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"Sesame Street" Farewell Mr. Hooper (TV Episode 1983) Poster

(TV Series)

(1983)

Trivia

All of Big Bird's drawings of his adult friends were drawn by Caroll Spinney, Big Bird's performer.
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When Will Lee died, producers considered avoiding the issue of death and telling the child viewers that Mr. Hooper had moved away or possibly replacing him with another actor. After much discussion, they decided to tell the audience that Mr. Hooper had died and the writers created a segment in which Big Bird learns about death. In the scene, the cast members are in tears as they are still grieving over the loss of Will Lee. The segment was adapted into a children's book titled "I'll Miss You, Mr. Hooper".
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The staff considered using flashbacks of scenes with Mr. Hooper. But they changed their minds thinking that it would confuse young viewers. For this same reason they also decided to not use any euphemisms (ie passed away) when talking about Mr. Hooper's death.
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The producers deliberately chose a Thanksgiving air-date for this episode because most parents would be at home and able to discuss the issues addressed with their children.
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This episode is dedicated to the memory of Will Lee.
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In a poll fans of the show voted the scene in which Big Bird learns about death (after the passing of Mr. Hooper) as the most memorable and moving in the show's history.
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Caroll Spinney cried during the scene which Big Bird is told about Mr. Hooper passing away.
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