Big Bird

50 Years & Still Sunny!


Join host Gloria Estefan for a 50th anniversary celebration of the iconic children’s series. This new documentary includes celebrity appearances, interviews with puppeteers and video clips of Sesame Street’s most unforgettable moments.




Sesame Street


SESAME STREET is funded in part by a Ready To Learn cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education through PBS.


Sesame Street, the recipient of 85 Emmys, engages children with its unique blend of excitement, humor, and compassion. Sesame Street helps children learn and grow in a constantly changing, continually challenging environment.


The Sesame Street format now includes brand new segments, smoother transitions, and a deeper focus on school readiness. Daily segments include “Journey to Ernie,” a problem solving game of hide-and-seek, and the wildly popular “Elmo’s World.” Children can also expect a daily dose of Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and the Count.


For children 2 to 4 years old.


Visit the Web site:


Series Goals
Sesame Street encourages children to:


  • Take beginning steps toward reading, writing, mathematics and science.
  • Appreciate cultural diversity by modeling people who differ in appearance, action, or point of view playing together, working together, making friends, and resolving conflicts.
  • Appreciate the arts in a variety of forms including visual art, music, and dance and create their own art as they develop the concept, “I am an artist.”
  • Learn about the body and how to keep it healthy and safe.


Helping Kids Prepare for School
Sesame Street is built around a comprehensive, whole child curriculum created by in-house child psychologists and educators. Every segment, every song, and every story is designed to educate young viewers about a specific lesson – and every year the curriculum focus changes to address the current educational needs of children.


When to Watch
Find out when SESAME STREET airs in your area, and also get episode descriptions and related activities!



Thankful for a Beloved Feathered Friend


Leslie Wilcox, President and CEO of PBS Hawaii

You might think that Big Bird would make himself scarce at Thanksgiving time. After all, he could be mistaken for a holiday feast!


However, it was on a Thanksgiving Day that Big Bird was front and center in one of the most powerful programs that the groundbreaking series Sesame Street has ever produced.


The year was 1983. The broadcast aired during the first week of a new Sesame Street season–on the holiday, so that parents were home with their children to discuss the program.


Our tall feathered friend helped children to understand death and grief.


The episode was called “Farewell, Mr. Hooper.” Will Lee, the actor who played the gruff but good-hearted store owner, had died of a heart attack. They’d grown to love the grumpy grocer through his many chats with Big Bird, who came in to buy birdseed milkshakes.

Big Bird, Our Feathered Friend

The question for show producers was: How do we explain Mr. Hooper’s absence? Had he gone on vacation, never to be seen or mentioned again? Had he moved away?


No. Producers said they followed their instincts to “deal with [death] head-on.” First, they researched how preschoolers react to death. Experts advised them to stay away from how Mr. Hooper died and provide their young viewers with a sense of closure about Mr. Hooper’s passing.


Head writer Norman Stiles is quoted as saying: “We decided to say that while Mr. Hooper was not here anymore, we will always have that part of him that lives within the heart, that we have our love, and that it will always stay.”


The episode ends with a tearful Big Bird saying he’s going to miss Mr. Hooper and hanging Mr. Hooper’s picture near his nest. Then he leaves to see a new baby visiting the neighborhood.


Like many children’s shows scattered over the TV universe, Sesame Street entertains. And, like other PBS children’s shows, it has always done something deeper and lasting: it teaches.


So, at Thanksgiving, we at PBS Hawaii toast a dear, not-for-eating “big bird” who has brought new dimension to young lives!



Leslie signature