Podcast Transcript: Hubba-Wha?! Episode #21

Published: September 28, 2023
Categories: Transcripts

Click here for original audio.

Podcast transcription provided by Katilyn Miller.

Hubba-Wha?! Episode 303 – Betty Lou’s World

[Clip from “Girl of the World” plays]

[Music begins]

ZOE: I can clip all my hair clips, almost all by myself.

BETTY LOU: I can pick up my dollies, put them up on the highest shelf.

ROSITA: I can drink a whole juice box in 30 seconds flat.


DAWN: Hey, we can do anything. Yeah, man, we’re all that.

TOGETHER: Because I’m a girl, girl, girl; a girl, girl, girl of the world.

[Clip ends]

[Hubba-Wha?! Theme music plays]

[Hubba-Wha?! theme music ends]

BECCA PETUNIA: Welcome to (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal voice) A Muppet quiz show brought to you by Toughpigs.com. It’s your favorite quiz show that’s not like the others. Here, Muppet fans, Muppet professionals, and everyone in between competes for fabulous prizes. And to see who’s this week’s Toughest Pig. I’m your host Becca Petunia of Toughpigs.com.

You know, as the host of the Internet’s most popular Muppet quiz show podcast, people are always asking me a ton of questions. Questions like who are those two old guys in the balcony? And when did Cookie Monster stop being the Veggie Monster? And why won’t you stop talking about Grover for one minute and let me go to sleep?

[Ryan laughs]

BECCA: But one question I don’t get asked enough is what is the best question you’ve ever asked on (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal voice)? So, please can somebody ask me that?

RYAN ROE: Hey, Becca. What’s the best question you’ve ever asked on (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal voice)

BECCA: Oh I’m so glad you asked me that question. Well, I think everybody knows that it’s obviously the final question of the (in echo sounding voice) Just Happy to be Them Game (in normal sounding voice) from the season two Sesame Grab Bag episode.

That’s the one where I stumped, both my guests and the entire Internet by asking about Betty Lou’s interests.


BECCA: It went a little something like this:

[Transition sound effect]

[Clip from Hubba-Wha?! Season two episode: Sesame Grab Bag]

BECCA: Their goldfish is Talbert. Their best friend’s Luis. They love the xylophone and orange juice and baseball and overalls with lots of pockets. And their dream is to build a go-kart.

LOUIE PEARLMAN: I think this is gonna be so someone we’re not expecting and it’s gonna be really dumb.


BECCA: I mean, that’s clearly what I’m building up to. [laughs]

LOUIE: Yeah.

JOE: Yeah. I’m-I’m also just trying to remember…

BECCA: You get the joke.

LOUIE: This is like one of those ones written by some guy that never watched the show. And it’s just like, like, okay.

BECCA: Well, the only other clue I can give-

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Oh Joe.

JOE: Okay. Farley. Have we said Farley?

BECCA: You haven’t said Farley. I mean you guessed him, but he was wrong, but it also isn’t Farley. 

[Louie makes sound of frustration.]

JOE: He’s not Farley.

BECCA: Final clue. They live at 456 Sesame Street. And this is the last clue I can give you.

LOUIE: Can I guess? Can I guess?

JOE: Remarkable.

BECCA: We have exhausted the character sheet.

LOUIE: Is it, is it Don Music? 

BECCA: It is not. Great guess.

LOUIE: Okay. [laughs]

BECCA: You’d think his favorite instrument would be the piano.

LOUIE: The piano. Yeah. [laughs]

BECCA: I guess it causes him a lot of grief. 

LOUIE: Yeah, so maybe he really likes xylophone.

BECCA: Oh, Joe final guess?

JOE: I- I’m just kind of- [laughs] I’m just kind of agog. I didn’t think a Sesame Street trivia question could really leave me this…

BECCA: Well, I will tell you this character, ostensibly a well-known character because literally, I am looking right now at Sesame Street merch that I have in my living room from the 80s, and this character is on it. There’s Ernie and Bert and Snuffy, and Cookie Monster, and Grover, and Sherlock. Hemlock and Luis’s best friend: Betty Lou.

[Louie snickers]

JOE: Well of course, of course Betty Lou.

[Becca laughs]

[Transition sound effect]

BECCA: Since then, I’ve considered Betty Lou to be the unofficial mascot of (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal sounding voice) Which is kind of confusing since the almost identical Prairie Dawn is the unofficial mascot of my life, but I digress.

Well, we had so much fun learning about Betty Lou that I think we can all agree that it’s time to learn even more about her. So rather than ask one question about Betty Lou, folks, it’s time for an entire episode about her.

RYAN: Are you serious?

[Alethea and Ryan laugh]

BECCA: That’s right. I’ve brought you here for an entire Sesame Street Grab Bag episode inspired by the life and times of your friend and mine, Betty Lou.

RYAN: What?

ALETHEA SHIRILAN: Oh my god. [laughs]

BECCA: I will say this will make more sense as we keep going. Don’t panic too much yet. This will make more sense as we go. But, yes, I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could write an entire Betty Lou episode and here we go.

RYAN: I mean, if anyone could.


BECCA: As always, today’s questions were written by me with help from that amazing Muppet resource Muppet Wiki. And speaking of, let’s agree to play fair today. Please don’t use Muppet Wiki or any other resource during this game. I’ve decided that Betty Lou, one of her character traits is that she hates it when people are unfair.That’s her thing. I decided.

[Ryan laughs]

BECCA: Anyway, before we can learn more about Betty Lou, we need to learn a little bit more about both of our guests. That’s right, it’s time for our first game (in echo sounding voice) To Tell a Face. (in normal sounding voice)

Contestants, you’re going to buzz in to answer some questions about yourself. Whoever buzzes in first will get introduced first. Ready? Go.

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: All right, Alethea. You buzzed in first so I’m gonna ask you questions first. Alethea, what is your–


BECCA: Hi there. What is your name?

ALETHEA: Oh, it’s Alethea.

BECCA: There we go. And this season, it’s about time, I’m finally asking this question as well. What pronouns should we use for you?

ALETHEA: I use she/her pronouns.

BECCA: Okay. Now Alethea, you’re a first time guest not only on this podcast, but a first time guest on any of the ToughPigs podcasts.

RYAN: Oooh.

BECCA: So, yeah, no, this is a scoop. I just recorded yesterday with another first-time. This is my third episode this season with first-time ToughPigs podcast guests.

RYAN: Nice.

BECCA: So I’m spreading out.

RYAN: Yeah. Yeah.

BECCA: Anyway, so this is your first time on any of the ToughPigs podcasts, so I do want to ask you, what’s your history with the Muppets?

ALETHEA: Sure. So when I was a kid, I was really scared of most of the Muppets. I think so like probably Play with Me Sesame was like my introduction to the Muppets and Sesame Street. My dad does really good Muppet impressions. Like to the point where it also did not help my fear of the Muppets. I liked Ernie okay. I think I liked Prairie Dawn. And I liked Zoe a lot. And Big Bird. But Bert terrified me and my dad did not help that by doing Bert impressions at any time of the day and showing me the Mysterious Nose-Snatcher skit did not help with the nightmare fuel at all.

[Becca laughs]

ALETHEA: So I was pretty afraid of Bert for a good portion of my childhood. But then Covid hit and I kind of like went back into like some of my childhood stuff and was rediscovering the Muppets. I had like watched The Muppet Movie for maybe the second time in my life, like at the beginning of Covid and then I maybe watched it like 15 more times in the first six months of Covid.

And I just like got into the Muppet fandom. I got into Fraggle Rock again, which I had watched when I was like six. We picked up the DVD box sets from FYI. FYE? Is it FYE? Yes, sorry. [laughs]

RYAN: I’ve never been sure if it’s pronounced FYE or Fye [pronounced Fi with long I]

ALETHEA: I think it’s FYE, right?

RYAN: You’re probably right.

ALETHEA: I don’t know.

BECCA: For Your Entertainment is what it stands for.

RYAN: Yeah. So I’m sure it’s FYE.

BECCA: I know that. That’s a useless trivia fact that I know.

RYAN: How many points do you get for that?

ALETHEA: Yeah. [laughs]

BECCA: Five.

ALETHEA: And then Sesame Street, I kind of got into the most recently out of the three of them. Like again, as you know a late teenager. And I just kind of like refell in love with it. Like I watched Follow That Bird again and I had, you know, memories of watching that on a VHS over and over again, jumping up and down on my basement couch. For some reason that’s ingrained in my memory.

And my dad’s like no, that didn’t happen. We didn’t have that couch and we didn’t have a VHS. We didn’t have the VCR. And then I found the VHS and I was vindicated in my memory. That’s not important. But what’s important is that I sort of just like refell in love with Sesame Street and watched Street Gang a million times, and read the book.

And very, very much became like entrenched in the moral values of Sesame and like learning more about it all the time. And so for that reason, I would consider myself kind of a new Sesame Street fan even though I run a Sesame Street history account. I just love it so much. But I’m not (laughing) extremely confident how much I know about Betty Lou.

BECCA: Well, well I will say, I love Sesame History. That’s the account that you run on Twitter and Instagram, right? And that’s really great. And I always say there’s plenty of room for new fans as well. It’s funny. This is how I know that you’re from Canada and about the same age as our Canadian friend Iffy, because Iffy also was introduced to Sesame Street via Play with Me Sesame because that’s what was on.

RYAN: Oh. Is it Sesame Park is the co-production up there? So you wouldn’t have seen the American Sesame Street as much.

ALETHEA: Yeah, yeah. I am too…Not to be like (in higher pitched voice) “I’m so young,” (in normal voice) but I think I’m too young for Sesame Park.

RYAN: Oh, wow. Okay.

BECCA: Yeah, Sesame Park I don’t think was on air when you and Iffy were children.

RYAN: Shows what I know. I’m already losing at this. Yeah, that’s fascinating though. That’s a really cool story.

BECCA: See, I know this from talking to Iffy. But yes, Iffy learned about Ernie and Bert, all of that from Play with Me Sesame as well.

RYAN: Huh.

BECCA: Yeah. So my last question that I’m going to ask you, seeing as we’re focusing today on Betty Lou, the character that maybe I wish got a little more attention. Which Sesame Street character do you wish got some more attention these days?

ALETHEA: I think you’re probably going to guess my answer to this. The answer for me is Zoe. I miss Zoe. I mean, like, I’m biased because she was very much like a part of the early 2000 Sesame Street, you know, like kid culture and merchandising.

But, you know, I always like have a soft spot for Zoe both because of like, I love Fran Brill and I love the way she does the voice and like the mannerisms, and the way Zoe’s like catchphrase is “Don’t joke me.” Like, that’s such a cute little, that’s such a thing that a three-year-old would say and I think that it’s true that she picked it up from hearing three-year-olds talking at the playground. 

