THE MARTIANS ARE CO-- don't bother, they're here
October 26, 2018 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Sesame Street, the venerable, educational, entertaining children’s television program, debuted in 1969; the characters the Martians (aka the Yip Yips) made their first appearance in 1971.

Selections from a vast oeuvre, via YouTube (with secondary links):

Adventures in Telephony (alternate links)

The Good Earth (alternate)

Radio, Radio (alternate alternate links)

Water Conservation (alternate)

It’s a Family Affair (alternate links)*

B & E (alternate)

Everywhere a “Whoosh-Whoosh” (alternate) (in which intrepid reporter Kermit the Frog investigates a UFO sighting)

This Little Light (alternate) (appearing as Stevie and Jonathan Martian**; Guy Smiley as himself)

Clock Out (alternate links)

Yip-yip-yip-yip-yip. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.

*co-written by Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken.
** per Wikipedia, otherwise unsourced: The two Yip Yips seen most often are called "Bob" and "Joe". On the Dutch version, Sesamstraat, the Yip Yips are called "Sjoerd and Hendrik Marsman", referring to the early 20th-century poet Hendrik Marsman. Note that in Dutch, Marsman does literally mean "Martian".

[Sesame Street previously, particularly this post from 2008 with several expired links.]
posted by Iris Gambol (56 comments total) 77 users marked this as a favorite
 
I was terrified of the Yip Yips as a kid. When their segments came on I’d run and hide behind the couch and my parents would have to coax me back out. Time to catch up on them as an adult! Thanks for this post.
posted by skycrashesdown at 10:35 AM on October 26, 2018 [17 favorites]


Whenever one of my kids hands me a book I still yell EARTH BOOK YIP YIP YIP! in that Yip dialect.

Thanks for the post!
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:40 AM on October 26, 2018 [19 favorites]


Nope nope nope nope. The "telephone" link is actually about fans. Here's the telephone! yip yip.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:41 AM on October 26, 2018 [17 favorites]


I'll confess that this post scared me ... like a pseudo-obit post, I was afraid the punchline would be that it was being canceled. Thankfully, its about muppets.
posted by anastasiav at 10:41 AM on October 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


The telephone sketch is one of my most favorite Sesame Street bits, along with the "Grover the Waiter" sketch where he has to flamenco dance and sing "Granada" every time the guitar player starts to play.
posted by briank at 10:51 AM on October 26, 2018 [12 favorites]


Hi I am another person who was scared absolutely to death by these hell creatures.
posted by ITheCosmos at 10:58 AM on October 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


The Yip Yips were always my absolute favorite muppets. (After Kermit, who I legit had a massive crush on when I was 6. I feel like certain recent developments in fandom mean I was a trailblazer and not a weirdo little kid.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:59 AM on October 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


I was terrified of the Yip Yips as a kid. When their segments came on I’d run and hide behind the couch and my parents would have to coax me back out.

I have always loved these guys, but I would always run out of the room and hide in terror whenever the baker-falling-down-the-stairs-with-cake-to-teach-us-about-numbers segment would come on.

Poor guy.

*watches segment for the first time in decades*

Huh. There are fewer stairs than I remember.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:04 AM on October 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


Yip yips! The Martians on Muppet Wiki.
posted by readinghippo at 11:05 AM on October 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Hellllo:

Yip Yip Martians @ DragonCon
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:10 AM on October 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


Hell, I still go "phone phone phone phone" when mine rings. For some reason it's the inarticulate Muppets (i.e., these guys, Swedish Chef, Beaker, Cookie Monster, and Animal) who rank as my faves.
posted by Quindar Beep at 11:13 AM on October 26, 2018 [21 favorites]


but I would always run out of the room and hide in terror whenever the baker-falling-down-the-stairs-with-cake-to-teach-us-about-numbers segment would come on

Apparently you weren't the only one.
"While these films aired on the early seasons, they were eventually deemed to be too violent and dropped from the rotation."
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:14 AM on October 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


So, I won't be finishing those important documents at work today.
YIP YIP YIP
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 11:14 AM on October 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I was terrified of the Yip Yips as a kid. When their segments came on I’d run and hide behind the couch and my parents would have to coax me back out.

Yeah, that telephone one would freak me the hell out.
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:15 AM on October 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


brrrring PHONE. If I said just that to any member of my family of origin they would know exactly what I was talking about and go "yip yip yip uh huh uh huh".

(also...mana mana)
posted by wellred at 11:18 AM on October 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


RAY-DEE-OH RAY-DEE-OH!!

