Via Michael Starr for the New York Post: For A-list stars, the most coveted block in the world is “Sesame Street.” The show’s executive producer, Ben Lehmann, says that the show’s iconic nature makes it easy to land big names. “I would put [booking celebrities] into two different categories,” Lehmann said, “One is, ‘I have kids, so I want to be on a show I know kids love.’ John Legend said he always wanted to do the show because he has a 3-year-old at home. He came on the set and did a beautiful song called ‘Come Together.’
“The other, which happens more often than not, is that a lot of celebrities grew up watching ‘Sesame Street’ themselves. There may be a character, or a song, they love and they say, ‘This is the show that helped shape me as a kid and I would love to be part of it.’” Actress Lucy Liu was in the latter camp. “We had [her] on last season, and in talking to her afterward — we record celebrity memories online — she explained her relationship to ‘Sesame Street’: She … learned English by watching the show.”
Although the show “does get approached quite a bit” from celebrities wanting to appear on-camera, Lehmann says the “Sesame” team also reaches out to various stars — often, with the hope of netting someone who appeals to their older viewers. “The celebrities on ‘Sesame Street’ play a dual function,” he says. “Obviously, it’s a show for preschoolers and little kids might not know who Viola Davis is, for example — but parents do, and the parents might watch the show with their kids.”
As for the show’s wish list of celebrities?
“Everybody has their favorite — I’m an Elvis Costello fan and we had him on twice, so I’m good,” he says. “Bruce Springsteen is cited the most internally [to appear on the show] but it’s just never worked out. He says he’d love to do it, but we just haven’t caught that moment in time."
C'mon Bruce! It's time to get 'Out in the Street!'