Tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET, ABC is airing Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days, a star-studded salute to the groundbreaking, Emmy-winning children's show.
The two-hour documentary features special guests including Angelina Jolie, Whoopi Goldberg, Questlove, Gloria Estefan, John Legend, Lucy Liu and more, all celebrating the show and the nonprofit behind it, Sesame Workshop. The special also chronicles the creation and introduction of a Black family of Sesame Street Muppets, father and son Wes and Elijah Walker.
Grammy winner Questlove calls Sesame Street "a musical education," and explains one of his earliest memories was a skit between Ernie and Bert. "Ernie [is] having insomnia, Bert foolishly [tells] Ernie to count sheep, and somehow that escalates into counting a balloon that explodes the entire apartment," he recalls. "And so that particular scream that Bert does, it's one of the I think the first times I had a gut-holding laugh."
Last Week Tonight's John Oliver recalled working with one of the show's stars.
"I'm not particularly comfortable around people, but I was really comfortable with Cookie Monster," Oliver admits. "I was also more comfortable with him than I was with David [Rudman], who was operating Cookie Monster. And that seems strange. But the more I thought about it actually makes sense, because I don't know David. I do know Cookie Monster," Oliver says, laughing. "I've known him for decades."
Olivia Munn calls Sesame Street "a place of home," and "the soundtrack of my childhood." She adds, "It is a place that has always loved and accepted myself and my family. And that means everything."
"My favorite Sesame Street character is Grover, because inside I was Grover," says Rosie Perez, laughing sheepishly. "Because...I was clumsy, and I would make mistakes all the time!"