I loved these alien muppets, first as a kid, and I still love em, always will. YIP YIP YIP YIP YIP!!
posted by some loser at 11:40 AM on October 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


I loved the martians on "Sesame Street". During roughly the same time period, over on "Electric Company", there was an odd sketch featuring Morgan Freeman playing some kind of secret agent, who was apparently at home, enjoying a peanut butter sandwich and watching television on his day off. A few seconds into his program, the picture on his TV went berserk from some form of electronic distortion, and then, following a few seconds of loud synthesizer hum, a very deep voice began speaking to him directly from the set.

It was, I imagine with hindsight, supposed to be the voice of his controller at whatever spy agency he worked for. It kept addressing him as "Agent", and giving complicated instructions. But Freeman wasn't able to respond to the voice, because the peanut butter sandwich was causing his mouth to stick closed, so whenever the voice asked a question about whether he was prepared to face enormous danger or not, he could only gesture in desperate silence. The briefing continued on like for a bit, and then the hum re-occurred, and then programming resumed as normal.

Don't know why, but that whole scenario scared the shit out of me when I was five.
posted by Ipsifendus at 11:50 AM on October 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


BBBBBBRING! BBBBBBRING!
posted by soundguy99 at 11:55 AM on October 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


You have to sort of loosen your lower jaw and wiggle your head side to side to get the proper Yip Yip "BBBBBBRING" in my above comment.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:57 AM on October 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


"Yip yip yip yip yip... FACE. Perrrrrrrrson... Perrrrrrrson."

I wonder if that sketch even makes sense to kids these days.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:58 AM on October 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Since we're talking about Sesame Street childhood freak-outs, I'll give you mine: An animated orange who sings Carmen, in the dark with a spotlight. After a couple of attempts to hit a high-note, the orange makes one last forceful attempt, at which point all of her facial features fly off.

I am not making this up.
posted by Wild_Eep at 11:59 AM on October 26, 2018 [30 favorites]


But it's nothing but love for the Yip Yips. Many years ago, watching them helped my then-less-verbal son how to interact with me when I'd come home from work. We traded "Greetings." "Hi There." "Hello." for many months afterwards as our own personal in-joke.
posted by Wild_Eep at 12:06 PM on October 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


Wild_Eep, I didn't have to click the link and I saw her eyelashes before me.
posted by wellred at 12:07 PM on October 26, 2018 [10 favorites]


(also...mana mana)

I don't concretely recall Manah Manah from childhood, but I have been known to pop into co-workers' offices and just mutter "manah manah" and keep going. It's insidious.
posted by notsnot at 12:08 PM on October 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I miss these folks.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:12 PM on October 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


This is so timely because my daughter just saw her first episode with these guys and she lost her mind with how funny they are. This is going to make her whole month. Thanks!!!
posted by saladin at 12:15 PM on October 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


brrrring PHONE. If I said just that to any member of my family of origin they would know exactly what I was talking about and go "yip yip yip uh huh uh huh".

Mrs. Example and I still do this at random intervals.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:20 PM on October 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


The Bert and Ernie one always killed me as a child. I loved how Bert just rolled with it. I think I still say "Oatmeal . . . yip yip yip yip uh huh uh huh" when I see someone in my family eating it.
posted by dlugoczaj at 12:23 PM on October 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


I gripe about many, many things in life, but having been born in 1969 in order to witness Sesame Street from the beginning is not one of them.
posted by Melismata at 12:27 PM on October 26, 2018 [12 favorites]


as the Red Book link indicates, the voice in the bits with the baker who falls down was Jim Henson - that always confused me because it obviously WASN'T Henson falling, but it was clearly his voice.
posted by jkosmicki at 12:34 PM on October 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


I really wish I could hide behind my mouth when frightened.
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:39 PM on October 26, 2018 [20 favorites]


bRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRing! bRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRing!

Love those guys.
posted by praemunire at 12:41 PM on October 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


Yeah, you'd be prime material for a Fox News gig then, soren_lorensen.
posted by Quindar Beep at 12:42 PM on October 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Thank you Iris Gambol, I can't believe ive never shown my kids those guys. I will fix that, I love the martians.
posted by BeeDo at 12:45 PM on October 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


"yip yip yip yip yip" is still an acquired vocal tic of mine.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:59 PM on October 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


Awwwww yeah, love me some Yip-Yips.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 1:51 PM on October 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Hellllo wrote: "it's the inarticulate Muppets (i.e., these guys, Swedish Chef, Beaker, Cookie Monster, and Animal) who rank as my faves."
One of my all-time favorite songs, in any genre whatsoever, is "Danny Boy" sung by the duet of Swedish Chef and Animal:
Oy Danny boy, ge-hersht-na-furg-bladurn fle-kraan...
Oh Danny BOOOOY! Oh Danny boy Oh Danny boy!
Oh Danny boy... Oh, boy o boy. Oh, boy. Oh boy.
posted by watt_defalk at 1:59 PM on October 26, 2018 [10 favorites]


Iris Gambol, it's now late on a Friday afternoon, and I have to thank you for making so many of us happy with this post. Yip-yip-yip-uh-huh-uh-huh....
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:24 PM on October 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


I loooooove that first one with the telephone so much! In fact, just today I was listening to the mp3 I made of it (probably ripped the audio off of that very YouTube!), which I always keep in the iTunes on my phone. Something about how earnestly they are trying to communicate with this new being on this new planet, and how whenever it doesn't work they try something else...it's the sort of first-contact story I crave.

