Advent Calendar House

Shalom Sesame: Chanukah

Episode Summary

The kid from Growing Pains spins bad puns like he made them out of clay. Guest: Sarah Shay.

Episode Notes

To kick off Hanukkah, we’re shining a light on a 1990 episode of “Shalom Sesame,” an on-again, off-again co-production of “Sesame Street” and its Israeli counterpart, “Rechov Sumsum,” featuring the objectively better son from “Growing Pains.”


On This Episode

  1. Mike Westfall (@fallwestmike), the world’s most famous jug of olive oil.
  2. Sarah Shay (@thesarahshay), your friendly neighborhood porcupine, writer, musician, and co-host of the Pilot House podcast.

Topics and Tangents

  1. A brief history of Shalom Sesame, provided by the ever-thorough Muppet Wiki.
  2. Israel’s Big Bird stand-in, Kippi Ben Kippod, is mistranslated as a porcupine despite clearly being a hedgehog. A similar but unclothed costume was used in Spain’s “Barrio Sésamo” for Espinete, who’s identified as a hedgehog.
  3. Jeremy Miller, as Linus, sings “The Vigil,” while waiting for the Great Pumpkin in “Snoopy: The Musical,” also featuring Cam Clarke, the voice of Leonardo, as Snoopy.
  4. Speaking of Ninja Turtles, Yoav Tzafir’s other credits include the Hebrew-dubbed voices of Michaelangelo, as well as Mario in “The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.” Later he directed the Israeli version of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
  5. The real, actual, annual Hanukkah Torch Relay.
  6. Moishe Oofnik, Israel’s counterpart to Oscar, looks less like a grouch and more like a standard Muppet monster. Probably because he has a nose.
  7. Despite Sarah’s guess that Telly Monster is Jewish, this video of Baby Bear teaching Telly how to play dreidel suggests otherwise.
  8. A supposed folktale listed on the Wikipedia entry for sufganiyah that God fed them to Adam and Eve to cheer them up after kicking them out of the Garden of Eden may or may not be full of something that’s not jelly.
  9. Sarah met the head puppeteer from “Lamb Chop’s Special Chanukah” while on tour.
  10. Apparently some kids put sugar in their latkes.
  11. The segments with Ernie, Bert, and other Muppets are bilingual, with some parts in English and others dubbed in Hebrew. It’s weird until you realize that’s how everyone in Star Wars talks to each other.
  12. A clay-animated “Here Is Your Life” segment surrounding the jug involved in the Miracle of the Oil, featuring the voices of Joan Rivers, Alan King, and Nell Carter, a Jewish convert who appeared on other episodes of “Shalom Sesame” as herself.

Previous Episodes of This Podcast Mentioned


The Advent Calendar House is on the web at adventcalendar.house, on Twitter @adventcalhouse, and part of the Christmas Podcast Network.