Since 1969, hundreds of pop-culture icons have appeared on “Sesame Street” — everyone from pop stars to politicians to astronauts and comedians who’ve interacted with Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, et al.
Here’s a small sampling of some memorable “Sesame Street” celebrity spots over the course of the past 50 years.
Wonder appears on this 1973 episode to play his piano and teach (a tone-deaf) Grover how to groove. Stevie trying to help Grover: “You sing a short note.”
In the 45th season, the star of “The Hangover” franchise and FX series “Baskets” — in which he plays a clown — goofs around with Murray Monster, who tries teaches him the word “nimble” (as in “Zach be nimble”).
The tough-guy Oscar nominee shows a much softer side in this 2008 appearance. Dressed in a Dracula cape and sporting a monocle, he helps the Count (who else?) count to 20 — in dramatic fashion, of course. And it took him several takes.
The theater, movie and TV star (an Oscar winner for “Fences”) plays the game “What Does It Mean?” with Elmo during Season 45, teaching the little guy the meaning of the word fiesta while bopping around amid balloons and streamers.
The Dixie Chicks
In 2002, the musical trio use a catchy song to teach Big Bird, Bert and Baby Bear about the letter “B.” (There’s a guest appearance from the Count.)
The Colombian-born “Modern Family” star teaches Elmo the Spanish word for dance (hint: it’s “baile”) during Season 42. She’s helped out by a penguin, a dancing chicken and a frog.
The late comic genius appeared on “Sesame Street” several times through the years, including this memorable bit in Season 42 in which he teaches the Two-Headed Monster about the word “conflict” — even talking to them in their native tongue.
In Season 45, Sir Ian patiently explains the meaning of the word “resist” to Cookie Monster, who finally gets the concept when it concerns, natch, a cookie. (“Me stop meself and me resist the cookie!”) P.S. Cookie Monster can’t help himself and gobbles up his biggest weakness.
The Oscar-winning actress teaches Oscar the Grouch a life lesson by explaining to him the word “stubborn” in Season 42. We’re not so sure he understands the concept — but, well, he’s Oscar.
Billy Joel & Marlee Matlin
The Piano Man and the Oscar-winning (and deaf) actress stop by Oscar’s garbage can in 1988 to team up for a performance of “Just the Way You Are”: with Joel on piano and Matlin using sign language to interpret the song.
The first lady visits “Sesame Street” in 2009, and plants a garden — with the help of Elmo, Big Bird and a group of children.
The Apollo 11 astronaut, the second man to walk on the moon the year that “Sesame Street” premiered, visits the gang in 2005, and talks to Alex about space (“I’ve been to the moon. How would you get there?”)
The Man in Black, a country music icon, stops by Oscar the Grouch’s garbage can in Season 5 to sing — what else? — “Nasty Dan.” (“Good for him,” Oscar says of Dan’s “nasty” disposition.)
The future “Deadpool” star, a good sport, drops by “Sesame Street” in 2010 to awkwardly help teach the first letter in the alphabet — by dressing up in a huge “A” costume.
The soulful singer appears three times over the years, including teaching cast members the letters of the alphabet in 1999 — lessons no one will ever forget.