Sesame Street "Surprise!" song by Hippies (partially found clip of puppet show series; 1970)
|Screenshot from Sesamstraße|
Surprise! was a Sesame Street song, written by Jeffrey Moss, that originally aired during Sesame Street 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.
Back in 2006, the German dub of the full song, uncut, was uploaded, along with many other German-dubbed clips of the 1969-1971 seasons of Sesame Street taken from Sesamstraße (the German co-production of Sesame Street) that have once been posted on YouTube by a German user. But the user had been a victim of the February 2007 Viacom took down that targeted 400,000 YouTubers, and the German-dubbed clips, including "Surprise," have not resurfaced since.
Clausule uploaded the Dutch dub (which lacked Susan and Oscar's cutaway) in 2007, but his account was suspended in 2009. Clausule returned as MNAvdb and reuploaded some Sesame Street clips, but for some reason, he did not re-upload the "Surprise!" song in Dutch. The song then resurfaced in Hebrew in a Rechov Sumsum episode the same year in 2009, but that video also got taken down in 2011. Bahgwan uploaded the song with the source deriving from the Dutch dub but edited with audio taken from the Sesame Street "Surprise!" album and was not full, but that video also got taken down in 2014.
All these videos of the song have been taken down, so now the only version of the song that remain on YouTube are BOF178's Plaza Sesamo edit of the song, with the Dutch video source being dubbed with the Spanish Plaza Sesamo audio but cut down to only Herbert's cutway and the Hippie dance scenes, and not matched right. This video also has a yellow "BOF178" watermark on the lower-right corner of the screen. A 2-hour video "lange sesamstraße nacht" was uploaded to YouTube around February 2017, and another YouTuber named PumpkinJFriend ripped a clip of Surprise (w/bits of Susan and Oscar's cutaway and Herry and Bert's cutaway) that was on there and spliced it into the middle of BOF178's video (dubbed with the audio from the "Surprise!" album) to make a longer version of the video.
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.
As of August 2017, nobody has come forward with backups of the German, Hebrew or Dutch dubs of the clip, and it is unlikely that the full version of the clip will see the light of day unless you contact Sesame Workshop for a copy.
- 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.