30+ Celebrities You Never Knew Guest Starred on Sesame Street

David Beckham

Football superstar David Beckham was attempting to fully immerse himself in American culture following his move to LA Galaxy in 2007. This involved partaking in a number of press events as well as appearing on a handful of TV shows, including Sesame Street.

His cameo role proved that even though he may have become a world-famous superstar playing for the biggest and best football club in the world, Manchester United, as well as Real Madrid, Becks wasn't a natural in front of the camera. His chemistry with Elmo was shockingly absent.

Johnny Cash

Legendary country singer Johnny Cash made an appearance on Sesame Street in 1975, armed with his trusty guitar and snarling persona. He sang a song called Nasty Dan while standing next to Oscar the Grouch, in an almost perfect comedic sequence.

As intimidating as Johnny Cash may have seemed, he always loved kids, even releasing a children's album the same year as his Sesame Street appearance. It is refreshing to see Cash showing off his more tender side, even if he did sign off his performance with, "have a rotten day".

Jonah Hill

Actor Jonah Hill first appeared on Sesame Street in 2008, to explain to children about the word mustache, despite not having one himself at the time. He reappeared on the show six years later, this time to describe the word empty.

It was a whirlwind of a cameo, with a bowl of pretzels being purposely emptied, a tiger being let loose from its cage, and Hill recklessly dropping a whole pack of coloring pencils out of their box, just to hammer home the meaning of empty.

Ray Charles

Ray Charles' appearance on Sesame Street is legendary, and not just because of the star's standing in the world of music. Charles, with the help of Elmo, spoke to the watching children about blindness, helping them understand the condition better.

The pair explained how braille works, with Charles demonstrating how he reads the lyrics with his fingers and not his eyes. He then went on to perform his own rendition of Believe in Yourself, a Sesame Street fan favorite. The bond between Charles and the fluffy red monster is too adorable for words.

Sir Patrick Stewart

Sir Patrick Stewart has long been a star of both stage and screen, most notably playing Captain Picard in Star Trek. He started his 1996 Sesame Street appearance off in the most Patrick Stewart of ways, reciting a Shakespeare play while holding the letter B.

As you may have already gathered, Stewart discussed the letter B during his Sesame Street cameo, using the line, "to B or not a B". Very clever. Stewart later referred to the sketch as one of the most distinguished bits of work he had ever done in the US.

Sir Ian McKellen

Legendary actor Sir Ian McKellen, best known for his work on stage performing Shakespeare, or for his appearances as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings movies, was invited onto Sesame Street to explain what the word 'resist' means, with the help of Cookie Monster.

What better character to explain the art of controlling oneself with than Cookie Monster, a character chronically addicted to chocolate chip cookies. McKellen managed to slip a few Lord of the Rings references into his short slot, at one point pulling a golden ring out of his pocket.

Michelle Obama

Sesame Street producers have always managed to book the big names, with major celebrities rolling in and out of the studio doors since the program began in 1969. There are very few celebrities with a higher profile than Michelle Obama, who appeared on the show twice while serving as First Lady.

Obama's task while on the show the second time was to hammer home to kids the importance of eating breakfast. She then sat down to eat the most unappetizing-looking porridge ever made, while being serenaded by Grover who was doing laps around her chair. Of course, she managed to stay diplomatic and patient throughout.

Steve Carrell

For his appearance on Sesame Street, Steve Carrell ditched the comedic persona that saw him become the beloved Michael Scott in the US adaptation of the popular sitcom, The Office. Instead, Carrell, along with the help of Elmo and Abby explained the word 'vote'.

To sow the seeds of how important voting is to the children watching at home, Carrell and his two Sesame Street friends had a vote on what they should have for snack time, with the choice being between cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder has regularly appeared on Sesame Street over the years, even performing a live-in-the-studio version of Superstition on the show in 1973, at the height of his fame. His most recent contribution to the show was a cover version of Sesame Street Theme for the show's 50th-anniversary documentary in 2021.

Wonder's most memorable appearance on the show is when he performed a version of 1-2-3 Sesame Street, where he sang through a vocoder, making him sound like a robot. This would have exposed kids across the world to the new sounds that were about to come out of 1970's America.

Jim Parsons

Jim Parsons is best known for his role as the uptight, socially unaware Sheldon Cooper in the sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Parson's role in the show was to explain what the word 'arachnid' meant, a much harder task than the words that most other celebrities get told to explain.

Parsons later claimed that his appearance on Sesame Street was one of his favorite things that he had ever been asked to do. He said that bringing his four-year-old nephew along to the filming day left him feeling as though he could happily retire there and then.