BECCA: Yeah, I believe that was in Sesame Unpaved?

ALETHEA: Yeah. Yeah.

RYAN: That’s right.

ALETHEA: Yeah, and I have this whole, you know, like anti-capitalist rant that I go on when I talk about Abby Cadabby, who a lot of people really love. I can’t personally get behind it. I stand with the people who love Abby Cadabby, but I do believe that Abby Cadabby is one big merchandising ploy.

BECCA: You’re not wrong. It is literally stated that they… I mean, you know, and I’ve seen you go on this rant but like, they were thinking of merchandise when they designed that character. And I do think she’s grown beyond that.


BECCA: And you know, Leslie does a great job with Abby. I actually met Abby two days before the pandemic shut everything down. I was lucky enough to visit the Sesame Street set on March 11, 2020.

ALETHEA: That’s crazy.

RYAN: Yeah, I think both things can be true that her design was very specifically calculated to be easily merchandisable. And that she’s performed, you know, that has a talented performer and she’s become a fun character.

ALETHEA: Yeah. For sure.

BECCA: Zoe’s a great choice though. And you know, you’re right, you’re right about Fran and I’m obviously a big Fran Brill fan as well, for obvious reasons. And, you know, really there’s, no one can do it like she did. You know, again, I love that they’re trying to keep using Zoe sometimes, but it really just isn’t the same without Fran.


BECCA: All right, well Alethea, you’ve earned 20 points for answering those questions.


BECCA: So look at this. Look at this. No matter how anxious you might be, you definitely aren’t going to walk away from here with zero points.


BECCA: And let’s move on to our next contestant. Our next contestant, what is your name?

RYAN: My name is Ryan Roe.

BECCA: All right. And Ryan, I’m gonna ask the same question, what pronouns should we use?

RYAN: Yes, he/him is good for me.

BECCA: Okay. Now, Ryan, everybody knows you. You’re one of the co-owners of Toughpigs.com, the host of our flagship podcast Movin’ Right Along. I’m trying to think of something funny.

[Ryan and Alethea laugh]

BECCA: Co-creator of the superhero named Captain Google.

[Ryan laughs]

BECCA: So, everybody knows all of this about you already. So I’m going to ask you another important question. Where do I park my bicycle?

RYAN: Ummmm, in Buffalo.

BECCA: Okay. Sure. Last question. What Sesame Street character do you wish got more attention?

RYAN: I am gonna say… it might be a different answer if you ask me, you know, any other day of the week. Today I’ll go with Snuffy because I have noticed recently, people lamenting a lack of snuffy and in recent episodes of Sesame Street, I understand that some of that is probably because of Covid precautions of having two puppeteers trapped inside a little tent of a puppet. But yeah, Snuffy’s great. And I hope that today’s Sesame watching kids actually know who he is and love him as much as we do.

BECCA: Well, you know, there’s an easy answer to this question, which is they could bring back Alice Snuffleupagus.

ALETHEA: Oh yeah.

BECCA: Just one person.

RYAN: They should do that anyway. Yeah

BECCA: Yeah.

[All laugh]

BECCA: Anyway, Ryan, you’ve also earned yourself 20 points.

RYAN: All right.

BECCA: And let me tell you, both of you, for doing so great there you’ve made me feel as happy as Betty Lou would feel if she got to build the go-kart. Again, I’m going to remind you that’s her dream.

RYAN: Okay.

BECCA: According to the Sesame Street Treasury.

RYAN: Yes, of course.

BECCA: Anyway, so let’s get things started with our first real trivia game. Now, one of the Betty Lou puppet’s first appearances was in a game show sketch called Pick Your Pet. Here, she was called Lucy Jones and had to choose a favorite pet between three choices: Little bird, Baskerville the Hound, and the Beautiful Day Monster. All of these would make perfect pets. Let’s be honest.

Anyway, thinking about that game, got me thinking about Sesame Street pets. A lot of our favorite furry friends have furry friends of their own. So we’re going to play our own version of (in echo sounding voice) Pick Your Pet (in normal sounding voice) right now.

I will name a Sesame Street pet. You’ll buzz in and name the owner. So if i said Talbert the Goldfish, you’d buzz in and say Betty Lou.

RYAN: (laughing) Of course.

BECCA: (laughing) But if I said, Talbot the goldfish, (in normal voice) you’d buzz in and say, Bert.

RYAN: Wow.

BECCA: It’s simple. They won’t be as hard as those two.

[All laugh]

BECCA: Each of these correct answers is worth two points. And as always, wait until I finish naming the pet before you buzz in so our friends at home can play along. Are you ready?

[Clip from Sesame Street plays]

[theme music plays]

ANNOUNCER: Pick Your Pet.

[audience clapping]

ANNOUNCER: In just a few moments, a lovely little girl will get to choose one of these animals for her very own pet.

[Clip ends]

BECCA: Okay, question one. Dorothy the Goldfish.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: That’s Elmo.

BECCA: That is Elmo. Even if Elmo only cares about Tango these days.

ALETHEA: (laughing) Oh yeah. Where’s Dorothy?

BECCA: No, no. Just Tango. We only care about Tango now.

RYAN: Didn’t Dorothy appear in animated form in the Tango animated special? Yeah.

BECCA: Yeah. Anyway. Question two. Bernice the pigeon.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Bert.

BECCA: That is Bert. Question three. Fluffy the elephant.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Oscar the Grouch.

BECCA: That is Oscar the Grouch. One of his other pets, other than Slimey. Question four. Fatatita the Cat.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: That would be The Count.

BECCA: That is Count von Count.

RYAN: I’m glad you didn’t ask either of us to spell that cat’s name.

[Alethea laughs]

BECCA: Yeah, no. We just recorded our Halloween episode yesterday and my good friend Mike Westfall, host of the Advent Calendar House podcast, was like, “I don’t remember the name. It’s like Fata Tata Tata Tita Ti To Ta Ta Ta.”

[Ryan and Alethea laugh]

BECCA: And I’m like, “You know what? I’ll give it to you.”

RYAN: Close.

BECCA: You’re close enough.

[Alethea laughs]

BECCA: Yes, and interestingly enough. He also has a bat named Fatatita. Not a very creative namer.

RYAN: Huh.

ALETHEA: He’s into numbers.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: Yeah, no, he likes numbers. Surprised his cat’s name isn’t like 12.

ALETHEA: Yeah. [laughs]

RYAN: Sure.

ALETHEA: And then he would like name them for each one.

BECCA: [laughs] Yes. Question five. Watson the Dog.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: I’m gonna guess Sherlock Hemlock.

BECCA: It is Sherlock Hemlock.

ALETHEA: Literary references.

BECCA: In the 90s, he had a dog named Watson. Question six. Chuckie Sue the Hamster.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Okay, I know this one. It’s Telly.

BECCA: This one is Telly. Correct. Question seven. Barkley the Dog.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Yeah, Alethea.

ALETHEA: Well, so I heard, technically I heard, “bark bark bark” because my Internet glitched out and you repeated yourself.

BECCA: Okay.

ALETHEA: So I heard Barkley…

BECCA: That’s who I was talking about. Yeah.

ALETHEA: I was thinking about Barkley the Fish.

BECCA: Okay.

ALETHEA: Who is owned by Elmo.

BECCA: That is true. Elmo does have a fish named Barkley.


BECCA: Before Dorothy.


BECCA: I was asking about Barkley the Dog.

ALETHEA: Barkley the Dog.

BECCA:  But I will give you two points for Barkley the Fish.

ALETHEA: Thank you.

RYAN: [laughs] I had never heard of Barkley the Fish.

BECCA: It’s in like one episode.

RYAN: Okay.

BECCA: Ryan, who owns Barkley the Dog?

RYAN: Well, I don’t know if they’ve established a new owner but Linda, traditionally.

BECCA: Yeah, Linda’s the only one who I think they’ve officially said ever owned him. Other than in the book A Bird’s Best Friend where Big Bird has Barkley. I would have accepted that. 

RYAN: Well, yeah. And Big Bird went on international trips with Barkeley. So…

BECCA: Big Bird went all over.

ALETHEA: I feel like Alan probably took in Barkley.

RYAN: That’s a nice thought.

BECCA: Well, speaking of Zoe, there’s an episode, right, where Bob is walking. The last episode to ever have Barkley, I believe. Bob is walking Barkley and Zoe is afraid of Barkley.

[Alethea laughs]

BECCA: And they need to talk about that. So maybe Bob has it because, you know, he and Linda were an item.

ALETHEA: Yeah, they were.

RYAN: I mean we also don’t know like maybe Linda still lives on Sesame Street. We just never see her on the show anymore. Who knows.

BECCA: True. True. Also we haven’t seen Barkley in a long time either for what it’s worth saying.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: That’s only one puppeteer.

RYAN: Right. He could come back.

BECCA: Meet Tango.

[Alethea laughs]

BECCA: The crossover we all wanted.

RYAN: Yep.

BECCA: Speaking of dogs, question eight. Itchy the Dog.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: That sounds like an Oscar pet.

BECCA: It is not an Oscar pet. Alethea, do you want to try to steal?

ALETHEA: I’m like blanking. I was gonna say Oscar but now…(laughing) Grundgetta.

BECCA: It is Grundgetta! Correct.

RYAN: Whoa!

[All laugh]

BECCA: Correct.

ALETHEA: Oh my god.

BECCA: I was about to say. I mean, I wasn’t gonna give this clue. I was gonna wait until after you guessed, but like, if it sounds like Oscar but it’s not Oscar. It’s Grudgetta.

RYAN: Wow. Okay.

ALETHEA: Great minds think alike.

BECCA: Question 9. Ralphie the Parrot.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Something in the back of my brain is telling me Baby Bear.

BECCA: It is Baby Bear. Correct. Nice work.

RYAN: Okay.

BECCA: Question 10. Sammy the Snake. His body looks like a letter S.

[Clock ticking sound]

BECCA: You might remember that song.

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Well, Carol Channing in that song, I don’t know if he’s her pet.

BECCA: (laughing) No.

RYAN: Okay, don’t count that. But yeah, okay.

ALETHEA: I didn’t know he had an owner.

RYAN: Yeah, yeah.

ALETHEA: Who would own letter S snake?

BECCA: It’s not Carol Channing.

ALETHEA: It’s not Carol Channing.

RYAN: Too bad.

BECCA: The answer to this qu–None of the answers to these questions are Carol Channing in this entire episode.

ALETHEA: Good to know. Thank you. 

RYAN: Has Carol Channing ever been an answer to a question on Hubba-Wha?!

