MD = “Muppet Doctor”

Published: January 28, 2009
Categories: Feature, Reviews


As I mentioned here a few days ago, the Sesame Street Muppets appeared on ABC’s Scrubs on Tuesday night. If you missed it, you can watch it online for free over at, at least for a while. Also, if you haven’t seen this online promo [sorry, link expired! –ed.] with Elmo and Zach Braff, you should check it out.

I thought the episode, “My ABCs,” was pretty good, although I should note that I’m a regular viewer of Scrubs. I have to wonder if a Sesame fan with less familiarity with the show would have found it very satisfying, considering there were only four Muppets in it, and they each appeared for just a moment. I’m just glad they appeared on a show that’s good, and not something like ‘Til Death or Kath and Kim.

(In case there are any ‘Til Death fans or Kath and Kim fans reading this: That’s right, I just dissed your show. You wanna make something of it? Bring it on. I say this confident in the knowledge that neither of those shows has any fans.)

Anyway, Scrubs has a gimmick where the main character, J.D. (Braff) has funny daydreams inspired by the things that are happening in his life. So all the Sesame characters appeared in J.D. daydream scenes, which is probably the most sensible way to incorporate puppets into the show. Even on a sitcom as wacky as Scrubs, it would be pretty weird if Elmo just showed up as a living, breathing character in the “real world” of the show.

Appearing outside of Sesame Street provided an opportunity for the Muppets to wink at the audience a little. So we had Oscar claiming to be the new Chief of Medicine at the hospital, warning, “I’m watching you, Dr. Dorian — and my eyes never close!” and Grover extending his hand and asking for someone to give him a “high four.” I’m a sucker for gags in which the Muppets acknowledge their puppethood.

And then there was Elmo, practically hitting on J.D.’s attractive intern protege Denise. When J.D. protested Elmo’s nuzzling of Denise’s bosom, Elmo said something like, “What, is she your woman?” Which is funny and prime time-y, yet somehow completely in character.
Finally, there was a gag with a random monster Muppet credited as “A.M. Muppet (Ex Ray)” and performed by Stephanie D’Abruzzo. The joke — a puppet gets x-rayed, revealing a hand inside it — is one I’ve seen before in more than one comic strip, but it was still cute.

The episode ended on a contemplative note, with a closing montage running under a lovely, melancholy version of the Sesame Street theme song by Joshua Radin. Folks on the Tough Pigs forum have been saying they want an MP3 of Radin’s version, but it was so sad-sounding that I don’t think I’d ever want to listen to it outside the context of this episode.

Oh, and there was one other thing I have to mention: Early in the episode, J.D. comes across his friend Turk and Turk’s baby daughter watching Sesame Street. As the opening sequence plays, Turk tells J.D. that the letter of the day is J. But wait a minute! The show just started! The letter of the day isn’t even revealed until, what, 15 minutes into an episode of Sesame Street? I find this lack of attention to detail appalling! Appalling, I say!

I’m kidding, of course. It didn’t really bother me that much… but I still feel like I should send somebody a letter about it. Does anyone have Grover’s address?

Click here to make a house call and discuss “My ABCs” on the Tough Pigs forum!

by Ryan Roe –

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