Before They Were Stars: James Earl Jones on “Sesame Street”

Is there any personality you’d rather see recite the alphabet than James Earl Jones? In 1969, Jones had already achieved some success on Broadway and played a few supporting roles on film and television, but he was nowhere near the iconic figure he is today. However, he can technically be considered the first guest star to ever appear on Sesame Street. This footage is from the original Sesame Street test pilots which were filmed for the show and even though none of these pilots were broadcast in their original format on television, the segment with Jones reciting the alphabet was inserted into a future episode. The main reason Jones agreed to make this appearance was because his acting teacher was Will Lee, who played Mr. Hooper on the show. Apparently, Jones originally believed that¬†Sesame Street¬†didn’t have a chance in hell of lasting on the air since he felt children would be terrified of the Muppets.

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