BECCA: Not yet but there’s no reason she couldn’t be. I ask about celebrities all the time.

RYAN: Yeah. 

BECCA: All right. The correct answer, weirdly enough established in one definition in the Sesame Street Dictionary, Prairie Dawn.

RYAN: Oh, was it a definition for the word snake.

BECCA: I believe it’s the definition for the word skin. It’s a picture of Prairie holding Sammy the Snake and she says, “My pet snake Sammy has pretty stripes on his skin. I do not have stripes on my skin.”

[Alethea laughs]

RYAN: Okay. Huh.

BECCA: Next question. Rufus the Firefly.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: That’s Ernie.

BECCA: That is Ernie.

RYAN: And I would be remiss if I did not point out that is a reference to the Groucho Marx’s character in Duck Soup, I believe. His name is Rufus T. Firefly.


ALETHEA: Oh, very nice.

BECCA: Wouldn’t have…should have put that together. I’ve seen Duck Soup. I guess I just didn’t remember Groucho’s last name. 

RYAN: No, why would you?

BECCA: And you watch those movies and you just call them Groucho, Chico…

RYAN: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah, he’s always just playing Groucho. Yeah. 

BECCA: Anyway question 12. Teeny, Tiny and Sweet Pea the Fish.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: It sounds like an Abby Cadabby thing. I think it’s probably wrong.

BECCA: It’s not Abby Cadabby. Good guess.

RYAN: Teeny, Tiny and Sweet…Elmo.

BECCA: It’s not Elmo. It is actually Snuffy.

RYAN: Oh, okay.

BECCA: He has three very small fish.


RYAN: That’s cute.

BECCA: Question 13. Night Train the Dog.

[Clock ticking sound]

RYAN: That’s a cool name, whoever it is. 

[Buzz in ding] 

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: I’ll take a wild guess that maybe it’s a human character. I’ll say David.

BECCA: It is not David. Good guess. Alethea care to guess?

ALETHEA: Well, after you said, it’s not David, but he said a human character, now I feel like it’s human character. But I was gonna say Biff or Sully.

BECCA: Well, it’s not Biff or Sully or a human character.

RYAN: Oooh.

BECCA: But it is a very cool character because it is, of course, Roosevelt Franklin.


RYAN: Oh, okay. Yeah.

BECCA: As established in a comic from like The Sesame Street Bedtime Book. It’s reprinted in the Sesame Street Treasury.

RYAN: I have that book, but I have not opened it in many years.

BECCA: Question 14. Little Murray Sparkles the Cat.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: Murray?

BECCA: It’s not Murray. Good guess.

ALETHEA: Dang it.

BECCA: Alethea, Alethea, is Little Murray Sparkles before your time.

ALETHEA: I don’t know. I am not recognizing the name Little Murray Sparkles.

BECCA: You’re gonna love Little… We’re gonna introduce you to Little Murray Sparkles when this is over.


BECCA: Ryan?

RYAN: Yeah, that’s Elizabeth.

BECCA: That is Elizabeth.

RYAN: She should be my answer for what character should be used more often.

BECCA: We need more Elizabeth.

RYAN: They should bring back Elizabeth.

BECCA: We need more Elizabeth. Elizabeth was Stephanie D’Abruzzo’s character in like the early 2000s who was just a girl with a really, really thick like New York accent I guess?

RYAN: I think so. Yeah, just kind of a brassy boisterous little girl.

BECCA: And she had a cat named Little Murray Sparkles.

ALETHEA: Oh, probably somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind.

[Becca laughs]

[Clip from Sesame Street plays]

ELIZABETH: Thank you so much for finding Sparkles for me. You’ve made me so happy.

TELLY: Yeah, you’re welcome.

[Clip ends]

BECCA: And last but not least, for this round, question 15. Wolfgang the Seal.

ALETHEA: He’s owned?

BECCA: That’s right. Someone owned Wolfgang the Seal.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan. Do you have a guess?

RYAN: Yeah, my guess is Gina.

BECCA: It is not Gina. Good guess. Alethea, do you have a guess?

ALETHEA: I was just thinking like, maybe, like, Bert was randomly walking Wolfgang the Seal in some comic strip. [laughs]

[Ryan laughs]

BECCA: [laughs] Sure. I mean, listen, I’m pulling from sources like that but no, it’s actually Uncle Wally.

RYAN: Wow.

ALETHEA: Very interesting.

BECCA: Yeah. Wolfgang was originally introduced as Wally’s pet seal and then Uncle Wally left the show and Wolfgang did not leave the show.

RYAN: So did Uncle Wally train Wolfgang to do tricks? That sounds like a Wally thing.

BECCA: My guess is that was an Uncle Wally thing.

RYAN: Wow. Okay.

BECCA: Uncle Wally for our younger listeners and/or contestants was a human character on the show who was just like a whimsical old man.

RYAN: He was Bob’s uncle.

BECCA: That’s right. He was Bob’s uncle. Okay. All right. Well, that’s it for pets. Nice work. And now let’s move on to another one of Betty Lou’s early appearances. And that’s of course, in the classic Sesame Street song “On the Subway.”

I love this song because it’s a real catchy song, but also because it reminds me of one of my absolute favorite types of public transportation. Listen, since there isn’t any room in this town, we put all the trains down under the ground. And the subway is, of course, the greatest way to explore the greatest city in the world, New York City, baby.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: Sesame Street has always been filmed in New York City. And is set in New York City which makes it one of the most New York City shows of all time. That’s why we’re going to take the express right by our local address, in a New York City game I’m calling (in echo sounding voice) On the Subway. (in normal sounding voice) I’m going to read a Sesame Street-themed fact, about a New York City landmark. Your job is to buzz in and name the landmark. You’ll get two points for each correct answer. Please, wait until I finish reading the fact before you buzz in.

[Clip from “The Subway”]

[Music plays]

MUPPET #1: Excuse me.

MUPPET #2: Watch it

MUPPET #1: Pardon me, Sonny.

MUPPET #2: Down below the street, can you dig a steady beat, it’s a subway.



MUPPETS: Subway!

[Clip ends]

BECCA: Question one. This New York landmark was the setting of the special “Don’t Eat the Pictures.”

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.


BECCA: It was the Met. The Metropolitan Museum of Art for any listeners who needed that clarification. Question two. In this long-running 1992 Sesame Street animated credit sequence, this icon of New York City shakes her hips to start and end the segment.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: Statue of Liberty.

BECCA: It is the Statue of Liberty. Correct. I once wrote, when we were doing our Sesame 50 reviews in 50 weeks, my review of the 1992 season was entirely talking about that credit sequence.

[Alethea laughs]

RYAN: It’s a good one.

BECCA: Yeah. Question three. In a season 10 episode filmed on location, we learn that Snuffy comes to this location every day to listen to the singers.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: Is it… I can’t remember the name of the opera house, but is it the opera house?

BECCA: It is.


BECCA: I’ll give you a point. Ryan, what’s the opera house named? The big opera house in New York City? 

RYAN: Is it Lincoln Center?

BECCA: Yes, the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center.

RYAN: Would you have accepted the Met again for that?

BECCA: Sure.

[Alethea and Ryan laugh]

BECCA: I would have also accepted the Met. Although I don’t feel like anyone calls just the opera house the Met.

RYAN: Probably not.

BECCA: I don’t… Maybe I’m wrong. And hey, Ryan. Maybe this is an unfair question. I didn’t realize that you were gonna be here when I wrote this question because bonus question for this. ToughPigs once hosted an official Muppet Vault at Lincoln Center to celebrate which event?

RYAN: Is that a question specifically for me?

BECCA: No, either of you can buzz in.


BECCA: But I think one of you is more qualified to answer. [laughs]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan. What were you doing on that day?

RYAN: [Laughs] I feel bad. I shouldn’t have buzzed in even. Well, I think it was the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street.

BECCA: It was not the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street.

RYAN: What?! What?!

BECCA: Incorrect.

ALETHEA: Was it the 50th?

BECCA: It was not the 50th either.

[Alethea laughs]

BECCA: Y’all are on both–

RYAN: What were we doing there?

BECCA: It was the 45th anniversary, guys.

ALETHEA: Aahhhh.

RYAN: Ooooh.

BECCA: (laughing) Come on Ryan.

RYAN: That’s right. Now that yeah, okay.

BECCA: I remember. I was living in the city at the time and I was very upset that I could not make it because I had like a grad school final that day.

RYAN: Yeah. You should have skipped it.

BECCA: I should have but I bet it was good.

RYAN: Yeah. Yeah, it was a good one.

BECCA: Yeah. That was also, they had a great Sesame exhibit at Lincoln Center.

RYAN: Yeah. Yes.

BECCA: At the same time. Snuffy was there. I got my photo with Mr. Johnson.

RYAN: They had Super Grover hanging like at the very top of the ceiling.

BECCA: Yeah. No, it was great and they had like I remember going in and crying because they had just the script to “We’ll Miss You Mr. Hooper” just printed out on display.

ALETHEA: Oh my god.

BECCA: I mean they should bring that exhibit back. Anyway, question four, Elmo learned what love means from a beluga whale at this landmark.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: Central Park Zoo?

BECCA: It is not Central Park Zoo. Good guess. Ryan?

RYAN: Is it… I’m trying to remember the name of this place if in fact I have it correct. The Brooklyn Aquarium.

BECCA: No, it’s the New York Aquarium is the name. Question five. Both Gordon and Snuffy competed in this annual New York City athletic event.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: The New York marathon.

BECCA: That is the New York marathon. Question six. A bench dedicated to Jim Henson can be found in this Manhattan area.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: That was Alethea. Alethea?

ALETHEA: Central Park.

BECCA: That is Central Park. Alethea, did you visit that when you were in the city?

ALETHEA: I wanted to find the bench. I also wanted to find… I’ve been obsessed with the Netflix show Somebody Feed Phil. I wanted to find his bench too for his wife, but at the time it was at the end of a long day. I was trekking through Central Park to get to the other side. And I, unfortunately, Jim Henson lives in my heart but unfortunately, I was (laughing) not going to find his bench on that day.

BECCA: That’s fair. And speaking of, which important Sesame Street crew member has a bench next to Jim’s?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Jon Stone.

BECCA: That is Jon Stone. Correct. Question seven. Establishing shots of the Count’s castle are footage of this Central Park landmark.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan. Do you know what it’s called?

RYAN: Yeah, that’s Belvedere castle.

BECCA: It is called Belvedere castle. Good.

RYAN: I lived in New York City for 15 years and never went there. And then when I came back to visit a few months ago, I was like, I’m finally gonna go to Belvidere Castle. And I went and it’s pretty cool.

BECCA: Have you been inside?

RYAN: No, it was closed. 

