As work began on Sesame Street, it was clear that miles of footage would be needed to fill 130 episodes of the one-hour daily show. Producer-director-writer Jon Stone once remarked that in those first seasons, “…the ink was still wet…” on the scripts when they were taken into the studio as they scrambled to have enough material ready to shoot. Along with his Muppet inserts, Jim signed on to create short films to teach numbers, letters, and other concepts. The first batch of ten were all in the same style. They began with Jim’s hand-drawn animations accompanied by children singing to a melody by Joe Raposo. Examples of the given number were revealed, ranging from body parts and shapes to toys and animals, and each film ended with the dramatic entrance of a baker, played by Alex Stevens, carrying the appropriate number of cakes, pies, or ice cream sundaes. In Jim’s voice, he announced what he was carrying and immediately tumbled down the stairs.
While these films aired on the early seasons, they were eventually deemed to be too violent and dropped from the rotation. Among viewers from those first years, there is still great nostalgia for that clumsy baker and the videos are popular online. See him in action on Classic Sesame Street. Note that Brian Henson appears in this film, too!