(Also, the puppeteering of them peering carefully into their Earth Book, and the way they take their time looking from the book to the phone and back into the book... So good!)
posted by theatro at 2:26 PM on October 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


Also, the puppeteering of them peering carefully into their Earth Book

I was just rewatching Telephone and caught that part of the scene. Okay, so when the book pops up you can definitely see the stick holding it up, right? No puppeteer can be that precise to keep their extra work out of the frame, right?

No! They wrapped the stick in pink fuzz to make it look like the Martian's hand!
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:34 PM on October 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


MonkeyToes, that was my (not-so-evil) scheme all along!

A confession: The recurring characters Teensy Iris found scary were the Twiddlebugs, in Ernie's window box. The screechy voices, the endless problems - and just how big were these bugs?
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:15 PM on October 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I “re-discovered” them about 10 years ago and remember a particularly drunk new years with a bunch of friends sitting around a laptop rewatching these over and over, in hysterics. I so desperately wanted my ringtone to be a recording of their Brrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiing! And yes, like many here, I use many of their ridiculous phrases out of nowhere. “Look book”. “Telly phone”. And a resounding “ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” with the moving mouth when I finally understand something really obvious.

[thanks for the orange. That was awful]
posted by chronic sublime at 3:20 PM on October 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


What has always cracked me up about the Yip-Yips is how the first time they hear an unfamiliar sound, they hide by yanking up their unhinged lower jaws over their faces.

Not Mars.
Nope!
Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope
ERTH!
ERTH. ERTH. ERTH.
Yip-yip-yip-yip-yip.
posted by droplet at 3:21 PM on October 26, 2018 [8 favorites]


What has always cracked me up about the Yip-Yips is how the first time they hear an unfamiliar sound, they hide by yanking up their unhinged lower jaws over their faces.

They hide behind their unhinged lower jaws, and then anxiously PEER AROUND THEM at the source of the sound! I love it!
posted by some loser at 3:39 PM on October 26, 2018 [10 favorites]


nope nope nope
posted by farlukar at 4:16 PM on October 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Two days ago I taught a well-known English professor about the Yip Yips. He'd just knocked on my office door, but he's hard of hearing. After he didn't hear my first come-on-in Yep!, I just started saying "Yep" repeatedly until he heard me. He laughed because a teacher he used to know would get kids' attention by saying "Yip yip yip yip yip yip," which he always thought was so original.

I simultaneously took his estimation of that teacher down a peg AND taught him about a pop culture thing he didn't know about, so it felt like a huge win.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:09 PM on October 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


This brought me to Kermit News (Old McDonald interview, better quality link here), which is exactly what I needed after this hard week. Now I'n planning to spend the weekend with the Muppets; best mental health retreat ever.
posted by Ender's Friend at 7:29 PM on October 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


chronic sublime: "I so desperately wanted my ringtone to be a recording of their Brrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiing! "

Probably the first thing I messed with on smart phones was ripping the audio out of this youtube and turning it into a ring tone for my wife's phone.
posted by Mitheral at 8:12 PM on October 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I freaking love these guys.

Now they learn about how humans are all different but still humans, FYI. (Jump ahead to about 2 min if you have no patience!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:39 PM on October 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


One of my all time favorite photos, of a friend of mine arriving at a Halloween party as a Yip!
posted by workerant at 8:47 PM on October 26, 2018 [10 favorites]


I love these guys, but why are they now reminding me of John Goodman?
posted by pykrete jungle at 9:40 AM on October 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


The Martians always rockin’ the sure shot.
posted by jonp72 at 10:45 AM on October 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


Is this like the Berenstain Bears? I've always heard what the Martians say as "Yep."
posted by aspersioncast at 12:30 PM on October 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Also they are by far my favorite muppets, after Statler and Waldorf.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:30 PM on October 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


aspersioncast, I always heard the word (and repeated it) as "Yep" as well.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:05 PM on October 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Also whomever/whatever is doing captions for the youtube clip thinks it is Yep.
posted by Mitheral at 7:20 AM on October 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


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