Today is, in Sesame Street canon, officially Big Bird’s birthday. He’s turning six this year. Again.
Big Bird’s Birthday OR Let Me Eat Cake! is a 1991 television special that aired on PBS during “pledge week”–and if you don’t know what that is, you probably don’t watch much PBS. The plot is pretty simple. Big Bird’s friends take him to the famous skating rink in New York for his birthday, where everyone teaches Snuffy how to skate. But the real meat of the special–the portion that had you laughing your butt off if you were a little kid at the time–is the B-story, which finds Cookie Monster trying so hard to maintain his self-control enough to not eat Big Bird’s birthday cake before he comes back for his party. He resolves this by satisfying his hunger elsewhere–and eating everything else on Sesame Street (well, except for a tree. “Tree! Me eat tree! Oh, no, no, no. Tree good for environment. Me no eat tree.”).
The special also had the world premiere of the celebrity-loaded Monster in the Mirror music video, which featured cameos from Siskel and Ebert, Whoopi Goldberg, Ray Charles, Robin Williams…and The Simpsons?!?!
Big Bird’s Birthday has unfortunately never been given a home video release, but someone did upload it to YouTube in its entirety. Kind of. Sadly this copy isn’t in the best shape–at one point, it randomly switches to a Yogi Bear cartoon before switching back to the broadcast–and confusingly this has several sketches that weren’t included when my family taped it off of MPT in Rehoboth Beach (which is where we were living at that time as we were between houses) of that year. It could be that MPT just normally removed some of Sesame Street’s runtime in order for it not to run a full hour so they could have some ads for other programs and sponsors. Or not. I really have no idea, and no amount of research I’ve done has provided any answers on this.
Have a great day, Avocados! And don’t eat any trees. They are good for the enviornment.