BECCA: Okay, because I’ve never been inside. I was fortunate enough to live in a shoebox apartment that was not too far from Central Park.

RYAN: Oh, wow.

BECCA: So I used to spend time in Central Park.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: It was about the size of a twin bed. My bedroom.

RYAN: Oh, I believe you.

BECCA: Yeah. That was like, I had room for a twin bed and a closet. That was it.

ALETHEA: Did you go see his bench?

BECCA: I did. Oh I’ve seen the bench. Question eight. When he’s not helping Forgetful Jones, Buster the Horse is a tour guide at this sister park to the New York aquarium.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: I have two potential answers in my head. I’m going to say Prospect Park.

BECCA: It is not Prospect Park. Good guess. Alethea, care to guess? This is in one episode so I don’t…

ALETHEA: Washington Square?

BECCA: No. It’s the Bronx Zoo.


RYAN: Oh, makes sense.

BECCA: This episode used to be on HBO but, you know, 

RYAN: Not anymore.

BECCA: But Elmo, Gordon and Miles visited the Bronx Zoo in an episode and their tour guide was randomly Buster the Horse.

RYAN: That’s fun.

ALETHEA: You never know who has hobbies.

BECCA: Yeah, exactly.

RYAN: [laughs] A side gig. Yeah.

BECCA: Question nine. For the 2008 Just Ask the Locals New York City tourism campaign, Big Bird and Elmo appeared in an ad in front of this iconic Manhattan skyscraper.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: The Empire State Building.

BECCA: Not the Empire State Building. I’m sorry. You chose the wrong one.

ALETHEA: I chose wrong.

BECCA: It was a guess. Ryan, what do you think it is?

RYAN: The Chrysler building. 

BECCA: It is the Chrysler building. [laughs]

RYAN: Oh good.

BECCA: It’s always one of those two.

ALETHEA: Pick one of those.

BECCA: And question 10. This is the name of the Queen’s studio where Sesame Street has been filmed since 1993, the year, they expanded to include Around the Corner.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Kaufman Astoria.

BECCA: It is Kaufman Astoria Studios. And what other Henson TV show filmed at Kaufman Astoria Studios also in the early 90s?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: Jim Henson Hour.

BECCA: Not the Jim Henson hour. Good Guess. Ryan, did you buzz in?

RYAN: Yeah. Bear in the Big Blue House.

BECCA: It was Bear in the Big Blue House. And, I should say, again, for our audience, or anybody else, obviously you can’t get in to Kaufman Astoria Studios unless you have an appointment, but it’s like 10 feet away from the Museum of the Moving Image. So next time you visit the Museum of the Moving Image, you can wave to the gate.

RYAN: Yeah. Just go look at it. Also, if you’re a fan of Orange Is the New Black, that’s where they filmed that.

BECCA: Oh, I didn’t know that one.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: That one wasn’t on Muppet Wiki. Question 11. Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo and Prairie Dawn are on permanent display at this New York City location.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: Museum of the Moving Image.

BECCA: That is the Museum of the Moving Image.

RYAN: Of course.

BECCA: You were just there. They are still there. Those are the only Sesame Street characters on permanent display, right? There’s a Whatnot, I think also.

RYAN: I guess so.

BECCA: Or I mean an Anything Muppet.

ALETHEA: Oh, and a Honker.


RYAN: Oh, nice.

ALETHEA: It’s up front.

BECCA: Right. The Honker is at the front of…


BECCA: Yes, yes. But they’re the only ones in like the Sesame exhibit. That I was just basing off of my memory. (laughing) Question 12. (in normal voice) Since 2019, there has been a permanent Sesame Street street sign hanging on the intersection between 63rd street and this famous avenue.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Broadway.

BECCA: It is Broadway, baby. Ryan, you were there at the hanging of that sign, right?

RYAN: I was not, actually.

BECCA: Oh, you were not.

RYAN: I was not able to make it to that one.

BECCA: I think Joe was and Matthew and Louie.

RYAN: Yeah, yeah, a few of our ToughPigs friends were there.

BECCA: I couldn’t make it out there either. [sighs] Anyway, this is our stop. Everybody off right here at (in echo sounding voice) Beat the Time.

RYAN: Stand clear of the closing doors, please.

BECCA: That’s right. Now it’s time for everyone’s favorite head-to-head game.

[Clip from Sesame Street]

ANNOUNCER: Beat the Time.

[Sound effects]

[Clip ends]

BECCA: Today’s (in echo sounding voice) Beat the Time (in normal voice) is probably my favorite one I’ve ever assembled. And the one that I was probably the most ridiculous for even trying to assemble.

[Ryan laughs]

[Clip from Sesame Street]


DAWN: You want to see silly, Monty? I will show you silly. Stand back.

[Clip ends]

BECCA: You see, we can all probably agree that the best Betty Lou song of all time is “I Want a Monster To Be My Friend.”

[Ryan laughs]

ALETHEA: Of course.

BECCA: It’s a swinging number that gets stuck in my head all the time and basically explains my worldview.

[Ryan laughs]

BECCA: After all, who wouldn’t want a monster to be their friend? Well, if you do, I know the place to look. Over the past 54 years, Sesame Street has been home to a lot of monsters. Like, a lot of monsters. So I went to Muppet Wiki. And I counted up every single recurring monster who has a name and I got a list of 72 names.

[Ryan laughs]

BECCA: So I don’t expect anybody to get all of them. That’s not how (in echo sounding voice) Beat the Time (in normal voice) works, as you know.  But in this game, yes, you are going to take turns naming all of the monsters on Sesame Street.

RYAN: Oh boy. Okay, can you…recurring, does that mean?

BECCA: I’m gonna give you some ground rules.

RYAN: Okay, thank you.

BECCA: I’m gonna give you some ground rules. So first of all, I am only counting specific named characters. And this means that I am not counting, for instance, Grover’s Mommy as a character because that is not a name. That is like a job or a lifestyle. I’m also not counting monsters who only appeared once even if they were given a name in one episode.

However, if that puppet appeared frequently but was only given a name in one episode, I will count that. I wish I could give you an example of that, but that would give away some of the answers. Again, I’m aware we’re not going to name all 72 of these but we’re gonna go for as many as we can. Starting with Alethea, name a Sesame Street monster.

ALETHEA: Grover.

BECCA: Oh well, give me a second to finish explaining the rules.


BECCA: Yours can be Grover.

ALETHEA: That’s good.

BECCA: Keep that in mind.

RYAN: Good choice.

BECCA: Grover is on my list. We’re gonna go back and forth between the two of you to see who can name more. If you can’t remember a monster or you get the name of a monster wrong, your opponent will have a chance to steal. If neither of you get the question right, the round ends. Or if neither of you can think of anything to say.

All right, here we go. Let’s meet our new friends.

[Clip from “I Want a Monster To Be My Friend”]

[music plays]


LOU: I need a very special friend. Won’t you help me, please?

[Clip ends]

[Clock ticking sound]

BECCA: Alethea, give me a monster.

ALETHEA: Grover. [laughs]

BECCA: Grover. Correct. Ryan.

RYAN: Cookie Monster.

BECCA: Correct. Alethea.


BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Telly.

BECCA: Correct. Alethea.

ALETHEA: Rosita.

BECCA: Correct. Ryan.

RYAN: Zoe.

BECCA: Zoe. Correct. Alethea.

ALETHEA: Frazzle.

BECCA: Frazzle. Correct. Ryan.

RYAN: Herry.

BECCA: Herry. Correct. Alethea.

ALETHEA: I’m thrown off my game now. [laughs] 

[clock ticking stops]

ALETHEA: Oh, this is awful.

BECCA: It’s okay. This is hard. Even though you know these characters, it’s still hard. [laughs]

ALETHEA: Can he steal it?

BECCA: Yeah. Ryan. Do you want to steal? Give me a monster.

RYAN: Murray.

BECCA: Murray Monster. Correct. Alethea, you want to try again?

ALETHEA: Does Rudy count?

BECCA: Ruby. Ruby is absolutely on my list. Of course Ruby counts. Ryan.

RYAN: I think… Did you actually say Rudy?

ALETHEA: I think I said Rudy.

RYAN: Because I’m gonna say Rudy though. [laughs] I’m going to take that answer.

BECCA: Oh, I thought you said, “Ruby,” which counts but Rudy also counts.

[Alethea and Ryan laugh]

BECCA: So you know what, we’re back to you. Ruby was a short lived, weirdly enough, yellow monster. Don’t know why they made that choice in the… was it the late 80s? Ruby?

RYAN: That sounds right.

BECCA: They were trying out…They were always trying to add more female characters that never worked. And of course, Rudy is Abby’s step-brother. Alethea, I believe we’re back to you.

ALETHEA: I had to like climb into my sister’s era of like the Sesame bedtime podcast for Rudy.

BECCA: Yeah.


BECCA: So I will say to make this easier for myself, I broke this down into three sub lists of extremely well-known monsters, moderately well-known monsters and monsters I didn’t think you guys are going to get. I bring this up because there are one, two, three, four, monsters still remaining on that first list of well-known monsters.

Have a guess, Alethea?

ALETHEA: My brain is not working with me today.

BECCA: That’s okay. Ryan?

RYAN: I’m trying to think who else could be on that extremely well-known list, but nothing’s coming to me, but I will say Leo the Party Monster.

BECCA: Leo the Party Monster is on my list. You gotta have potato chips at a party.

RYAN: Party!

ALETHEA: I have one now.

BECCA: Okay. Alethea?

ALETHEA: Beautiful Day Monster.

BECCA: The Beautiful Day Monster is on my list. I guess that shouldn’t count because he’s not really named on Sesame Street. But you know what? He’s on my list. How can he not be? Ryan?

RYAN: Natasha.

BECCA: Natasha. Baby Natasha. Alethea.

ALETHEA: Louie is his name, right?

BECCA: Louie is his name. Correct. Louie is Elmo’s dad. Ryan.

RYAN: Ingrid.

BECCA: Ingrid. Baby Natasha’s mother.

RYAN: Yes.

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: Humphrey.

BECCA: Humphrey. Baby Natasha’s father.

RYAN: [laughs] Yeah.

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Well, that was going to be my next one.

[Becca laughs]

RYAN: Um, oh. Dexter.

BECCA: Dexter is on my list. Dexter the juggling monster. Folks, I will post a video of Dexter on social media. If you haven’t seen Dexter the juggling monster, this was a giant monster, a professional juggler performed the hands of the monster, and then Kevin Clash, stretching his arm as high as it would go, performs his head above the juggler. And he could only just stand in place and juggle. That was it.

RYAN: And in Kevin Clash’s memoir, he devoted a few paragraphs to talking about what a failure that character was.

