Difference Between Muppets and Sesame Street

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: October 15, 2023


Difference Between Muppets and Sesame Street

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When social media and the internet were not yet a thing, television was the sole source of entertainment. There were produced and broadcasted shows for different age groups and genres. People were incredibly interested in and satisfied with the TV shows that were broadcast. We will always have a particular place in our hearts for those series and personalities. They both made us laugh and cry. Sesame Street is one such wildly popular children's program. For decades, the Muppets and Sesame Street have been fixtures of children's TV.

It is a television program for young children that uses puppet characters made by Jim Henson, human actors, and animations to educate youngsters in an entertaining way. People who have not watched the TV show or do not have small children are unlikely to understand the distinction between puppets employed in numerous kid movies and shows and those utilized in Sesame Street. This article provides an overview of the program and explains why the puppets used in it are referred to as Muppets.

Muppets vs. Sesame Street

The Muppets and Sesame Street debuted on television but in very different ways. The Muppets were meant to entertain, whereas Sesame Street was created to educate. The Muppets featured the same characters in various roles. The Muppets were the show's stars, whereas Sesame Street used a cast of human and puppet characters to enhance the educational material. The Muppets' approach was more whimsical and funny, with gags and physical comedy, whereas Sesame Street's style was more serious and instructive, with laughs frequently embedded within the educational lectures. The Muppet Show used more bright colors and heavier music, but Sesame Street used a more simplistic design and a cheerful, easy-listening song called “Can You Explain to Me How To Go To Sesame Street”.

Difference Between Muppets and Sesame Street in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison


Sesame Street


Television and film entertainment

Educational program


Include more sophisticated humor, celebrity cameos, and satire

Teaches children about letters, numbers, and social skills through music, dance, and sketches


Puppet characters

Puppets, Humans, and Animated characters


children and adults



Humor, Celebrity cameos, and satirePromoting positive values and Social awareness

What is Muppets?

The muppets are a variety-sketch comedy troupe from the United States known for its absurdist, burlesque, and self-referential approach.

Jim Henson invented them in 1955, and they are the focus of a media empire that spans television, cinema, music, and other media based on the characters. The Jim Henson Company held the franchise for nearly five decades before it was purchased by the Walt Disney Corporation in 2004. Sam and Friends, which broadcast on WRC-TV from 1955 to 1961, was the inspiration for the Muppets. Following appearances on late-night talk shows and in commercials in the 1960s, the Muppets began appearing on the PBS children's television program Sesame Street (1969-present) during their formative years and achieved celebrity status and international recognition through The Muppet Show (1976-1981), their flagship sketch comedy television series that received four Primetime Emmy Award wins and 21 nominations during its five-year run. 


Jim Henson, a puppeteer, invented the Muppets in the 1950s. They first appeared in the short-form television series Sam and Friends, as well as in sketches on talk shows and commercials. Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett asked Jim Henson in 1966 to construct a cast of Muppet characters for a children's educational television program.

In exchange for preserving rights of ownership to the Muppet characters created for the show, Henson waived his performance fee. Henson began development on a network television series centered on the Muppets for a more mature audience. Even though two pilots aired on ABC, Lew Grade agreed to co-produce this series for Associated Television. The Muppet Show's popularity stemmed from its sketch-variety structure, vaudeville-style humor, and guest stars. It received 21 Primetime Emmy nominations and four wins, including Best Variety Series in 1978. In 2004, Disney paid Henson $75 million for the intellectual property rights to the Muppets. This includes the majority of the Muppet film and television repertoire, as well as the television series Bear in the Big Blue Home. To oversee the characters and franchise, Disney established The Muppets Studio. Henson held the rights to numerous Disney-owned Muppet projects, including Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas and The Christmas Toy.

Through performances on Disney Channel, A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa, and vignettes for YouTube and Disney.com, Disney gradually reintroduced the Muppets to the masses. The Muppets appeared in The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora in 2010 and promoted their volunteerism program at the company's amusement parks. Muppets Live Another Day, a restricted series set in the 1980s, was announced by Disney. Disney suspended development in September 2019 due to an executive shift. Muppets Now, a second series, was published in July 2020. Muppets Haunted Mansion will be available in October 2021. In March 2022, a third series, The Muppets Mayhem, was ordered.


Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Rowlf the Dog, Scooter, Rizzo the Rat, Pepe the King Prawn, Dr Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Statler and Waldorf, the Swedish Chef, Sam Eagle, Camilla the Chicken, Walter, and the Electric Mayhem are among the main characters of The Muppet Show and subsequent media. The characters are well known for their appearances on Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock, but they also appear on The Jimmy Dean Show, The Jim Henson Hour, Muppets Tonight, Bear in the Big Blue House, Statler and Waldorf: The Movie, and Statler and Waldorf: The Musical. 

The Muppets and From the Balcony. The Muppets and Sesame Street characters, as well as Muppet likenesses of real individuals, appear as guests on Saturday Night Live on occasion. Puppets manufactured by The Jim Henson Company are no longer referred to as Muppets following Disney's acquisition of the Muppets. Jim Henson's Creature Shop puppets.

Designs and Performance

Hand puppets made to resemble humans, anthropomorphic figures, realistic animals, living inanimate things, robots, extraterrestrial or legendary creatures, or other sorts of abstract characters are known as the Muppets. They are shown to be autonomous of the puppeteer, referred to as a "Muppet performer," who is normally hidden behind a set or outside of the camera's view. Most performances involve the performer holding the character above or in front of their head, with one hand controlling the head and lips and the other handling the hands and arms. The Jim Henson crew and other performers have created different ways to manage the Muppets as technology has improved. According to Michael Davis, the characters evolve "organically" and are "test-driven" to identify the optimum human-Muppet combination.

