"Surprise!" was a Sesame Street song that aired as early as episode 0218  (during the second season), on March 10, 1971. It was originally sung by a band of Anything Muppet hippies that would evolve into Little Jerry and the Monotones. It talks about the good and bad parts of surprises, and how people respond to them. The song appeared in as late as Season 8 (1976), but so far, no one has come forward with a VHS recording of the clip, since VHS tapes were not for home use at the time and VHS recording devices were very expensive.
Throughout the song, various characters appear during the sketch in cutaways demonstrating surprises, including Oscar surprising Susan with a snake in a can; Herbert Birdsfoot in a room surprised by Roosevelt Franklin, Roosevelt Franklin's Mother, Herry, Cookie Monster, Prairie Dawn, and Grover; and Herry sneaking up on Bert. After the many clips of various surprises, the backup singers eventually give the lead singer their own surprise for him at the end of the song.
According to a user on the MuppetCentral forums, the cut-up Hebrew dub of the clip that featured Herry Monster and Bert's cutaway is "long gone" from YouTube, and the only version that still stays up is the fan cut that tried to sync the album version to that footage and that's about it. He also rumored that there was another song of "Surprise!" where Gordon is at the supermarket and finds a monster in his shopping cart, Bob tries to sing nursery rhymes and gets a few buckets in the face (in an alternate take, he instead gets buried under an avalanche of the white stuff), and the last scene where Big Bird is sad because it seems everyone forgot his birthday and then he enters Hooper's store, sees a birthday cake, and a surprise party begins, and then the song ends with a pie being thrown at the camera. Said version was uploaded by PumpkinJFriend on YouTube and was revealed to be written by the late Tony Geiss and Sam Pottle. The other "Surprise!" song here (featuring the hippies who would become Little Jerry and the Monotones) was written by the late Jeffrey Moss.
Back in 2006, there were many German-dubbed clips of the 1969-1971 seasons of Sesame Street taken from Sesamstraße that have once been posted on YouTube by a German user, and this one ("Surprise!") was also once uploaded in German. But due to his YouTube account having been terminated, the German-dubbed clips, including this one, are no longer watchable.
The sketch in Dutch from Sesamstraat was also posted by Clausule baxk in 2007 but that user was terminated in 2009, making the video unwatchable. Bahgwan uploaded an edited version of the song to YouTube in 2009, with the Dutch source dubbed with edited English audio from the "Surprise!" album from 1983 (shortening it down and removing Herry and Bert's cutaway and also cutting down some scenes of the hippies' dance near the end of the video), but he closed his YouTube account in 2014, making that video unwatchable as well. BOF178 also uploaded an incomplete Plaza Sésamo edit of the song, dubbing the Dutch source (taken from Bahgwan's upload) with an incomplete, low-quality audio recording of the Mexican-Spanish dub but completely out of place with the scenes and not matched right.
UPDATE 5 Feb '17: Recently, YouTuber PumpkinJFriend has finally uploaded a video of the sketch (with Oscar and Susan's cutaway and Herry and Bert's cutaway both taken from a short clip of the German version of a 2-hour Sesamstraße video, while most of the song is in English) on YouTube recently today. It, however, is still not complete.
UPDATE 13 Feb '17: Another YouTuber, Star Dragon Dust has uploaded a fan remake of the song (linked above), with the audio taken from an official Sesame Street 1983 album "Surprise!" along with incomplete video sources taken from BOFI78's Spanish-dubbed upload and from a 2-hour Sesamstraße video, and during the blank black screens, a caption "No video here, folks!" appears onscreen.
UPDATE 25 Oct '17: Rohail Hashmi re-uploaded the Hebrew dub of the song (without Oscar and Susan's cutaway in it) to YouTube. Star Dragon Dust has updated his recreation of the song, this time as an almost-complete clip, with English audio pieces taken from the album version and video sources taken from the Hebrew dub as well as the German clips. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj8VW3ipdVg
UPDATE 1 Nov '17: Rohail Hashmi re-uploaded Bahgwan's video of "Surprise" to YouTube recently today.
- ↑ muppet.wikia.com page on Sesame Street episode 0218. Retrieved 27 Dec '16.
- ↑ muppet.wikia.com page on the Surprise! song. Retrieved 27 Dec '16.
- ↑ muppetcentral.com forum thread on the short. Retrieved 27 Dec '16.
- ↑ A video reel of songs from the Yale university library website.