The 39th season of Sesame Street, which premieres Monday, is surprisingly well stocked with quirky guest stars, including Will Arnett, Neil Patrick Harris, and Feist, whose rendition of “1, 2, 3, 4” has already received more than a half-million views on YouTube. Below, a few other notable appearances.
celebrity guest what kids learn what adults learn the elmo interaction David Beckham
Persistent “means not to give up even when things don’t go the way you want them to.” Though the L.A. Galaxy has been on a losing streak and Beckham’s star is dimming, we should not expect this Brit to flame out. Adversarial. Elmo interrupts an irritated Beckham three times
with requests to play football. LL Cool J
Unanimous “means when everyone agrees.” When Oscar the Grouch steps to him, saying “Mr. Mama Said Knock You Out,” this friendlier, slimmer Cool J can just laugh it off. Appeasing. “Who wants to go to the beach?” he sings to mischief-making Elmo (though Cool J’s delivery can be condescending at times). Heidi Klum
Compliment “is when you say something nice about somebody or something.” After years of dealing with sleazy casting agents, lecherous photographers, and now puppets, Klum has mastered the art of the noncommittal flirt. Sexually charged. “Ms. Heidi is very pretty,” Elmo says. “You have a beautiful green hat,” Klum responds. Though it’s difficult to see, Elmo blushes. Jack Black
Octagon “An amazing shape that has eight fantastic sides and eight awesome angles.” Black is little more than a collection of eye rolls and funny faces bound together by facial hair. Confrontational. Black’s temper flares when Elmo tells him to stop by presenting him with a stop sign. But it’s octagonal! Jonah Hill
Mustache is a word that refers to the hair just above the lip, under the nose. Hill, best known from Superbad, confirms what we all knew: Sesame Street is for stoners too. Creepily intimate. Hill shares facial hair in an off-putting hirsute exchange. Kim Cattrall
Fabulous “means when something is incredible.” It is now acceptable to teach toddlers to flap their hands and crow with delight at the sight of a Manolo. Cattrall was too saccharine even for Elmo. She was left to chat up Abby Cadabby.