After a number of visits to New York City I’ve failed to spot any of the real or pseudo-celebrities the city is known for but that all changed one blisteringly hot afternoon recently in the East Village.

I was in the neighborhood to join a walking cocktail history tour but being a little early took a spot on a shady Tompkins Square park bench to try and escape the oppressive 105 Fahrenheit or 41 Celsius heat when I noticed what looked like a film, movie or video shoot underway nearby. The actors in the ensemble cast included Cookie Monster, Grover and Count von Count, often known simply as “the Count”, but sadly wasn’t able to get too close to the celebrities as the small army of production crew members kept us amateur paparazzi at a safe distance as the shoot continued.

In speaking with some of the neighborhood parents who like me and their children watched on with juvenile fascination it seems other Sesame Street luminaries such as Ernie & Bert and Big Bird were also involved in the four-day shoot which wasn’t for the TV show itself but rather a Chrysler commercial and that made sense given the full-size van being used in the production. I thought how hot I was and felt for the crew and puppeteers working for days in the heat wave.

photo by author

photo by author

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Sesame street scene

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I enjoyed seeing the four part commercial series finished product after having seen a fraction of the work that went into its production.