Little Richard

When Little Richard makes an appearance anywhere, he's guaranteed to steal the show, which is exactly what happened when he appeared on Sesame Street in 1994. Despite not being as flexible and energetic as he was back in his heyday, he was still in great form.

Richard performed a version of the Sesame Street classic Rubber Duckie, a song written with the aim of getting children to enjoy bath time. Little Richard slipped a little innuendo in here and there to keep the parents interested, while introducing a new generation to his rock 'n' roll sound.

R2D2 and C-3PO

In 1980, Sesame Street featured one of its biggest-ever movie crossovers, with R2D2 and C-3PO playing cameo roles in the show. The show was capitalizing on the huge success of Star Wars, the franchise that had taken the world by storm in the previous years.

The sequence begins with Big Bird spotting that a flying saucer has crashed into the yard, with two people getting out. Originally nobody believes him until R2D2 and C-3PO walk by. The scene features water being poured into R2D2's head, and some other robotic slapstick.

Liam Neeson

Taken star Liam Neeson has also appeared on Sesame Street, thankfully behaving in an entirely different manner than he does in many of his films. No threats were made, there was no bragging about his special set of skills, just Neeson messing about with a monocle.

Neeson's appearance in 2000 saw him teaching children how to count to 20, while being filmed by The Count, who is making a movie named Transylvania 6-5000. It shows Neeson's comedic side, which is refreshing, as he doesn't often get to show people his humor in his movies.

Mila Kunis

Hollywood actress Mila Kunis is best known for her roles on popular TV shows, That '70s Show and Family Guy, in which she voices the character Meg. Her appearance on Sesame Street saw her, along with Elmo and two rather hyperactive sheep, explain the word 'include'.

The segment featured Elmo wallowing in a bout of what can only be described as Situational Depression, due to his non-inclusion in the rather repetitive dance the sheep are engaging in. Eventually, thanks to Kunis' encouragement and the kindness of their hearts, the sheep included Elmo in their dance.

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling, known primarily for her role as Kelly Kapoor in the US remake of The Office, as well as playing her alter ego Mindy Lahiri in The Mindy Project, made an appearance on Sesame Street to teach the American children and Elmo about the word 'enthusiastic'.

The scene involves a dance sequence, with Elmo babbling on once again about how dancing with friends makes him feel really enthusiastic. The pair are then joined by a group of huge chickens, making for a surreal end to the fever dream of a scene.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has orbited around the Sesame Street and Muppet universes since his first appearance in 2013, where he explained what the word 'reinforce' meant. He played his short educational role alongside the character Murray, who has since been phased out of the show.

Gordon-Levitt made a return to Sesame Street in 2019, coming back to host the show's 50th Anniversary Celebration program, which featured a whole host of special moments from throughout the show's existence. He also presented a tribute to Sesame Street at the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors.

Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler managed to get himself a cameo role on Sesame Street, explaining to viewers the meaning of the word 'crunchy', with the help of Cookie Monster. This isn't one to watch if you hate the sound of people eating, as Cookie Monster chows through a giant confection very loudly.

Sandler becomes irritable, which makes him even more annoying, before the two patch it up and start devouring the cookie together. Thankfully, the segment was shorter than most celebrity segments usually featured on the show.

Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick, Elmo, and Abby helped explain the meaning of the word 'absorb' in the actress' Sesame Street appearance. To explain the word, the characters each brought an item that they believed would absorb the water in the cups on front of them.

Elmo's sponge and Abby's paper towels did just that, with Kendrick bringing out another Sesame Street character, the now-departed Murray, to see if he absorbed the water. He did, leaving the four to look into the camera, and slightly creepily yell the word 'absorb' to the audience.

John Krasinski

John Krasinski, known to many as Jim from the US office, made an appearance on Sesame Street, helping to explain the word 'soggy' to the watching audience and Murray, who accompanies him throughout his short but wholesome cameo on the show.

After multiple failed attempts to bring Krasinski something soggy, Murray eventually returns with an elephant, spraying water into the Jack Ryan actor's face with his trunk, leaving him very soggy indeed. Krasinski would also appear in The Muppets movie in 2011.

Seth Meyers

Chat show host and comedy writer Seth Meyers has been part of many projects involving Sesame Street or Muppet characters throughout his long career in the entertainment industry. He has presented shows alongside Big Bird, as well as appearing in the Word of the Day segment on Sesame Street's main show.

