Jimmy Fallon and Roots rapper Black Thought hopped on a school bus with the Sesame Street gang on Thursday night’s (Dec. 19) Tonight Show to celebrate the beloved children’s series’ 50th anniversary with a joyous rap tune about friendship and spelling.
After Jimmy wondered how you actually get to Sesame Street, Elmo led him onto the bus packed with Big Bird, the Count, Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch, Grover and some other furry friends.
“To get to Sesame Street you don’t need a GPS,” Black Thought rapped. “You can watch on HBO or check it out on PBS/ I can tell you how to get there with some help from my friends/ Then you’ll never have to ask yourself that question again,” with Fallon adding, “Before we go much further I just wanted to say/ That this rap was brought to you by the letters T and J.”
As the big, rounded letters bounced along the bottom of the screen in classic Sesame fashion, there were shout-outs to B&E’s rubber ducky and the count’s counting skills. “We’re on the right path and we keep gettin’ close,” Black Thought rapped, as Grover reminded him, “but you can get there quicker with the help of Super Grover.” “It’s a pretty long journey so you might need to rest/ You can take a power nap up in Big Bird’s nest,” the Roots leader noted as the giant flightless wonder shouted out “Slumber Party!”
Later, Elmo cued up Black Thought’s breakdown of Sesame Street friends, in which he sped through a list including Bert and Ernie, Zoe, Elmo, Rosita, Gordon, Susan, Bob, Linda, Luis and Maria, not to mention Betty Lou, Little Jerry, Julia, Gabi and many more. “Now I get it, what you’re trying to say/ It’s not about directions, but the friends along the way/ Happy 50th Sesame Street, stay gold!” Fallon sang. The ride ended with a rousing chorus of the show’s theme song.
The children’s show that jumped from its long-time home on PBS to HBO in 2016 is in the midst of its golden anniversary celebration.
Watch the Sesame rap below.