Surprise! (partially lost Sesame Street segment; 1970)

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SSSurpriseSong.jpg

Screenshot from Sesamstraße

Status: Partially Found

Surprise! was a Sesame Street song, written by Jeffrey Moss, 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.

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. BOF178 used video sources from Bahgwan's edit of the song to dub with incomplete low-quality audio in Mexican-Spanish from Plaza Sésamo, but the video and audio were not matched right, plus the video had a BOF178-labeled watermark slapped onto the screen that persists through the whole video. The Plaza Sésamo dub, uploaded by BOF178, was the only video of the song to have still lasted on YouTube today after all the other uploads of the song were gone. 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,[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. The Hebrew-dubbed clip remained lost until Rohail Hashmi has re-uploaded a copy of the extended version in Hebrew (despite it having been downloaded in awful quality). It does not include Susan and Oscar's cutaway, and has been audio-synced from the Dutch video source.

UPDATE 29 10 '17: Star Dragon Dust has updated his recreation of the song, this time as an almost-complete clip, with a few 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

PumpkinJFriend also uploaded a better copy of the song, again partially in English.

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