10 "Sesame Street" Performances By Late, Great Celebrities

In Muppet memoriam: Sesame Street has been a cultural touchstone for so long that some of its famous guest stars have begun to pass away. Here are several such classic appearances.

1. James Gandolfini faces his fears

He tells Zoe about the three things that scare him the most.

2. Sneak Peek Previews with Siskel & Ebert

Dueling critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel are all thumbs in this segment with Oscar and Telly. Argues Ebert: “I think there could be a lot of interesting thumbs sideways movies!” Siskel, of course, disagrees.

3. Michael Jackson celebrates Christmas with Oscar

The book he’s reading in this 1978 special? Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Ghosts but Were Afraid to Ask. MJ’s review? “It’s really trash.”

4. Lena Horne: Bein’ Green

A powerful, poignant performance. You’ll be as affected as Kermit.

5. Johnny Cash: Nasty Dan

Oscar: “Say, aren’t you Johnny Trash?” Cash: “Have a rotten day!”

6. Sally Ride: A is for Astronaut

7. Ray Charles: I Got a Song

Not to take anything away from Ray, but Burt plays a mean bass.

8. Gregory Hines demonstrates near and far…

…with his brother, Maurice.

9. Christopher Reeve on living as a quadriplegic

“With my chair and with my family and all my friends who help me I can do lots and lots of great stuff.”

10. Put Down the Duckie

The late comedians John Candy and Madeline Kahn (along with departed singer Celia Cruz and actor Gordon Jackson) enliven this star-studded 1988 PBS pledge drive special that neatly encapsulates late-eighties pop culture.

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