulling a baby dinosaur out of a hat, and turning himself into a literal ice cube.
|Pau Gasol and Abby show what a coach is.|
| Andy Cohen and Elmo talk about the word "popular."
| Jonah Hill demonstrates "empty" with Murray and some wild animals.
| Ian McKellen and Cookie Monster explain the word "resist."
|Adam Scott and Murray Monster talk about the word "awful."|
|Zach Braff and Telly talk about the word "anxious."|
|Craig Robinson and Elmo show what a "pattern" is.|
|Bill Hader, Murray and Elmo show what "grouchy" is.|
|Brittany Snow, Elmo and an array of animals talk about what a "friend" is.|
|Nia Long and Abby show how to divide.|
|Terry Crews, Abby and The Count show what an artist is.|
|Seth Meyers and The Count explain what a "greeting" is.|
|Zach Galifianakis and Murray talk about the word "nimble."|
|Zachary Levi teaches Elmo the meaning of "applause" by showing some applause-worthy acts, including a tap-dancing tomato and a fire-breathing chicken.|
|Christina Hendricks and Elmo introduce the word "technology."|
|Emmy Rossum and Abby explain the word "focus."|
|Emily Blunt and Elmo explain the word "explore."|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "On the Set of 'Sesame Street': Nice work if you can get it". Shaw, Jessica. Entertainment Weekly. September 21, 2012