The Muppets are full-bodied puppets that are often manipulated by invisible cords. Puppet Heap has been contracted by Disney to develop and maintain updated models since 2006. As technology improved, the Jim Henson team and other performers devised a variety of methods for operating The Muppets for cinema and television, which include suspended rigs, inner motors, far-off manipulators, and computer-superior and superimposed pictures. Michael Davis said that the characters tend to evolve "organically," implying that it can take up to a year for the actors to create their personas and voices.

What is Sesame Street?

Sesame Street is an American educational children's television series that combines live-action, sketch comedy, animation, and puppetry. It is produced via way of means of Sesame Workshop (referred to as the Children's Television Workshop till June 2000) and created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett. It is thought for its pix communicated thru using Jim Henson's Muppets and consists of brief movies with humor and cultural references. It premiered on November 10, 1969, with positive reviews, some controversy, and high viewership. Since its inception, it has aired on PBS, the United States national public television provider, with its first run transferring to premium channel HBO on January 16, 2016, and subsequently to its sibling streaming service HBO Max in 2020. Sesame Street is one of the world's longest-walking programs. Sesame Street became the fifteenth most-watched kid's tv display inside the United States at the time. According to a 1996 survey, 95% of all American preschoolers had visible it through the age of three. It changed projected in 2018 that 86 million Americans had watched it as children. It had gained 222 Emmy Awards and eleven Grammy Awards through 2022, more than another kid's show.


Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett created Sesame Street in 1966 to help young children prepare for school. After two years of research, the Carnegie Foundation, Ford Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the United States federal government awarded the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) an $8 million grant to conceive and produce a new children's television show. On November 10, 1969, the show debuted on public television stations as the first preschool instructional television program to base its content and special effects on laboratory and formative research. The display acquired tremendous reviews, a few controversies, and precise rankings at first. The show had become an American tradition by the mid-1970s. CTW's revenue sources have expanded to include a magazine section, book royalties, product licensing, and overseas Broadcast income, and its curriculum has improved to contain extra emotive problems like relationships, ethics, and emotions.

 Sesame Street is a popular children's television show that was inspired by the writing staff, cast, and crew's personal experiences. The show experienced sociological and economic issues at the end of the 1990s, such as changes in younger kids' viewing habits, opposition from different shows, the emergence of cable television, and a discount in ratings. The show became more narrative-focused and contained recurring plots in 2002. For its 40 years on the air, the show received the Outstanding Achievement Emmy in 2009. Sesame Workshop was able to produce more episodes and create a spinoff series with the Sesame Street Muppets after HBO began airing first-run episodes of Sesame Street in late 2015. In 2019, the organization will have a good time on its fiftieth anniversary. Around 4,500 episodes, two feature-length films, 35 TV specials, 200 home DVDs, and 180 albums have been created by Sesame Street. In October 2019, it was reported that first-run episodes would be moved to HBO Max beginning with the show's 51st season in 2020.

Cast and Characters

Joan Ganz Cooney was the Children's Television Workshop's (CTW) inaugural executive director in 1968. She gathered a group of producers who had all previously worked on Captain Kangaroo. Jim Henson and the Muppets became involved with Sesame Street after meeting at a curriculum development event in Boston. The Muppet segments of the show received good marks in early studies, and more Muppets were added during the first few seasons. Instead of relying on a single host, the producers decided to employ a variety of ethnically diverse actresses, and Loretta Long was cast as Susan.

The majority of the Sesame Street solid and group have been employed through non-public connections with Stone and the alternative producers. Children preferred seeing and listening to other children's puppets and adults, according to the CTW study, so they incorporated children in numerous situations. David Connell insisted on not using any child performers; therefore, these kids were non-professionals, unscripted, and spontaneous. This gave the show a "new quality," especially in its early years. Sesame Street was number 27 on TV Guide's list of the 50 Best TV Programmes of All Time in 2002, received a Peabody Award for its website in 2009, and received the Peabody Institutional Award in 2019. The sitcom was placed 30th on TV Guide's list of the 60 greatest TV shows in 2013. Sesame Street has received 205 Emmy Awards as of 2021, more than any other television series.

Difference Between Muppets and Sesame Street in Points

  • The Muppets didn't make their television debut until 1976 with The Muppet Show. The first episode of Sesame Street, on the other hand, debuted in 1969, ten years earlier.
  • While Sesame Street was developed as a teaching resource, the Muppets were developed as entertainment.
  • The same characters appeared on Sesame Street and The Muppets but in different contexts.
  • The Muppets was a comedy program; the characters were frequently used as comic relief, and the personalities of the characters were a central theme in many of the episodes. Characters from Sesame Street were primarily used to promote learning and give instruction on subjects like math, reading, and writing because the program was intended to be educational.
  • Sesame Street and the Muppets focused on different things. While Sesame Street utilized a cast of human and puppet characters to support the educational content, The Muppets made up the star of their show.
  • Because the show features jokes and mature humor that typically address topics like politics and popular culture, we can say that adults and teenagers are the main target audience for the muppets. Whereas Sesame Street's primary audience was comprised of young children who possessed the fundamentals of reading, writing, and maths.
  • We can claim that Sesame Street and the Muppets have extremely different visual and audio components. The Muppets program has a stronger soundtrack and uses more brilliant colors, but Sesame Street has a more modest style and plays joyful, approachable tunes. "Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?"


We just looked at the differences between The Muppets and Sesame Street. Let us summarize the major ones. The Muppet Show had stronger music and brighter colors than Sesame Street. Sesame Street had a calmer song.


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"Difference Between Muppets and Sesame Street." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sun. 19 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-muppets-and-sesame-street-1327>.

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