Along with The Count, Meyers explained what the word 'greeting' means, while listing as many of them as he possibly could. He thought of ten, in case you were wondering. The scene ends as Word of the Day segments usually do, with both Meyers and The Count saying the word 'greeting' down the camera lens simultaneously.

Jimmy Fallon

Long-time chat show host and former SNL cast member Jimmy Fallon has had a long, enduring relationship with Sesame Street and the Muppets, appearing on their respective TV shows and spin-offs, as well as inviting many of the puppets onto his chat shows.

Fallon appeared on Sesame Street twice in one year in 2009, the first time as Wild Nature Survivor Guy, a man trying to survive in a city full of people. His second appearance saw him presenting the Word of the Day segment alongside Elmo, teaching the audience what 'inspect' means.

Jack Black

Jack Black is another high profile celebrity to appear on Sesame Street more than once, presenting the Word of the Day segment twice, several years apart from each other. Black's first appearance saw him explaining what an octagon is, with his second appearance focusing on the word 'disguise'.

This second segment saw Black disguise himself as a chicken, although it's unlikely Black was actually sitting inside the chicken costume the whole time. The actor's links to the Sesame Street and Muppet universe don't stop there either, as he is married to Tanya Haden, a backup Muppets puppeteer.

Zac Efron

A young Zac Efron was in charge of calming a manic Elmo down by teaching him about patience in the Sesame Street Word of the Day segment. The cameo came as a result of the popularity of the High School Musical movies, in which Efron plays the basketball and musical theatre fanatic, Troy Bolton.

In the short scene, Elmo desperately wants to play basketball, to the point where his high-pitched yelling is almost insufferable. Thankfully, Efron is a good teacher, calming him down until he has finished teaching the audience the meaning of the word 'patience'.

Hugh Jackman

Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman was in good form during his Sesame Street cameo, explaining to the audience the meaning of the word 'concentrate'. There was clearly a good atmosphere in the studio that day, as Jackman seemingly couldn't stop smiling throughout the segment.

Jackman also recorded a public service announcement for Australian television alongside Elmo, trying to reassure children that things were going to be alright following the deadly bushfires of 2009. It was a wholesome and important message for children to hear during scary times for the Australian people.

Nicole Kidman

Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman appeared alongside Oscar the Grouch in her Word of the Day segment in Sesame Street's 42nd season. The word that the pair were teaching the audience about was 'stubborn', something that perfectly describes Oscar the Grouch.

Oscar's brilliantly mean and cynical attitude towards the segment makes it well worth watching, as he performs his lines within the safety of his garbage bin. Kidman handles the situation well, allowing Oscar the freedom to express his stubbornness in the way that only he can.

Billie Eilish

Singer Billie Eilish made an appearance on Sesame Street, singing a reworked version of her song Happier Than Ever. She received vocal backup from The Count, so as you can imagine, the lyrics were changed to be focused around numbers and counting.

Appearing on Sesame Street is quite a way to announce your new look and material to a young audience, but the watching kids definitely appreciated her numerically-themed lyrics. Also, given Eilish's alternative and cool energy, pairing her with the similarly gothic Count just makes sense.

Sofía Vergara

Colombian actress Sofía Vergara taught young and old Sesame Street viewers a Spanish word when she appeared on the Word of the Day segment in 2011. Her word was 'Baile', the Spanish word for dance. As you might expect, there was a lot of dancing in the segment.

It's a pretty enjoyable cameo, incorporating chicken, frog, and penguin puppets towards the end, as they all involve themselves in one big 'Baile'. Vergara has also worked with the Muppets during her time as an actor, appearing with them at the Latin Grammy Awards.

Seth Rogen

It seems as though the Sesame Street writers were aware of the parts that Seth Rogen usually plays when they invited him to come on the show for his very own Word of the Day segment. His piece involved him having a block of cheese on his head, to help him explain the word 'embarrassed'.

The bizarre feature not only involved the cheese on Rogen's head but also a bottle of 'stinky foot powder' hand-delivered to Rogen on set. If that whole rigmarole didn't get across the meaning of the word 'embarrassed', then nothing will.

Ice Cube

It is highly unlikely that fans of the rapper Ice Cube would have thought they'd one day see him being part of a Sesame Street episode, especially when he was at the height of his N.W.A. fame in the late 1980s.

However, in 2015, Ice Cube joined up with Elmo to explain the meaning of the word, 'astounded'. Ice Cube has also had connections to Sesame Street since the early '90s, with his song A Bird in The Hand sampling a scene from Sesame Street where Big Bird writes a poem.

