A Christmas Story

skit starring Mr. Harold Hooper (Will Lee), Ernie (Jim Henson), and Bert (Frank Oz)

from Merry Christmas From Sesame Street (1975)

Homage to O. Henry's classic The Gift Of The Magi


(The scene begins in Ernie and Bert's apartment as Mr. Hooper narrarates)

Mr. Hooper: Once upon a time, not very long ago, there were two very best friends.
As the time got closer to Christmas, the two friends found out that each had a very serious problem.
One friend said to himself over his breakfast oatmeal:

Ernie: Gee, I donít know what to get olí buddy Bert for Christmas.

Mr. Hooper: The other friend, who was in the bathtub, said to himself:

Bert: La la la la la. Oh golly wonkers, itís almost Christmas and I havenít gotten a thing for Ernie.

[Squeak squeak]

Ah, oh, I just sat on something in the water here. Now where is it? Ah, here it is.

[Squeak squeak]

Oh, itís Ernieís Rubber Duckie. Must have slipped into the water. Say, that gives me a nifty idea!
I know what to get Ernie for Christmas. I'll get Ernie a soap dish to put his Rubber Duckie in.
What a great Christmas gift!

Mr. Hooper: Meanwhile, back in the kitchen ...

Ernie: [Crash] Woops! Oh oh. While I was sitting here wondering what to get olí buddy Bert for Christmas,
I knocked olí buddy Bertís paperclip collection right off the kitchen table. Hey, that gives me a terrific idea.
I know what Iíll get Bert for Christmas. Iíll get him a cigar box to keep his paperclips in.
Then, when I knock it down on the floor, theyíll be safe. Thatís what Iíll get olí buddy Bert.

Mr. Hooper: Well, both friends thought all their problems were solved.
Then they found they had another problem.

Bert: Wait a minute. I donít have any money to buy Ernie a soap dish to put his Rubber Duckie in.

Mr. Hooper: And Ernie said:

Ernie: Oh oh, Iím broke. I have no money, so how can I get a cigar box for Bertís paperclip collection for Christmas?

Mr. Hooper: Well, it was a little later, in my candy store, that I got into this story.

(Scene switches to the interior of Mr. Hooper's store)

Mr. Hooper: Well, hello, Ernie. What can I do for you?

Ernie: Hi there, Mr. Hooper. Say, that sure is a fine looking cigar box there.

Mr. Hooper: Thank you, Ernie.

Ernie: Well, suppose I traded you Rubber Duckie here for the cigar box. Would you trade? Hm?

Mr. Hooper: Ernie? Your Rubber Duckie? Are you sure?

Ernie: Well, I just gotta have that cigar box, Mr. Hooper.

Mr. Hooper: Well, if it's really that important. Here's the cigar box, Ernie.

Ernie: Oh, thanks, Mr. Hooper. Here's Rubber Duckie.
Goodbye, Mr. Hooper. Goodbye, Rubber Duckie. Ulp [swallows hard].

Mr. Hooper: Goodbye, Ernie.

(voiceover) So Ernie traded his Rubber Duckie to get Bert a cigar box for Christmas, and then Ö

Bert: Ahem Ö Mr. Hooper, I am prepared to offer you the deal of a lifetime.
Now see this? This is the finest paperclip collection in the western hemisphere.
Now look ... aww, hereís my 1957 Acme Ö aww.
And hereís the one I bent in the shape of the letter W! Aww ...

Mr. Hooper: It's very impressive, Bert.

Bert: Yah Ö ahem.
I am prepared to trade you this terrific paperclip collection for just one small soap dish, colour pink.
What do you say, Mr. Hooper? Do we have a deal?

Mr. Hooper: What can I say, Bert. You talked me into it. Here's the soap dish, Bert.

Bert: Oh, thanks, Mr. Hooper. Ah, Mr. Hooper?

Mr. Hooper: Yes?

Bert: Ah, could I come by sometimes and look at my papercl .. Never mind, Mr. Hooper.

(Scene switches back to the apartment, Mr. Hooper narrarates)

Mr. Hooper: Well, soon came Christmas morning.

Ernie: Merry Christmas, Bert.

Bert: Oh, Ernie, a present for me. You shouldnít have.

Ernie: Oh, itís really nothing, Bert.

Bert: Oh, well hereís something for you too, Ernie. Merry Christmas.

Ernie: Oh, thank you, Bert. What a nice present. Hey címon, Bert, open yours up.

Bert: Oh okay, Ernie. I donít want to tear the paper. Let me just get this side.

Ernie: Just open it up there, Bert.

Bert: Okay, get this flap open. Take the tape off real nicely. Oh, Ernie, a cigar box! Thatís wonderful!

Ernie: I got it especially for your paperclip collection, Bert.

Bert: What?

Ernie: I got you the cigar box so you could keep your paperclip collection in it.
Címon, Bert, put your paperclips in it. I canít wait to see how they look.

Bert: Yeah, well, oh Ö Ernie, you havenít opened up your present yet. Címon, címon, open it up.

Ernie: Okay, Bert. Oh Bert, a new soap dish!

Bert: Yah Ö

Ernie: Thatís beautiful!

Bert: Yah, I got it for Rubber Duckie so he wonít keep falling into the tub and sinking.
Letís see how he looks in it.

Ernie: What?

Bert: Well, letís see how Rubber Duckie looks in his new soap dish. Címon.

Ernie: Ahh Ö [Knock at the door] Oh, Iíll get it.
Say, itís Mr. Hooper. Merry Christmas, Mr. Hooper.

Mr. Hooper: Merry Christmas, Ernie. Merry Christmas, Bert.

Bert: Oh, Merry Christmas, Mr. Hooper.

Mr. Hooper: I just stopped by to drop off some Christmas presents. Here, this is for you, Bert.

Bert: Ah, gee, thanks, Mr. Hooper.

Mr. Hooper: And this is for you, Ernie.

Ernie: Oh, thanks, Mr. Hooper. What did you get, Bert?

Bert: Letís see. It's my paperclip collection! Oh, thank you, Mr. Hooper.

Ernie: But, Bert, how did Mr. Hooper get your paperclip collection?

Mr. Hooper: Never mind, Ernie. Just open your present.

Bert: Yah, yah, yah. Go ahead.

Ernie: Itís Rubber Duckie! [squeak squeak]

Bert: Rubber Duckie? How did Mr. Hooper get Rubber Duckie?

Ernie: Oh, itís a long story, but oh, thank you, Mr. Hooper.

Mr. Hooper: Thatís okay, Ernie.

Bert: Say, Ernie, we didn't get anything for Mr. Hooper.

Ernie: Youíre right, Bert.

Mr. Hooper: Oh, thatís where youíre wrong, boys. I got the best Christmas present ever.

Bert: Oh, oh Ö hey whatís that, Mr. Hooper, tell us?

Mr. Hooper: I got to see everybody get exactly what they wanted for Christmas.

Bert: Aww, Merry Christmas, Mr. Hooper.

Ernie: Yah, Merry Christmas, Mr. Hooper.

Mr. Hooper: And a very Merry Christmas to both of you.

Transcribed by Wendy Nichols


originally released on the album

Merry Christmas From Sesame Street

Merry Christmas From Sesame Street (1975)
Children's Television Workshop

available on

Christmas Eve On Sesame Street

Christmas Eve On Sesame Street (DVD)
and Video