When I was about Archer's age, my brother and I were obsessed with a certain Sesame Street musical number. Crazy obsessed. So obsessed we made "WWW" sit with us through Sesame Street, hand on VCR, waiting to press record, until finally (hallelujah!) we had ourselves a recording we could watch on repeat for days at a time. Sure the first five seconds were missing, but in the days of VCR-ing, that was par for the course. We watched and watched and...

"That's enough TV!"

"One more time!"

"Fine! ONE!"

... watched ten more times.

It got to the point where we were so addicted, my parents had to pry us away from our beloved tape - reserving it for special occasions only so we didn't spend our every day zoned out for hours on end. Playing. Rewinding. Playing. Rewinding. Playing and singing and rewinding and...

I hadn't thought about "Put Down the Duckie" in a hundred years until last week, when Archer was parading around the house with the blow-up saxophone he got at the dentist and suddenly, out of nowhere I started humming... "put down the duckieeeeeee..."

...Which of course brought me to google which brought me to youtube which ended in five days x many-dozens of views of this:

Much like my brother and I couldn't get enough of Ernie and his shenanigans, neither have Archer and Fable been able to step away from Danny, Rhea, Pee-wee and the crew. Yesterday, I found Fable climbing up onto my desk chair trying to sneak-attack my computer for just one more glimpse at "Duckie! Duckiiiiieeeeeeee! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

It's the circle of life. And it moves us all.


58. Put Down the Duckie, by: Hoots the Owl and Ernie



andrea.d | 9:58 PM

Love the SCTV alumni!

Anonymous | 10:10 PM

That first picture of Fable is magic! Love it!
I'm showing this video to Lucy tomorrow...I'm sure she's going to love it :)

Unknown | 10:11 PM

OMG. I was obsessed with this song as a child. Other favorites were "Sing Myself to Sleep" (with the dancing sheep?), "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon", and the animal department store Elevator Song.
But Put Down the Duckie definitely holds the highest place in my heart. Joy!

Unknown | 10:16 PM

How could I forget? Jellyman Kelly. Tied with Put Down the Duckie.

Alex | 10:17 PM

I love sitting down and watching Sesame Street with my son and I realize its some of the sketches that I watched. I get all giggly inside.


OMG, This. Yes yes YES.


I LOVED this so much! The dancing sheep to sleep video, too, but especially "don't want to live on the moon."

Sigh. We're old.

Ashley | 10:55 PM

OMG! Thanks for the reminder of my childhood. I'd completely forgotten about that song, as well as the sheep one!! Good times...

btw, love the Lion King reference :)

Claire | 11:09 PM

OH MAN!!! i used to love Ernie as a kid, still do.
although i used to call him nernie apparently.
good times. I can't wait to see who Wyatt's (my son) favorite sesame street character is

Anonymous | 11:40 PM

this is fantastic! thanks for sharing and bringing a laugh to my day!

Mrs B | 12:44 AM

My little guy (15 months) loves this one too, although his favorite is the reggae number "Do De Rubber Duck"... not one I remember from my youth, but catchy none the less.

I'm trying to get him hooked on "Me Lost Me Cookie at the Disco." Classic!

Anonymous | 2:24 AM

Holy crap that pic of fable it tops! I was a fan of the Rubber Ducky song myself.

It's great to show these old shows to kids now. It's so retro, and all kinds of awesome.

Rebecca at Toothwhale | 5:05 AM

I'll forever and always love Sesame Street.

Julie | 5:47 AM

Ok...I am a little creeped out. I have that DVD on right now for my son and that exact song was on when I read this!!! We checked it out from our library because we thought our son would love the music...and he does!

Anonymous | 6:59 AM

When my son was about 2, we purchased a VHS of Sesame Street's Silly Songs. His favorites were Jelly Man Kelly by James Taylor and Put Down the Duckie. My mom and I still talk about this as my son reaches toward 15 glorious years this October. I love love love the songs of Sesame Street! Another was a song about the number ten.. "ten tiny turtles on the telephone, talking with the grocery men" Ahhhh

Bria | 7:28 AM



"I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" makes me cry now! I always thought it was a sad song when I was a child, and now...I don't know. Something about it...