BECCA: Because he couldn’t do anything because he had to juggle.

RYAN: Because that’s all he could do. Just stand there and juggle. Yeah.

BECCA: He couldn’t walk around because there were like multiple…You’d see Kevin Clash if he even moved slightly to the side. Anyway.

[Alethea and Ryan laugh]

ALETHEA: Is it my turn?

BECCA: Yes, it is Alethea.

ALETHEA: Does Cousin Monster count as a name?

BECCA: I didn’t count Cousin Monster as a name because I counted that as being in the same category as Grover’s mommy. However, I will say, since it doesn’t need the name of another character in its name, I will give you Cousin Monster.

RYAN: Whose cousin is that?

BECCA: Whose cousin was he?

ALETHEA: That’s Cookie Monster’s cousin who doesn’t like cookies.

RYAN: Oh yeah, yeah.

BECCA: Okay, yeah, no. I’ll accept that. Yeah. Because it doesn’t… it’s not called Cookie Monster’s cousin.

RYAN: That might be on her birth certificate for all we know.

ALETHEA: It might be.

[all laugh]

BECCA: Ryan, do you have a guess?

RYAN: Yes. I should have thought of this one sooner. The Two-headed Monster.

ALETHEA: Oh my god.

BECCA: There is only one more on my list of well-known monsters. Alethea. 

ALETHEA: We already said Murray.

BECCA: We already did Murray, yeah. My personal favorite.

ALETHEA: Baby Bear is not a monster.

BECCA: No, no. He’s a bear.

[All laugh]

BECCA: It’s in his name.

ALETHEA: [laughs] I’m gonna surrender this.

BECCA: Okay, Ryan, any other guesses?

RYAN: Oh, uh, Sherry Netherland.

BECCA: Sherry Netherland. Correct. Another of my favorites. Anybody else? Alethea, you give up still?

ALETHEA: Is the Cereal Girl, is that a monster? Is that a girl?

BECCA: The Cereal Girl is considered a monster and I did count that as a name.

[Alethea laughs]

BECCA: Nice work.

RYAN: Wow.

BECCA: Alethea, you have gotten the first one from the third list.

ALETHEA: Oh wow.

RYAN: Ooh.

BECCA: Of ones that I didn’t think anyone would get with the Cereal Girl. Ryan, I guess we’re back to you.

RYAN: Okay. Um, oh, Mona.

BECCA: Mona Monster. Correct. The same puppet as Ingrid Monster.

RYAN: As Ingrid, yeah.

BECCA: Was she Telly’s sister?

RYAN: Yeah. Sister or cousin. I think she was his sister. Actually, yeah.

BECCA: I think sister. Yeah. 

RYAN: Equally neurotic.

ALETHEA: Does Delly count? Is her name Delly? Telly’s like Z, not cousin, friend.

BECCA: Oh, you know, so, doesn’t count. And also the reason I didn’t count Cousin Monster was because Cousin Monster is only in one episode,


BECCA: Like Zelly but I’m still gonna give you a point for Cousin Monster but I’m not for Zelly.

ALETHEA: Fair enough.

BECCA: Because I said I would give you a point for Cousin Monster. It’s a one episode– because I said it needs to be more than one episode.

ALETHEA: Fair enough

BECCA: Because then I would be here all day and we’re already going to be here all day.

[Ryan and Alethea laugh]

BECCA: Ryan, any other guesses?

RYAN: Oh, Merry Monster.

BECCA: Yes, Merry Monster. Different than Murray Monster although the same performer as Murray Monster.

RYAN: Right. Oh yeah, did a rap with Queen Latifah.

BECCA: That’s true. Alethea.

ALETHEA: Gray monster wouldn’t count because his name is not Gray Monster presumably, right?

BECCA: What is Gray Monster?

ALETHEA: You know, like the “we’re all monsters like the Kermit the Forg.

BECCA: Oh, Kermit the Forg is on my list as a name.

[Alethea laughs]

BECCA: Which, I will tell you, is going to unlock a couple other ones. Ryan?

RYAN: Yeah, you left it open now. So uh, Kermit the Gorf.

BECCA: Kermit the Gorf. Correct. Also known as Maurice Monster. Kermit the Gorf.

RYAN: Oh, okay.

BECCA: And Alethea.

ALETHEA: I stumped myself with that one. So…

BECCA: How could you stump yourself? There’s one more.

ALETHEA: I know and I don’t know it.

BECCA: (laughing) Okay.

ALETHEA: I mean, I could guess.

BECCA: Mmhmm.

ALETHEA: Probably not going to be Kermit the Vorg, Rorg, or Rorf.

BECCA: It’s not Kermit the Rorf. No. I’m sorry. Ryan, you know what it is.

RYAN: Kermit the Grof.

ALETHEA: Kermit the Grof!

BECCA: It is Kermit the Grof. Also known as Bruce Monster.

RYAN: Really?

BECCA: According to Muppet Wiki.

RYAN: Okay.

BECCA: Alethea any other ones?

ALETHEA: [sighs] Not that I can think of right now.

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Oh. Okay, Phoebe.

BECCA: Phoebe. Correct. Also known as Groogel.

RYAN: Yeah. Right. I wasn’t sure if that was the one who had two names.

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: Hmm, no Barkley is a dog.

BECCA: Barkley is a dog. Yeah.

ALETHEA: That’s not in his name.

BECCA: Well, no, not as consistently as Baby Bear at least. [laughs]

ALETHEA: (laughing) And due to his size maybe.

BECCA: Yeah, he’s pretty monstrous

ALETHEA: I forfeit again.

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Narf. [laughs]

BECCA: Narf. Correct. Phoebe’s friend, Narf.

RYAN: Yeah. They have two other friends. What are their names?

BECCA: They do have two other friends. Alethea, I take it you don’t know their two other friends.

ALETHEA: I don’t know their two other friends. I wish I did. I wish I had the pleasure.

BECCA: Oh, no, you don’t.

ALETHEA: Oh no, I don’t. [laughs]

BECCA: This was a bad. There were four annoying monsters.

RYAN: Monster clubhouse.

BECCA: The Monster Clubhouse. Exactly. Monster Clubhouse. That’s what we do. If you want to play, be a monster too. 

ALETHEA: That sounds like, separationism.

RYAN: Ooooh.

BECCA: (laughing) We’re going a little too literary theory on this.

RYAN: Teaching kids the wrong lesson there.

ALETHEA: Well, I mean, these are annoying monsters, right?

BECCA: True. We’re learning the wrong lesson from them.

[Alethea laughs]

BECCA: Ryan, anything else?

RYAN: Yeah, okay Juliet.

BECCA: Juliet is on my list.

RYAN: I think that was the third identity of the Ingrid/Mona.

BECCA: I believe you’re right. That was the third identity of Ingrid. Okay, either of you can just shout out any you know at this point.

RYAN: Oh, Lulu.

BECCA: Lulu. I will take Lulu. Another Stephanie D’Abruzzo character that did not last.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: Sorry. Sorry, Stephanie.

RYAN: Yeah. Gone too soon. You don’t know how many we’ve done so far.

BECCA: So there’s one left from the one that I thought would be easy. Then there’s one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 left from the list that I thought would be medium. And then 30 left from the hard list. Don’t even try.

RYAN: [laughs] Okay. We’ve said Rosita.

BECCA: We did say Rosita.

ALETHEA: I’m trying to think of other more well-known monsters that have family members that have names.

BECCA: Well, I will say, this is not anybody’s family member, the well-known one. But this is a character who still appears on the show with some amount of regularity.


RYAN: We’re going to be so ashamed if we don’t get this one.

BECCA: One of my favorite characters. One of our friend Joe Hennes’s favorite characters.

ALETHEA: Prairie Dawn’s not a monster.

BECCA: Prairie Dawn’s not a monster, although she did work for the Monster News Network because it was a job in journalism. That’s a line.

RYAN: We said Telly.

BECCA: We did say Telly. This monster is on my Christmas tree. I mean, you can’t see it now because it’s August. But on my Christmas tree.

ALETHEA: I’m gonna be so upset when I don’t get it.

RYAN: Yeah.

ALETHEA: frequently, like frequently on the show now.

BECCA: Yeah, frequently.

RYAN: The Count doesn’t count as a monster.

BECCA: No, I don’t count the Count as a monster.

RYAN: Okay.

ALETHEA: Abby Cadabby’s a fairy.

BECCA: Abby Cadabby is a fairy.

RYAN: Right.

BECCA: Which is apparently different than a monster.

RYAN: Well if it’s one of Joe’s favorite characters, he’s gonna be yelling at us when he listens to this.

BECCA: Yeah, yeah, on the show a lot. I have a toy of this character although it isn’t in arm’s reach of my desk. It’s on top of my dresser in the other room. But not that our friends at home could see this.

RYAN: Right.

BECCA: I mean can I just call it or are we…Are we good?

ALETHEA: I’m gonna be so sad. When I hear it because I know I know it.

BECCA: Ryan, do you have a frantic list of other weird 80s characters you remember?

RYAN: [laughs] I’m actually…Oh, Aristotle.

BECCA: Aristotle, speaking of weird 80s characters.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: Telly Monster’s blind friend Aristotle. One of the only monsters with ears.


RYAN: Oh. Of course, Bill the Frog has ears.

BECCA: That’s true. But he’s not a monster.

RYAN: No, and he’s not Sesame Street. Um, yeah, I can’t remember the other Monster Clubhouse.

ALETHEA: I’m being such a good kid right now. I have like the cereal, I don’t know which cereal one it was, the little tiny mini bean Sesame Street characters. I have them on my wall behind me and I’m not looking at them.

BECCA: Well, you’ve named every single minibean. At least all the–

ALETHEA: I was wondering. There was one that I forgot.

BECCA:Do you, do you have all of them Alethea.

ALETHEA: I do. I do.

RYAN: Oh wow.

BECCA: Are they in like the display rack or… Oh.

ALETHEA: I got it for a crazy deal, like 30 dollars on eBay.

BECCA: You gotta send me a picture of that.

ALETHEA: Yeah, I will.

BECCA: I love those.

ALETHEA: Betty Lou’s there.

BECCA: Yeah. No. I know, but not Prairie Dawn. They did not make a Prairie Dawn. They just made Betty Lou. And then they made like Rubber Duckie.

ALETHEA: They did make Rubber Duckie.

RYAN: That’s such a cool self-contained collection.

BECCA: Benny Rabbit, Natasha. It’s got all my favorites.

ALETHEA: Amazing Mumford.

BECCA: Yeah. Anyway, so the full list…

RYAN: I thought of two more.

BECCA: Oh, okay, Ryan.

RYAN: And then I think I’m done. Deena and Pearl.