Jill Biden

Michelle Obama isn't the only First Lady of the United States of America to appear on Sesame Street. Current FLOTUS, Jill Biden, has also made an appearance on the show, as part of Sesame Street's Word of the Day segment.

The word that Biden was explaining was 'kindness', and she did so with the help of Gabrielle, Elmo, and Tango the dog. It was a pretty important word for the show to cover, so getting in the First Lady was probably a good idea.

Jimmy Kimmel

Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel made an appearance on Sesame Street, explaining the meaning of the word 'sibling' on the show's Word of the Day segment. The piece included a variety of siblings, including the fairytale duo Hansel and Gretel.

In addition to the extra puppets brought in for the feature, Kimmel also dressed up as his brother and sister, with a little editing trickery making it look like there was three of him on screen at the same time.

Zach Galifianakis

Star of The Hangover and Between Two Ferns, Zach Galifianakis appeared on Sesame Street in 2015, explaining to the audience, with the help of Murray Monster, what the word nimble means. The pair did this via the medium of a nursery rhyme.

The Hollywood actor was also chased around the screen by a piranha forcing him to demonstrate the sort of nimbleness that he was trying to get across to the children at home. It was chaotic and restless, but a good, fun little segment.

Terry Crews

Terry Crews was on hand to teach all the Sesame Street viewers about artists, and the different types of art that they create. Because the Count was in the same room, the premise was that he had to name as many different types as he could, so the vampire-looking character could count them.

Crews dressed up as a painter, sculptor, violinist, dancer, and mime artist, likely making it the Sesame Street cameo with the most different costumes ever worn. Crews handled it well, demonstrating that he has a lovely soft side to his personality.

HAIM

The HAIM sisters made their debut on Sesame Street in May of 2023, singing an alphabet-related song in front of the little village's community center, along with Elmo, Big Bird, Abby, and some of the rest of the Sesame Street cast.

It was not the first time that the HAIM sisters had been involved in a Sesame Street project, having read a section of the Sesame Street book, We're Different, We're The Same, for the TV show's online channels. It was their first time on the show proper, however.

Brett Goldstein

Actor Brett Goldstein, most commonly known for playing the role of Roy Kent on Apple TV's Ted Lasso, appeared on Sesame Street in 2022, baking cookies with Tamir. He was also there to let audiences know Sesame Street's Word of the Day.

The word was 'fairness', a word which doesn't exactly go hand in hand with Goldstein's character in Ted Lasso. Nevertheless, Goldstein played his cameo role very well, showing a more human side to himself, and the character that he was playing.

Naomi Osaka

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka was drafted in to give Sesame Street's audience a rather important talk about the application of sunscreen on sunny days. Along with Gabrielle, Elmo, and a girl called Charlie, Osaka outlined the dangers of not protecting your skin.

She highlighted the reasons that sunscreen needs to be worn, going into detail about melanin in the skin while engaging with a flying, talking, cape-wearing bottle of sunscreen. Osaka isn't the most natural actress, but she shared an important message nevertheless.

Maggie Rogers

Singer Maggie Rogers visited Sesame Street to sing the song, It's Nighttime. The song is all about nocturnal animals, and the things that they do at night while nobody is watching. It also encourages children to rest and go to sleep.

Raccoons, owls, and fireflies all get a mention in the song, which lets children know that the world doesn't stop once the sun goes down. One of the lines in the song encourages young astronomers to look through telescopes at night, so it's not all sleep-based.

Kelly Rowland

Former Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland made an appearance on Elmo's Not-Too-Late Talk Show, singing her own version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm. She rattled through three farm animals, a cow, a pig, and a chicken.

She was, of course, accompanied by muppet versions of these animals, all of which had their own mischievous characterizations and flair. Unsurprisingly, she still sounds great, even if Old MacDonald Had a Farm isn't the most challenging song for a popstar of her status to master.

Ed Sheeran

Popstar Ed Sheeran was joined by an entire band of Sesame Street characters to help him perform the song Two Different Worlds. The song is about the differences that children experience in life at school versus life at home.

You would have thought that the Sesame Street producers would have perhaps given Ed a more meaningful song to sing, but he seemed happy enough to sing about school desks and having to put your hand up if you want to speak in class.

Steph and Ayesha Curry

Basketball player Steph Curry and his wife Ayesha made an appearance together on Sesame Street alongside Elmo, Grover, and Cookie Monster, to talk about cooking. The pair had to cook pancakes, in order to really get the importance of breakfast across to the children.

This wasn't the first time that Sesame Street had done a feature all about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day, having previously roped in former First Lady Michelle Obama to also do a feature around a morning meal.