RNR News and Notes

Too Hot For the Street: Why The Red Hot Chili Peppers Weren't Allowed to Perform on Sesame Street


Over the past 50 years - Sesame Street has aired thousands of episodes with numerous musical guests. 


Some notable appearances include, REM doing even more kid friendly version of Shiny Happy People, complete with a a Muppet-ized version of The B-52’s Kate Pierson.




I wonder if more parents enjoyed Elvis Costello and Elmo more than the toddlers 



Dave Matthews expressed his feelings to Grover - while showing off his Banjo skills ... 




But there is one band who never got the chance to play at 123 Sesame Street:  


The Red Hot Chili Peppers 


In 1994, lead singer Anthony Kiedis told Rolling Stone: 


“Did I tell you we’re going on Sesame Street? I’ve seen Dizzy Gillespie on Sesame Street, and a number of musicians have appeared in sketches. They play music, and the kids gather around, and it’s always a really cool thing. For a long time, we’ve wanted to play Sesame Street, and they weren’t too sure about it. But they finally said yes. So as soon as we finish this record, we’re gonna do a spot on Sesame Street. That could be the pinnacle of our career… I think it just took ’em a while to realize that we have an understanding with kids and that kids dig what we do.”


Unfortunately - the band was never allowed to make the appearance.  According to Carolyn Miller - a Children's Television Workshop publicist - the show deemed the band "would not be appropriate" for the show.  


In 2010 - a Sesame Street writer revealed that it was (ironically) a Rolling Stone photo that lead to the band's not being suited for the Sesame Street audience:

“I remember years ago, when the Red Hot Chili Peppers were on the cover of Rolling Stone [in the nude] and they wanted to do the show, and the executive producer at the time said no, but that’s the only thing in my memory where we said, ‘No, that’s inappropriate,’”




Besides Kiedis - drummer - and muppet enthusiast - Chad Smith was disappointed: 


"Yeah, we really wanted to be on Sesame Street, so bad, because it was such a great, great show. And you know, we have kids, we love kids...We thought it would be so fun. And they were like, ‘Um, no, you guys are a little too racy for us.  We were like, ‘No, come on! We don’t do that anymore! We’ll be good!’ But that was it. They ran it up the totem pole, and the totem pole came back down.” 


Sadly - despite the band's love for the show - and show star Elmo listing the RHCP as his favorite band - this fan-made video of Kermit the Frog and Animal singing Under the Bride is probably as close as we'll get to the collab