BECCA: Deena and Pearl. The weirdest of the weird 80s monsters.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: So I’ll save the obvious one for last. We’re gonna go from the hard list to the easy list as I just read through these real quick.

So on the hard list, and I didn’t write down what some of these look like or did. So I don’t even remember many of these. But Andre Monster, Arlene Frantic.

RYAN: Oh, so then Bennett Snerf will be on the list.

BECCA: Bennett Snerf is on here too. Baby Tooth and the Fuzzy Funk.

RYAN: Sure.

BECCA: Big Z, Billy Monster and Billy, also known as Fred’s son. Carina the Ballerina, who was a friend of Zoe’s, Clancy, Fenwick, The Flute Snatcher, Fred, Harry. Not Herry, but Harry. Harvey, Helena. Imagene, Jesse, Max the Magnificent, Norman, Old MacDougal, Parker, Radon, Rocky, Scudge, The Snerfs, Snerk, Snitch, Spalding Monster and Zaftig.

And then our middle list, remaining from the maybe you know these characters, Abby’s stepdad, Freddy.

ALETHEA: Oh, he has a name.

BECCA: Monster Clubhouse co-conspirator Googel aka Mooba.

RYAN: Wow. Wait, wait. So there was a Googel and then Phoebe also used to be called Groogel?

BECCA: But here’s the thing. When it was Googel, it was Phoebe. When it was Mooba, it was Groogel.

RYAN: Blah…Okay.

BECCA: It’s not confusing at all.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: And now we get chased by an elephant.

[Ryan and Alethea laugh]

BECCA: Karli. I don’t know what Karli is. I didn’t write that down, but I guess it was obvious? I don’t know. Mae, who is Elmo’s mom, has a name.


RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: Max Monster who sings “Comb Your Face.” Mel, who is the fourth Monster Clubhouse member.

RYAN: Yeah, the one who spoke gibberish.

BECCA: Yeah. He talks like Lips. Rosita’s dad, who is named Ricardo. The only one of Rosita’s family members who has a name. And of course, from the original 1975 clip of Fur, Stuie Monster.

RYAN: Oh! Stuie Monster, of course. [laughs]

RYAN: And last but certainly not least: Gonger.

ALETHEA: Nooooo.

RYAN: Ugh. Wow, yeah, no that’s embarrassing. Gonger is the best new Sesame Street character of the last 20…15 years at least.

BECCA: Quite possibly.

ALETHEA: Murray doesn’t even count the last 15 years. Does he?


RYAN: Probably not at this point.


BECCA: Because he was definitely around for the…maybe it’s 15 almost exact because he was around for the 40th anniversary.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: At least, because that was, of course, the heyday of Joey Mazzarino. Anyway, I’m totaling these up. One, two, three, four, five, six. Okay, we’ve got some points totaled there. Thank you for putting up with that monster of a round.

[Alethea laughs]

RYAN: That was such a challenge but so satisfying.

ALETHEA: I’m so enlightened now.

RYAN: I’m impressed we got as many as we did.

BECCA: I mean, listen, you got two from the hard list.

RYAN: All right.

BECCA: Cereal Girl and Juliet were both on the hard list that I made.

RYAN: Okay. Not bad.

BECCA: Well, we’re gonna end things out with one more trivia game before our final two shorter rounds. And to make sure that everyone is happy, we’re going to end this with one of my favorite games: (in echo sounding voice) The Triangle Is Right. (in normal sounding voice). 

[Clip from Sesame Street]


SMILEY: That’s right, Prairie Dawn. The Triangle is Right.

[audience claps]


DAWN: That is a game?


SMILEY: Okay now, let’s start playing our game.


DAWN: Oh, not much of a game.

[Clip ends]

BECCA: And also, since we’re choosing something that we all love, we’re going to theme this game after something we can all agree on: ice cream. Or I guess more specifically, the Betty Lou song “Everyone Likes Ice Cream.”

[Ryan and Alethea laugh]

RYAN: Yup.

BECCA: In this song, Betty Lou and two other Anything Muppet kids explain how even though people can be very different, they’re often the same in key ways such as liking ice cream. Which got me thinking about two things: Anything Muppets and ways that Anything Muppets are the same and different.

We all know the Anything Muppets. They’ve got stock puppet colors and shapes, that with a change of a few facial features and performance quirks, can become vastly different characters. Take, for instance, the small hot pink Anything Muppet pattern. This pattern could become Prairie Dawn or Gonger or the Bubsy twins or, of course, Betty Lou.

In this game, I am going to name an Anything Muppet color and pattern. You’ll buzz in and name three characters constructed from that Anything Muppet. For each of these, there are more than three possible answers. But we’re keeping it to three because we just did all of the monsters. I don’t have time to do all of the hot pink things.

[Ryan and Alethea laugh]

Remember, buzz in even if you don’t know all three answers. You’ll get points for whatever you can name. However, of course, your opponent will have the chance to finish off whatever you can’t.

RYAN: Right.

BECCA: All right. So here we go. Okay, our first anything Muppet is Fat Blue.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: Mr. Johnson.

BECCA: Mr. Johnson is the Fat Blue Anything Muppet.

ALEHTEA: Aw, man.

BECCA: It’s okay.

ALETHEA: All right, you can have it.

BECCA: Ryan name another Fat Blue.

RYAN: Simon Soundman.

BECCA: Simon Soundman. Correct. And can you name one more?

RYAN: You’re asking me, right?

BECCA: Yeah.

RYAN: Okay. I think Papa Twiddle Bug.

BECCA: Papa Twiddle Bug, correct.

RYAN: Okay.

BECCA: Other ones on my list and this is not all of them, but ones that I thought maybe there was a chance you’d say, were Little Chrissie, Professor Hastings.

RYAN: Oh yeah. 

BECCA: And Big Jeff. Question two. Green.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: Farley is one.

BECCA: Farley is absolutely one of the green.

ALETHEA: Iffy would be proud of me for that one.

BECCA: Yeah, no, no, no, he’s listening and beaming that you remembered his son Farley.

[Alethea and Ryan laugh]

ALETHEA: I don’t know others. Oh, Is The J song, is one of those the green Anything Muppet?

BECCA: The J song…I know what you’re talking about. Let me see. Because I didn’t have that written down, but that is a song.

ALETHEA: And I know they have names because they say their names.

BECCA: They do. One of them is green. I will give you… I will give you two points for bringing up such a specific thing as the J friends.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: The one performed by Frank Oz, who I think was Joe, is the green one.


BECCA: Any other ones?

ALETHEA: Oh, I forgot that we were.

BECCA: No. It’s okay. You can go for three or you can let Ryan have the third.

ALETHEA: I’m going to let Ryan go.

BECCA: All right. Ryan name another green Anything Muppet.

RYAN Yeah, I…Oh, actually. Okay. Which one of them? I think. Arlene Frantic. I think.

BECCA: See you guys keep choosing ones that aren’t on my list.

[Alethea and Ryan laugh]

BECCA: Arlene Frantic is the green Anything Muppet. I will give it to you Ryan.

RYAN: [laughs] Wow. Only because we mentioned her earlier did that occur to me.

BECCA: Other more obvious choices.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: Alethea, look up at your mini beans because Sherlock Hemlock is the green.


RYAN: Of course.

BECCA: Is a green Anything Muppet. As is Lefty the Salesman.


BECCA: Little Jerry.

RYAN: Yes.

BECCA: Ryan, your favorite character, Forgetful Jones’s girlfriend, Clementine.

RYAN: Oh, yeah. I like Clementine.

BECCA: We mentioned her earlier. Elizabeth.

RYAN: Oh yeah. Okay, that makes sense.

BECCA: Who has Little Murray Sparkles. And JP from the Miami Mice I had written down. Question three. Large Lavender.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: The Count.

BECCA: Okay, The Count. That’s the easy one.

ALETHEA: Countess Natasha.

BECCA: I will give you Countess Natasha.

RYAN: Ooh.

ALETHEA: And then, I can’t remember her name. It’s like Count Backwards or something.

BECCA: There is a Countess Backwards. I will give it to you.

ALETHEA: Yeaaaah!

BECCA: All right. That’s three. But I also had Amazing Mumford.

RYAN: Yeah.


BECCA: Forgetful Jones, Biff and Harvey Kneeslapper.

ALETHEA: Harvey Kneeslapper really scared me and to be honest is still scary to me.

BECCA: Oh no. The Harvey Kneeslapper is a little scary. Frank Oz hated being Harvey Kneeslapper. That’s a famous story.

ALETHEA: I would too.

BECCA: Question four. Orange gold.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Guy Smiley.

BECCA: Guy Smiley is the orange gold puppet.

RYAN: Um…Prince Charming.

BECCA: Prince Charming, who is basically the same as Guy Smiley.

RYAN: And…[laughs] Another character whose name is…I don’t know. I don’t know.

BECCA: [laughs] Okay. Alethea, can you name another orange gold?

ALETHEA: Don Music.

BECCA: Don Music. Absolutely.

RYAN: Of course.

BECCA: Ryan, you’ll never get it.

RYAN: No, I’m banging my head on the keyboard right now.

[Alethea laughs]

BECCA: Also would have accepted, one of my favorites, Monty.

RYAN: Oh yeah.

BECCA: And Vincent Twice.

RYAN: Vincent Twice.

ALETHEA: (laughing) Okay.

BECCA: There’s other ones too but again these are just the ones I wrote down. Question five. Small lavender.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Roosevelt Franklin.

BECCA: I’m sorry. Roosevelt Franklin is not considered to be small lavender.

RYAN: Okay.

ALETHEA: He’s not lavender, is he.

BECCA: No, because he’s not lavender.

RYAN: No? Well okay.

BECCA: Alethea.

ALETHEA: I can’t do the J friends again, can I?

[Ryan laughs]

BECCA: Is one of them small and lavender?

ALETHEA: Oh, maybe.

BECCA: Yes. Hold on. Is this what I consider to be…They consider to be small lavender. Yes. Okay you know I’ll take a J friend. One of them is lavender.

ALETHEA: Thank you for doing it again.

BECCA: One of them is lavender. I don’t know which J friend it is. It appears to be the one who is voiced by Fran Brill. So it’s either Jane or Joan. I don’t know which. Any other ones?

ALETHEA: Are any of the the beetles a purple–lavender small, Anything Muppet?

BECCA: One of the Twiddle Bugs or the Beetles or the Twiddle Bugs?

ALETHEA: Well, I was–

BECCA: The beetles are all green, right?

ALETHEA: Oh, that’s right. Well, you can pretend I said Twiddle Bugs.

BECCA: I would have needed a name for Twiddle Bug. I’m not just giving it to you.

ALETHEA: All right.

