Sesame Street has a long history of celebrity guests, some kid-friendly and some… less so. Take, for example, this week’s cameo by Katy Perry, whose cleavage was front and center during her sketch with Elmo. Though the version of “Hot ‘n’ Cold” she sang was less risque than the original, it still seemed odd to put one of MTV’s video vixens into a children’s show. Which got us thinking about the most inappropriate, questionable, and flat-out bizarre guests who have been on Sesame Street over the years. Check out our list, after the jump.
Shock comedian Richard Pryor, known for his racial epithets and all around vulgar humor, appeared on the show to teach the alphabet. He keeps it clean, but it’s still hilarious — and you know that the crew must have been nervous.
It’s not so much that Jamie Foxx isn’t family friendly, but this clip is so strange that we wonder what compelled the producers. An R&B version of The Nutcracker with Foxx as a toy? Wait… is that genius? Or just nuts?
Larry King seems like the kind of guest that kids might be sort of afraid of — either that or bored. Not that his interview with the letter “W” isn’t completely marvelous, but it does seem like an odd choice considering the demographic likely has no clue who he is.
Yes, Cheech is in kids’ movies like Oliver and Company and Spy Kids, and he’s not about to let loose with some unwanted vocabulary, like Richard Pryor, but we still would be a bit wary of putting a guy whose nickname has become slang for “incredibly high” on a preschooler’s television program.
Gervais’ awkward, self-deprecating humor certainly is the kind that children love, but the whole skit here seems a little bit too self-aware and odd compared to the slapstick goofiness usually on the show. That said, he does have a surprisingly nice singing voice.
If you’re best known for authoring the song “Cop Killer” and being a hard-bitten detective on a show about horrific crimes against women, well, PBS just might not be what you’re looking for. Even his delivery is a little frightening. Earmuffs!
Not that Cattrall hasn’t done other things, but her delivery of the word “fabulous” is certainly related to her role as the sex maniac Samantha Jones on Sex and the City. It just feels sort of uncomfortable when she squeals over fairy wings and robots dancing the conga.
Friedlander’s word is “spectacular” — and he does a good job — but it is sort of a weird choice, what with his stoner-slacker character on 30 Rock. Kids love doofy dudes, we guess.
Now, we love Little Richard. And we can’t watch him singing in the bathtub without cracking up. But admittedly, it’s not just his outfits that have always been a little crazy.
Something about this clip — maybe it’s when Leguizamo calls Elmo “playa” at the beginning — just seems so over-the top. Or maybe it’s just the spectacle of Leguizamo dressed in a suit made out of vegetables, singing. Either way: Awesome.