Anyway, I loved this post because 1.) my brother and I would get obsessed in exactly the way you describe, and 2.) YouTube was Westley's first "TV." "Put Down the Duckie" was one of the first things we showed him, and also "You're My Baby" and also "Mahna Mahna".

He still loves "Mahna Mahna," and tries to sing along.

Samantha | 7:36 AM

Oh God, I love Sesame Street. I used to lay upside down on the couch, my hair fanned out on the carpet and watch it for hours, beating my feet against the wall in time with the music.

And can Fable be any cuter? Seriously! I'm 22 and my biological clock is going "Dude. Do it."

melissa | 7:45 AM

When I found out I was pregnant the only thing I bought for the first 6 months were CD's including Sesame Street greatest hits. That CD was bought for this exact song and both my kids are totally obsessed with it as well. Makes me one happy clam.

Uncle David | 8:15 AM

I am so glad you found this, Bec.

Gabriele Agustini | 9:06 AM

Love your site.
Love your photographs.
Love your writing.

I'll be back!!

Sarah | 9:26 AM

Ahhh! Thanks for posting this video!!

Dana | 10:10 AM

Literally two days ago, I sat in bed laughing with my girls as we watched "Do De Duckie with Ernie" over and over and over. God, I used to love that one. Now they do too.

Unknown | 10:11 AM

i love this post. i LOVE both photos of Fable and now have Put Down the Duckie stuck in my head (not complaining, mind you, love it!).

Deanna | 10:20 AM

Yes, but did y'all have the "Sesame Street Fever" album like I did?


Claudia | 10:42 AM

Oh my GOSH! I remember this so vividly!!!

Jessica | 10:43 AM

I love this song! Makes me feel all nostalgic. My 13 month old loved it.

My sister and I used to rewind Disney's version of Robin Hood over and over. Apparently we found certain parts fall-off-the-couch hilarious.

Amanda | 11:16 AM

We just bought a cd set of all the old Sesame songs. Like really old...I believe Gordon has an afro on the cover.

Jack likes the Hoots the Owl and Forrest Wimbledon duet. I think it's called "Listen and Bounce It Back". Hoots is a badass.

Katie | 11:21 AM

I remember this, and loved it, too.

Oh, and my dogs both just went a little bit crazy-train with the squeaking on the clip. Poor things, they thought Ernie had something fun for them to play with!

Katie | 11:23 AM

@This -- OMG, I am now listening to Jellyman Kelly on repeat. That was my obsession when I was about 4.

Unknown | 11:29 AM

Fantastic. LOVE that first picture, and wonderful blast-from-the-past song!

Anonymous | 12:35 PM

I still have days where the ding along song sung by Bert and Ernie is endlessly stuck in my head. Dinga linga ling wong, dingy dingy dong, that's how you sing a ding along song. ARGH! There it is stuck in my head again.

Elle Vee | 12:43 PM

Thanks for that! I'm always on the prowl for good youtube videos for my 10 month old to watch while he's snuggled up on my tummy. He loves Party in My Tummy from Yo Gabba Gabba, the Adam Sandler song with Elmo and the alphabet with Elmo and India Arie. Oh, and Tito Puente's Sesame Street number where he convinced Oscar to dance!

Brittany Nelson | 1:25 PM

I love "Put Down the Duckie"! My father was a professional athlete and he is in the video - coolest picture ever was dad with Big Bird.

Lauren Knight | 6:08 PM

Awesome. Clearly, awesome.

avb | 9:01 PM

I remember this! It was one of my faves, too! I watched them tape a Sesame song a few weeks ago about super foods. It was awesome. Those puppeteers and writers create their little hearts out over there. They are amazing people.

mosey (kim) | 9:38 PM

Loved it as a kid, and watched it three gazillion times with my daughter when she was two and three years old. Now it's back in my head AGAIN!

jessica | 3:42 PM

my first daughter had all the sesame street videos. i was just thinking about whether or not to get rid of them since they are just sitting in the garage but now i want to watch them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Debra E | 7:49 AM

That top photo? Best photo ever. Really.