BECCA: Lavender ones on this list Herbert Birdsfoot.



BECCA: Polly Darton.

RYAN: Sure. Okay. 

BECCA: Sammy the Snake.


BECCA: Captain Vegetable And Roxie Marie.

RYAN: Captain Vegetable’s not a large lavender?

BECCA: No, he’s small.

RYAN: Okay.

BECCA: At least according to Muppet Wiki.

RYAN: Yeah. No. I’m surprisingly bad at this.

BECCA: Okay, and this is the last one and this is the hardest one: Pumpkin.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Frazzle.

BECCA: Frazzle was originally the pumpkin Anything Muppet. Correct. Can you name two other ones though?

RYAN: Umm… Probably not. Pumpkin… Oh, Um, Is it… Is it Richard from Little Jerry and the Monotones?

BECCA: You know, I can’t give you that because…because we, and this is fascinating to me, do not know which member of the monotones is Richard. And which one of them is Chrissie. It has never been established.

RYAN: Huh…Okay. Fair enough.

BECCA: We only know that Little Jerry is the green one. And Big Jeff is the blue one. According to Muppet Wiki, we are not sure which one is which.

RYAN: Okay. Uh, yeah. I got nothing else.

BECCA: Alethea, any guesses for pumpkin?

ALETHEA: I’m blanking.

BECCA: Same one as Frazzle. All right. There aren’t many good choices here. This is the hard one, but one of the ones that I thought you guys would get was Sully.

RYAN: Mmmm.

ALETHEA: Oooh. I love Sully.

BECCA: And also Dr. Feel. Everyone’s favorite Dr. Phil parody Muppet.

RYAN: [laughs] Yeah. That was a weird thing. That was…

BECCA: He showed up like repeatedly too.

RYAN: Yeah and it was Steve Whitmire. Yeah.

BECCA: Steve Whitmire’s at least, I mean he’s from the south. So I guess that makes sense.

RYAN: I think that’s probably why. Yeah. They’re like, can you play this southern guy?

BECCA: [laughs] Yeah. All right. Let me total up the scores. While I’m doing that, first of all, are you both okay? We’re almost done. We’re in the tail end here. And second of all, make sure that you’ve got your questions ready, because we’re going to do that round.

RYAN: I feel as good as Betty Lou that time she was hanging out with her best friend Luis.

BECCA: Nice work there. I wish I could give you both a nice big bowl of ice cream, but instead I’m going to give you our next game, (in echo sounding voice) The Anything in the World Prize Game. (in normal sounding voice)

This is our classic stump the host game. As you know, in this round, you will be able to ask me anything in the world…about Sesame Street. Yours does not have to be about Betty Lou. I will clarify. If you stump me, you will earn 15 points.

Here’s the scores right now. Alethea, you have a score of 63 points. Ryan, you have a score of 95 points.

[Alethea laughs]

RYAN: Okay.

BECCA: I will say remembering those 80s monsters really helped you pull ahead.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: You got three times as many monsters as Alethea did.

ALETHEA: Fair enough.

RYAN: Good thing I watched so much Sesame Street.

BECCA: Yeah, so that’s exactly where you pulled ahead because that’s the difference in the point scores right here.

[Alethea laughs]

RYAN: Thanks, Juliet.

BECCA: Yeah, exactly for your memory of Juliet Monster and Aristotle Monster. So, Alethea, if you stump me with this question, you will earn 15 points. Alethea, what is your question for me? 

ALETHEA: Okay. I’m not sure about the difficulty level of this one.

BECCA: It’s okay. Everyone’s a winner.

ALETHEA: Who is not a Sesame Street parody character? A. Noel Cowherd. B. Eel Sedaka. C. TriangleBob TrianglePants. Or D. Mia Sparrow.

BECCA: The only one I know for a fact is TriangleBob TrianglePants because we had that great article a while ago where, was it Shane, who put photos of every Bob costume?

RYAN: That sounds right.

BECCA: Or was it you, Ryan?

RYAN: It wasn’t me, no.

BECCA: Then it was probably Shane.

RYAN: Yeah, Bob wore a lot of ridiculous costumes.

BECCA: I’m gonna guess Eel Sedaka because I feel like I would remember an eel puppet if there was an eel puppet on Sesame Street. But I guess it could just be the Sammy the Snake puppet again but my guess is still Eel Sedaka.

ALETHEA: You are correct. Eel Sedaka is an eel I made up in the recesses of my own imagination.

BECCA: Well, listen. That’s a great character and they should look you up.

RYAN: Can I just ask when would, when did they use Mia Sparrow?

ALETHEA: I’m gonna guess like the 80s? I don’t actually know.

RYAN: Okay.

BECCA: I would guess that too. Oh, Mia sparrow 1989.

RYAN: Okay.

BECCA: She is a bird as well as an actress who appears in episode 2540 during an interview with Flo Bear.

RYAN: Okay.

BECCA: She talks about her gratitude for her new role in an upcoming movie: I’m alive. And Alethea, what was the first one that you said?

ALETHEA: Noel Cowherd.

RYAN: Is that a cow or a cowboy?

BECCA: It’s a cowboy from 1991. He’s the fastest draw in the west because he is very good at drawing.

[Ryan and Alethea laugh]

BECCA: Wow. He’s appeared multiple times.

RYAN: Really? Does he deliver witty bon mots?


RYAN: About cowboy life?

BECCA: No. Maybe? He’s an old friend of Forgetful Jones. He defeated Billy the Grown-up in a square fight, which was a fight to see which two people could draw–which person could draw squares fastest.

RYAN: Of course.

BECCA: He appeared alongside Johnny Cash and is on the albums Elmo’s Lowdown Hoedown and Kids’ Favorite Songs. That’s a lot of Noel Cowherd…

RYAN: [laughs] Wow. Yeah.

ALETHEA: Important.

BECCA: …material considering it’s a parody of an English playwright. Wrote Private Lives


BECCA: [laughs] That’s pretty specific.

ALETHEA: Indeed. I tested my parents with this one and they both thought I made up Noel Cowherd.

RYAN: Sure.

BECCA: Yeah, I mean that is… it was between those two because I was like they didn’t do a Noël Coward parody character…what? But no, apparently they did. So I’m sorry, Alethea, you do not earn 15 points there.

ALETHEA: I’m proud of you.

BECCA: Ryan.

RYAN: Yeah, so those, yeah, I was thinking about trying to figure out a way to tie this back to Betty Lou but I don’t think I can.

[Becca laughs]

RYAN: Also, based on the pet round I am suspicious that you might have come across the answer to this in your research but I’m going to go with it anyway. There are at least three Sesame Street Muppets who have faithful horse companions. They are Marshal Grover, Forgetful Jones and Prince Charming. Can you name all three of their horses?

BECCA: Ooh. So Buster is Forgetful Jones’ horse.

RYAN: Yes.

BECCA: Fred the Wonder Horse is Grover’s horse.

RYAN: Yeah. You got his full name. Good.

BECCA: Mmhmm. You know you gotta. I did not know Prince Charming had a horse, Harpo.

[Alethea laughs]

RYAN: [laughs] Yeah, that would be a good name for a horse.

BECCA: Yeah, Harpo the Horse. 

RYAN: No, it was Duke.

BECCA: Oh see that’s… that’s funny. Sure.

RYAN: Yeah. 

BECCA: I can see that.

RYAN: I have not seen any clips of him actually, but I assume he talked in a John Wayne voice. It was Richard Hunt apparently.

BECCA: That feels like something that Richard Hunt would do.

RYAN: And this is I think a relatively recent wiki discovery that Prince Charming actually appeared in several street stories.


RYAN: I think in the late 70s. Yeah. So he usually had Duke with him. Duke the Horse.

BECCA: Yeah, this seems like he was only in street stories, which means that these weren’t re-aired and I wasn’t alive in 1975 to see them.

RYAN: Yeah. But I had to stump you.

BECCA: Although, interestingly enough, he did show up again in 1990 as a different character’s horse. There performed by Marty Robinson.


RYAN: Okay.

BECCA: Now would you have accepted Lance? Which is what Prince Charming’s horse was referred to in the Who’s Who on Sesame Street coloring book according to Muppet Wiki.

RYAN: Yeah, I did see that that was on the wiki page. Yeah, I would have accepted that.

BECCA: Okay. Lance was a… Lance was a… you got me. And hey, it wound up being themed to our first round.

[Ryan and Alethea laugh]

BECCA: Ryan. You earn 15 points.

RYAN: Thank you.

BECCA: We are gonna move into our final game which is, of course, (in echo sounding voice) Say the Word. (in normal sounding voice) So here’s our current score. Alethea, you have 63 points. Ryan, you have 110 points. It’s still anybody’s game though.

[Alethea laughs]

BECCA: Because that’s how Say the Word works.

RYAN: Mmhmm.

BECCA: In this round, you can wager any amount of points. The winner gets the points. The loser loses them. You will hear the question before you wager.

So, here’s the question. As we’ve seen throughout this episode, Betty Lou is an enigma. She’s been so many things to so many people. She’s had many names. Many forms. She loves go-karts and monsters and subways and Talbert, and Luis, and cinnamon toast.

Unlike her hot pink peer Prairie Dawn who has a clear, understandable personality and really only two performers, Betty Lou didn’t have a regular performer until the 90s. Muppet Wiki lists six different performers in her casting history. Name as many of these performers as you can. Whoever gets more correct will win the points that they wagered.

[Clock ticking sound]

BECCA: So you do not have to get all six right to earn your points. You know, if Ryan gets three of the performers right and Alethea gets four of the performers right, Ryan, you will lose your bet and Alethea you will gain your bet. I mean, worse comes to worse, guess six  puppeteers.

I have written down here where each of these performers performed her but you do not need to know that.

[Clock ticking stops]

BECCA: Okay. So neither of you got all six correct answers. However, both of you did get a bunch correct which is good. Both of you. And I haven’t actually counted how many you’ve got right.

So let’s start. Ryan you bet 20 points. Which six puppeteers did you name?

RYAN: I named Frank Oz, Fran Brill, Jerry Nelson, Caroll Spinney, Lisa Buckley and Cheryl Blaylock.

BECCA: Okay. Alethea, you guessed 10 points and you named six puppeteers as well. Who did you name?

ALETHEA: I named Fran Brill, Frank Oz, Richard Hunt, Loretta Long with a question mark (laughing) Jim Henson was a joke and then I remembered I could only write six down so I wrote Jerry Nelson.

BECCA: Okay, well, listen. So, like I said, you each got some of those correct. Let’s walk through who performed Betty Lou according to Muppet Wiki and I will tell you whether you got that right. So, both of you named Frank Oz. Frank Oz is listed because Frank Oz performed Betty Lou in “Pick your Pet.” Although she was called Lucy Jones there. And in “Everyone Likes Ice cream.” So you each got Frank Oz correct.


