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Sesame Street

This episode of Sesame Street starts off with Maria on top a ladder fixing something. Two bird watches slowly walk by, and they’re looking through binoculars. The female bird watcher is Madeline, played by Madeline Kahn. The other one is Cedric, and he’s played by Richard Hunt. In this role, Richard is wearing a suit that looks like he stole it off of an English professor, a Sherlock Holmes type hat, a moustache, and he’s using an English accent. I really like his hat. Madeline says, “Well if he’s that big we should be able to see him around here somewhere.” She spots Maria and asks if she’s seen a giant yellow bird around here somewhere.

“Yes, we’ve been looking all day,” Richard—I mean Cedric adds.

Maria, being the helpful person she is, is glad to help. “Yes. Well that’s Big Bird. He lives over there behind those doors.”

Madeline and Cedric become excited. “We’ve found him,” says Madeline. “At last!” exclaims Cedric. Madeline quickly quiets Cedric and whispers; “this is wonderful.” She then asks Maria, “Can I borrow your ladder?”

“Why do you want to borrow the ladder?” Maria asks.

“So we can see the bird over those doors.” As she’s talking Madeline points to the area where Big Bird’s nest is, as does Cedric. She continues talking, “See, we’re bird watchers. I’m Madeline and this is Cedric.”

Cedric pipes up, “Yes, we love to watch birds and see how they live.”

“Ok, I’ll take you over there,” Maria agrees.

Then they walk over to Big Bird’s nest area. Both Madeline and Cedric walk trying not to make too much noise. Madeline tiptoe over there, while Cedric leans back and has a walk that looks like it came from Scooby Doo. Maria walks normally.

When they get there, Madeline gets on the ladder and looks into Big Bird’s nest. “Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!” she exclaims in a whisper.

“What is it? What do you see?” asks Cedric.

“A very, very big bird,” she replies. “Write this down.”

Cedric can manage an “Oh yes,” before she starts describing Big Bird.

“Big and yellow,” she says.

“Big and yellow,” Cedric repeats.

“He is sleeping in a giant nest.”

“Giant nest?” Cedric says excitedly.

“Oh, he’s standing up. He must be 8 feet tall!”

“Eight feet tall? What kind of bird is it?” I really wish she’d share that ladder.

“Certainly not a humming bird!”

Remember Maria? Yeah, she’s still there, and she has something to say to us viewers at home, “I guess these people haven’t seen a bird like Big Bird before. I guess a lot of people haven’t.” She suddenly realizes that’s she’s whispering, and yells, “Say, why are we whispering?”

Both Madeline and Cedric franticly shush her. “We’re worried that it will fly away,” Madeline explains, still whispering.

“Don’t worry,” Maria brags, “IT can’t fly.”

Cedric, looking amazed, takes more notes, “Can’t fly?”

After this discovery, Madeline gets back to describing Big Bird’s actions. “The bird is pouring birdseed from a box into a bowl. That bird just made his own breakfast.” She pauses and asks Cedric, “What do we have so far?”

“Well, it’s big and yellow. It sleeps in a giant nest. It’s 8 feet tall, can’t fly, and makes it’s own breakfast,” Cedric reads.

Madeline is still up on that ladder, determined not to share. “It’s playing jacks,” she says.

“Playing jacks!” Cedric has to get this written down as well.

Madeline finally decides it’s time to get off that ladder. “Before the Autobahn Society hears about this, we’ll have to get in close so we can take his picture,” she tells Cedric.

“Well maybe if we crept up on him—“ Cedric is interrupted by Maria.

“I can save you a lot of trouble. Excuse me,” she walks past the two and knocks on Big Bird’s door. Is it just me, or is Maria really mean in this episode? “Big Bird! Somebody want’s to take your picture!” she yells.

Big Bird pops up. “Oh boy,” he chirps (ouch, bad pun!). “Which side? My left side? Or my right side?”

“It talks,” is all a shocked Cedric can say.

“Doesn’t everybody?” replies Big Bird.

I understand that that last section was pretty long. Now might be a good time to recover. Go takes a nap, grab some snacks, or go to the bathroom. But be sure to be back in 5 minutes, or else, um… Well, there’s nothing I can do about that…

When we last left Sesame Street, the bird watchers discovered that Big Bird can talk, and then we cut from the street to see a bunch of pictures of birds and hear a guy sing. So we fast-forward…

Big Bird is talking to a group of kids. “Are you all ready for our game?” he asks them. You can’t really hear if they say yes or no.

The camera cuts to Cedric and Madeline, who are standing by the stoop at 123, and they’re looking through their binoculars again. Cedric asks, “What are you watching?”

“The bird is playing hide and seek,” she replies.

“I’ve just spotted a parrot in the Fix-it Shop!” he cries.

“Oh, ok. You cover the parrot, and I’ll stay here,” she says.

“Right,” Cedric agrees. He does his Scooby Doo sneak over to the Fix-it Shop. He isn’t heard from until the end of the episode. That must be some parrot.

So before we jump to the end, here’s a quick summary of what takes place during the rest of the episode. Basically, Big Bird learns that he’s an endangered species, is moved to a bird sanctuary, doesn’t like it, and comes back to Sesame Street. It’s like an early version of “Follow That Bird” without Miss Finch and a cameo by John Candy.

Ok, so we’re back to the Street. Big Bird is home, and there’s a sign on his door. Gordon reads the sign, with his finger following along, “Endangered species. Handle with care.”

“We sure are glad you brought Big Bird back Madeline,” Maria says.

“Yeah, and we promise to take even better care of him, because we know he’s an endangered species,” says Gordon. “We’ve always known he was a special bird.”

“Well he really is. In fact, there’s probably no other bird like him in the whole world!” says Madeline.

“Oh yeah there is,” Big Bird says (as you can see, I’ve run out of adjectives).

“There is?” asks a puzzled Madeline.

“Oh sure,” says Big Bird. “There’s my Auntie Maureen. Maureen lives in Chicago on the Loop.” As Big Bird talks, Cedric searches for his notepad and starts taking notes. Big Bird continues, “She looks a lot like me except she has blue eyes.”

“Are you getting this?” asks a bewildered Madeline.

“Yes,” replies Cedric.

Big Bird continues spouting off his family tree. “And then, let’s see. There’s my cousin Floyd [note, it could be Foy, but I really couldn’t tell, and does it really matter?] who lives in LA. He looks a lot like me except he’s purple. And he’s a surfer.”

“Can we get a plane to Los Angeles? “ asks Madeline.

“I don’t know,” Cedric replies.

Big Bird is still talking. “Oh yeah, and then there’s my uncle Slim. He’s a cowbird from Wyoming. But he’s here in New York right now!” And then some big yellow bird that looks like Big Bird walks out of Hooper’s Store. “Oh there he is. I’ll call him for you.” Big Bird tells the eager bird watchers. “Hi Uncle Slim! Hey Uncle Slim! I’ll meet you later at Birdseed Charlie’s, ok?” Big Bird’s Uncle Slim just nods. He must be a mime too.

Cedric is amazed. “Look, it’s another biggie!”

“Wait a minute!” Madeline yells. “Mr. Bird!”

Cedric and Madeline then go chasing after the mime cowbird.

In case you were wondering, Sesame Street has been brought to you today by the letter’s N and L, and the number 12.

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