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This question came out of my previous question Are Sesame Street Muppets human? and how it raised questions about the exact canon under discussion.

When I was a child, I always assumed it was obvious that Sesame Street and The Muppet Show took place in the same universe. Sesame Street Muppets such as Cookie Monster semi-frequently guest-starred on The Muppet Show, and Kermit the Frog was a main character in both shows.

Has the canonicity of Sesame Street and The Muppet Show with each other ever been officially addressed? That is, do they canonically take place in the same universe, or do they simply take place in similar universes that might or might not differ in specific details (e.g. maybe Mr. Hooper either never existed or is still alive in the Muppet Show universe)?

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    Given that there are multiple crossover characters, I think we can assume that they're in the same universe. That being said, even the various muppet films aren't canon to each other, let alone Muppet babies and whatever the latest thing is called.
    – Valorum
    Mar 20 at 21:39
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    Are they still in the same universe when Disney owns the Muppets but not Sesame Street?
    – jamesdlin
    Mar 21 at 6:15
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    It could be interpreted that within the "Muppet Canon", Sesame Street is a TV show where some of the Muppets are actors. Remember Big Bird's cameo in the Muppet Movie: youtube.com/watch?v=iD0dOLqZzYc
    – Josh
    Mar 21 at 15:54
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    Phew! Now we can finally settle the question: Is Kermit a muppet? or is he a reporter? Which is his real persona? Mar 22 at 1:55
  • @Valorum "What happened to Skeeter, Scooter? Why won't you tell us? We know you used to have a sister, what did you do?" Mar 22 at 14:42
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The Muppets does not have canon or a "universe"

The question here applies the wrong frame of thinking. These are not shows, or movies, that are interested in creating coherent, ongoing, "universes" that the action takes place in. They are sets of characters that are deployed into various different settings as the makers choose to make entertaining stories thus the characters move in time (compare "Muppets in Spaaaaace" with "Muppet's Treasure Island" for example) and can freely crossover without creating a canonical same universe.

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    As I see it, Muppet's Treasure Island, Christmas Carol, etc, are movies in which the muppets play various fictional characters, while The Muppet Movie (1979) and The Muppets (2011) are based on real events in the muppets' lives. Mar 21 at 8:56
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    @user3153372 - They're not internally consistent though. There are multiple contradictory origin stories in the films, for example.
    – Valorum
    Mar 21 at 9:28
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    Given that Luke Skywalker was a guest on the muppet show (as opposed to Mark Hamill appearing as himself like most of the guests), if there was a canon it would have to include all of the Star Wars canon too. Mar 22 at 12:22
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    @PeteKirkham: Can we use that to tie it to the broader St. Elsewhere multiverse?
    – Kevin
    Mar 22 at 17:14
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    After reading Brian Jay Jones' biography of Henson, I would say the closest thing to a "canon" is that the Muppets are actors in our world. They play in a show, in movies, etc., but all of these things are just roles for them. They are part of the real world (but with plenty of poking fun at this concept, of course). Mar 23 at 14:14
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In a word, Yes. In the film A Muppet Family Christmas (1987) the Muppets (consisting of Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, etc) go on a road trip that encompasses a trip to Sesame Street, where they meet the Sesame Street gang including Big Bird and Cookie Monster, and a side-trip where Kermit and Miss Piggie travel into Fraggle Rock and meets a variety of Fraggles including Sprocket and Doc.

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    Does that Youtube channel have permission to host that particular special? I think we should be wary about linking to copies of copyrighted materials.
    – nick012000
    Mar 22 at 1:41
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    @nick012000 - I did consider that, but it's been up for six years and has a million views. Clearly Disney aren't interested in this one
    – Valorum
    Mar 22 at 8:03
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    @Valorum: You'd be surprised. Disney once uploaded the entirety of Gargoyles to their official YouTube channel, left it up for literally years on end, and then one day they abruptly pulled it with no explanation. Presumably it had something to do with Disney+, but if so they were planning years in advance.
    – Kevin
    Mar 22 at 17:17
  • @Kevin - We shall have to wait and see. I object to people posting clearly copyrighted content, but abandonware like this is a very different matter.
    – Valorum
    Mar 22 at 17:27
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    @MichaelRichardson: I don't think so. At that point, the series was basically an abandoned relic of the Disney Afternoon.
    – Kevin
    Mar 22 at 18:11
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Sesame Street and The Muppet Show characters interact as such

There were several episodes of The Muppet Show where Sesame Street muppets came and joined the production. Let's revisit some highlights from these shows:

From the second episode of Season 1, comes Ernie & Bert in a bit with Connie Stevens (Bert sings "Some Enchanted Evening"):

Here is one from Season 3 with a backstage scene with Big Bird and Miss Piggy. In this scene Big Bird mentions that Kermit and he both "come from the same neighborhood: Sesame Street."

And here is one from Season 5, where many Sesame Street muppets join in the closing finale:


Moreover, a few of the characters from The Muppet Show appear or were represented on Sesame Street. Here are a few examples:

Of course, Kermit the Frog was frequently on Sesame Street during the first decade. Here he is in one of the many Sesame Street News sketches:

Rowlf the Dog has a cameo in "The Song of Nine" at about the 50 second mark:

Miss Piggy does not appear 'live' on Sesame Street but her portrait appears in a few episodes, such as this one:

Miss Piggy's portrait in a saloon sketch on Sesame Street

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While not directly The Muppet Show, Big Bird was a cameo in The Muppet Movie. The movie purports to be the story of how Kermit became a star and features all of The Muppet Show cast. Big Bird makes an in-joke about "going to New York City to break into public television" (Sesame Street has always been shown on PBS, which is American public television)

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