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Scandal Street: Bill Cosby Sings with the Muppets

Bill Cosby discusses the word ‘surprise’ and sings with the Muppets on Sesame Street

With Donald Trump making fresh sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby last week, an appearance on Sesame Street was never on the cards — or was it?

Bill Cosby and the MuppetsYes, it was.

A video posted to the official Sesame Street channel on YouTube sees Cosby discussing the word ‘surprise’ with Elmo, the beloved Muppet. It’s far from the first time that we’ve seen the performer appear in family-friendly entertainment — but it’s certainly evidence of how much Bill Cosby craves the limelight.

One of the ways that Sesame Street has managed to stay relevant over the course of its astounding history is its use of celebrities and public figures. Furthermore, these appearances successfully keep the show in the public eye and maintain its reputation as a cultural touchstone of American society. The fact that celebrities as diverse as Edward Snowden and Bill Cosby could both appear on the show and neither one seem out of place is a testament to how powerful Sesame Street is.

In the clip, Cosby performs a few “surprising” magic tricks to help break down the meaning of the word in a fun way. The 77 year old waves his magic wand to make a wine glass appear, pulls an unlabelled bottle out of his hat, pours liberally, and then asks Elmo to take a sip.

Two hours later, after the puppet wakes from his slumber, Cosby sings “Denial” with the loveable red rogue, Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch and Grover. The upbeat song teaches children how to avoid getting caught for harmless crimes.

The lyrics are: “At home I can do whatever I please. I can speak to ladies, make them tremble at the knees. In the morning, if she starts to cry, look bewildered, just deny, deny, deny.”

The Muppets sing along with Bill as he plays his ukulele.

Announcing its release the comedian posted the video on his Twitter page before adding: “Filmed that in half an hour, happy it’s finally out. Time for a drink with the guys. First round’s on you, Big Bird.”

Within hours the three minute video had been viewed more than 280,000 times.

Many have taken to Twitter to express their surprise and delight at seeing Bill appear alongside Elmo, however, not everyone was in favor of the appearance.

For some, seeing the ‘ladies man’ on a children’s television classic was a little too jarring:

So, Cosby goes on Sesame Street and everyone is, like, okay with that?
— Willie (@WillieWonkad) April 5, 2015

Cosby being on Sesame Street conflicts me in so many ways.
— Troy Chase (@NotaTrase) April 6, 2015

John Glynn