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Classic Sesame Street Little Jerry sings "Surprise!" (1970 original version, almost complete)01:58

Classic Sesame Street Little Jerry sings "Surprise!" (1970 original version, almost complete)

Classic Sesame Street - Surprise! (recreation, incomplete)02:36

Classic Sesame Street - Surprise! (recreation, incomplete)

A fan recreation of the song.

"Surprise!" was a Sesame Street song that originally aired during Sesame Street episode 0218 [1] (during the second season), on March 10, 1971.[2] 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.

The sketch can be found on YouTube and does include Herbert Birdsfoot's cutaway, but does not include the scenes where Oscar surprises Susan with a snake in the can, and where Herry sneaks up on Bert. This video also has a watermark on the lower-right corner of the screen that says "BOFI78," suggesting that BOFI78 originally trimmed and posted the clip with the Mexican-Spanish Plaza Sesamo audio dubbed within the Dutch Sesamstraat video source.

According to a user on the MuppetCentral forums,[3] 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[4] 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.

UPDATE 5 Feb '17: Recently, BigPumpkinJFriend86 (known as BigRedMonster86 on Muppet Wiki, and Bigfatloser86 on DeviantART) 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: Star Dragon Dust (known as Radioactive Wizard on Wikia) 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.

References

  1. muppet.wikia.com page on Sesame Street episode 0218. Retrieved 27 Dec '16.
  2. muppet.wikia.com page on the Surprise! song. Retrieved 27 Dec '16.
  3. muppetcentral.com forum thread on the short. Retrieved 27 Dec '16.
  4. A video reel of songs from the Yale university library website.

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