RYAN: Yay!

BECCA: Second one on my list was Fran Brill. You both guessed Fran Brill. That is the obvious guess seeing as for a long time she was the only female puppeteer.

RYAN: I think I grew up listening to like a read-along book and tape that was Fran Brill as Betty Lou reading the story.

BECCA: Fran did Betty Lou on all of the book and tapes.

RYAN: Okay.

BECCA: And of course, Betty Lou appeared, as we’ve talked about, a lot more often in books than ever on the show.

RYAN: Right.

BECCA: She also performed her in the original Exercise sketch, Amigo,  Beginning, Middle and End, when the Ice Follies sketches were given narration, all sorts of things like that.

The next person on my list is Jerry Nelson, who you each guessed as well.

RYAN: All right.

BECCA: Specifically in the song “Clubhouse Cooperation.”

ALETHEA: Which I definitely saw.

BECCA: Now, next person on my list, neither of you wrote.

RYAN: Oh no.

BECCA: And this is who I consider to be the definitive Betty Lou. Marilyn Sokol.

RYAN: Ooooh, see, yeah.

BECCA: She was Betty Lou in those two songs, “I Want a Monster To Be My Friend” and “On the Subway.”

RYAN: Yeah.


BECCA: Again Marilyn Sokol, wish she did more with the Muppets. She’s so good in Emmet Otter and so good on both of those songs. I guess mostly on “I Want a Monster To Be My Friend.” She’s got like one line in Subway.

RYAN: I realize now I was thinking too narrowly because I wasn’t taking into account voice, like vocal dub performances.

BECCA: It’s on Muppet Wiki.

RYAN: Yeah. No. It would be. Yeah. Because Marilyn Sokol didn’t do the puppetry. She was the voice. But she did a… yeah.

BECCA: I don’t… Do we know that she didn’t do the puppetry on Sesame Street though?

RYAN: Oh, I mean I guess. She didn’t, she didn’t for Emmet Otter.

BECCA: She didn’t for Emmet Otter. Okay. No, it was voice only. She only did puppeteering in it looks like Santa Claus Switch.

RYAN: Okay.

BECCA: But no, she yeah. So next person on my list, Richard Hunt.


BECCA: Which Alethea guessed. But Ryan did not. Richard seems to have performed her in the song “It’s Funny.” And it looks like nowhere else. And the last person on my list is Lisa Buckley, who was, of course, Betty Lou’s regular performer from seasons 25 through 29 when they desperately tried to make Betty Lou a major character who loved collecting dolls. That was her thing.

RYAN: Right.

BECCA: And I will, I’m gonna say this, wore a really ugly dress.

[Ryan laughs]


BECCA: Really bothers me.

[Alethea laughs]

BECCA: Ryan, you also guessed Cheryl Blaylock, not on my list.

RYAN: Yeah, that was just a guess.

BECCA: Caroll Spinney, not on my list.

RYAN: Okay. I thought maybe one of those early things.

BECCA: Alethea, you guessed Loretta Lynn, not on my list. Good guess though considering–

RYAN: Loretta Long.

ALETHEA: Not Loretta Lynn.

BECCA: [makes spitting sound] Not Loretta Lynn that would be…

[Ryan and Alethea laugh]

ALETHEA: Who was on Sesame Street.

BECCA: That’s true.

RYAN: That would have been cool.

BECCA: You guessed Loretta Long, which made sense as a guess seeing as Gordon voiced Roosevelt Franklin and they’re kind of similar characters. She voiced Roosevelt Franklin’s mother.

RYAN: Oh, right, of course.

BECCA: Not Betty Lou though. And you guessed Jim Henson. Possibly as a joke. Not on my list either. So weirdly enough, you both got the same number of performers correct. Just different performers. Or I guess three of the same performers. And Ryan said, Lisa Buckley and Alethea said, Richard Hunt. So you each get your points back because you tied on that.

[Alethea laughs]

BECCA: But of course, Ryan’s lead was a little too high to surmount. So our winner and today’s Toughest Pig is Ryan Roe. Once again, Ryan.

RYAN: Thank you. This was a great game.

BECCA: Well, thank you.

ALETHEA: This was so fun.

BECCA: Congratulations. You, of course, win your choice of a metro card, which is great for getting on the subway. The longest running show underground. Or I’ve started…I got a little bored making magnets. So I started making these like little picture cards and so here’s a little picture of Betty Lou and the Beautiful Day Monster together at last, after “Pick Your Pet. And I will happily send you this way–send you this, if you’d prefer this to a subway card. 

RYAN: You know, the metro card might be useful the next time I’m in the New York area. But yeah, I think I gotta go with the picture card.

BECCA: I will send you my little picture card of Betty Lou.

RYAN: Thanks.

BECCA: And now you understand the reference because you know all about “Pick Your Pet.”

RYAN: Yes.

BECCA: Where she picks the Beautiful Day Monster over Little Bird and Baskerville the Hound.

RYAN: What’s her reasoning for that?

BECCA: [sighs] The game is like, she’s blindfolded and it’s like The Dating Game where they each…She gets to ask a certain amount of questions and doesn’t actually get to ask the Beautiful Day Monster any questions. But she clearly wants a cat so she isn’t happy with a bird or a dog.

RYAN: (laughing) Ohh.

BECCA: So she guesses the third one. And then is very happy to learn that the Beautiful Day Monster has soft, silky fur and purrs and wants to drink milk.


BECCA: So she got the pet she wanted after all.

RYAN: Well, that’s nice.

ALETHEA: So sweet.

BECCA: And now you get that reference. So that brings us to the end of another one. So, guests, where can people find you if you wish to be found? Ryan, let’s start with you.

RYAN: Toughpigs.com always. The Movin’ Right Along Muppet movie podcast has a bonus episode. We’re in between seasons as we record this. We do have a bonus episode coming soon. Possibly out by the time you hear this. Our guest on that episode is Becca Petunia, the host of this podcast.

BECCA: That’s true.

RYAN: And we’re talking about the 1994 Muppet album Kermit Unpigged. And it’s a really fun episode, so everyone should seek that out. I’m not really on Twitter anymore or X or whatever it’s called because that’s just a disaster.

BECCA: Yeah.

RYAN: I have been a little more active on Bluesky recently. Actually, you gave me my Bluesky.

BECCA: I sure did give you your Bluesky.

RYAN: I really like it there. I hope it catches on. I hope everybody uses Bluesky forever now. So I am @Meryanroe over there.

BECCA: And Alethea?

ALETHEA: So I am…my personal like, you know, Alethea account is @aletheashirilan S-H-I-R-I-L-A-N is my last name. And then I have a link tree in that bio with like my website and like you can find some of the links to my plays and stuff there.

And then for Sesame History, I believe my twitter handle is Sesamehistory. I’m trying to make the migration to Bluesky right now. I just got a Bluesky code. So I think it’s also Sesamehistory there. But if you have trouble finding me, a few searches should do it. Or like a look through the Muppet Twitter community. 

BECCA: I’ll tag you in this post.


BECCA: You’re fine. You’re fine. And again, it’s a delightful little page. A lot of just funny posts and like good memories and weird, creepy, Ernie sleeping dolls and everything you could want. 

And of course, you can find me on Toughpigs. ToughPigs, of course, still the best place to find me or Ryan or any of us because ToughPigs has lasted 22 years without exploding.

RYAN: So far.

BECCA: And that’s more than I can say about any of these other social media websites. Well, in my defense, I wasn’t writing for it 22 years ago so I don’t have to feel that old. I’ve only been writing for it for nine years. But of course, you can find Toughpigs if you do want to go on social media. You could find ToughPigs on Twitter and Facebook and Bluesky and Instagram. And we are on Patreon. If you want to support us, you could give us some money on patreon and get some exclusive free stuff.

I should also mention, you can support us on the ToughPigs Teepublic page. We’ve got a bunch of designs, some of which I designed.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: Including a Hubba-Wha?! shirt. Some pride shirts still available. Monster at the End of This Book shirt, I designed.

RYAN: Number one seller.

BECCA:: I’m pumping my fist. I’m pumping my fist, you can’t see it, audience at home.

RYAN: I would say 90 percent of the time we get a notification from Teepublic that you’ve made a sale, almost every time it’s The Monster at the End of This Book shirt.

BECCA: I gotta say, I mean listen I’m proud because I worked hard on that and I think it’s a wonderful shirt and all of those different things. Yes, sure. But I gotta say, some of the newer designs, The Muppet Movie-inspired designs, I love and the only thing that’s keeping me from getting them is because I can’t decide which one to get and I know I can’t get like all 10 of them. And there should be a new design by the time this episode is out. A new design I made should be available. No, I made Lips’ Tutter Street Trumpet Company shirt.

RYAN: Oh yes, yes.

BECCA: I made a replica of it.

RYAN: Yeah, that looks great.

BECCA: So that should be up. And if you want to find me on social media. Boy, this is going long. If you want to find me on social media, @unclepetunio on Twitter. That’s uncle like the kind of person who might own Wolfgang the Seal and petunio is like the flower, but with an o instead of an a. And I’m on all of the other socials, Instagram, Bluesky, Tumblr, Threads: @tallgirlpetunia. That time petunia is spelled like the flower. Whoof.

I’d like to thank some people for helping out. Of course, our guests. Thank you both, seriously. 

RYAN: Thank you.

ALETHEA: Thank you.

BECCA: Well, thank me for writing and editing and producing and hosting the show. Thanks to Staci Rosen for writing the theme music for the show. Ryan, how’s Staci doing?

RYAN: She’s good. I could run downstairs and ask her but the last time I saw her, she was playing Tetris and doing very well.

BECCA: Okay, well, hey, that’s great.

RYAN: Yeah.

BECCA: Thanks to Richard Gomez for doing the host artwork for the show. Thanks to Katilyn Miller for writing our transcripts. Thanks to Joe Hennes, the ToughPigs Muppet Fan Podcast executive producer. And, of course, thanks to Betty Lou.


BECCA: And lastly, thanks to all of you at home for being with us on (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?!: (in normal sounding voice) the Muppet Quiz Show. And as always, Betty Lou loves the xylophone, orange juice, baseball, overalls, go-karts, and her best friend, Luis. Good night, everybody.

[End of Hubba-Wha?! theme music plays]

RYAN: Good night, Betty Lou.

[Clip from “Everyone Likes Ice Cream” plays]



MUPPETS: But there is one thing special, which everyone agrees.


BOY: Except for me and I don’t agree.


LOU: Oh, you do so.


BOY: I do not.


LOU: You’re just silly.

[Clip ends]

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