Yip Yips

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For the electronic band, see Yip-Yip.

The Yip Yips (also known as the Martians or aliens) are characters on the popular American children's television show Sesame Street. They are interplanetary visitors, from the planet Mars[1](in the first skit, as soon as they descend, their first words to each other are "...Not Mars." "Nope."). They marvel at devices such as clocks, telephones and computers. When frightened, each covers its face with the lower part of its jaw while making a distinctive "goom" noise.

In their skits, these creatures, with squid-like tentacles, large eyes, and antennae, materialize into a room and say, "Yip-yip-yip-yip... Uh-huh. Uh-huh", in monotone voices. They come across common objects and, curious as to their names and functions, the Yip Yips consult a book they call "Earth book" which presumably contains information about things on Earth. For example, in their first skit the Yip Yips try communicating with a telephone by common greetings such as "Hello", "Greetings", and "Hi there!" unsuccessfully. After each failure they say "nope nope nope". Next they address the phone as a cow, a cat, and then a chicken, only finally learning what it really is when it rings. They "ring" back at it with their voices, clearly pleased to have identified and established communication with it.

They are "Yip Yipped" by multiple muppeteers including Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Martin P. Robinson, and Kevin Clash. The puppets have a very simple design, controlled entirely by two rods (one for the body and eyes, the other for the front of the mouth). This allows their entire bodies to be seen on camera, appearing to float in the air.

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".



Around the time of Sesame Street 's 35th anniversary, licensors finally started to notice and recall the characters. In mid-to-late 2003, Hot Topic led the way with the first-known official Yip Yip merchandising, a "vintage"-look T-shirt with two Martians.[2] This was followed in the fall of 2004 with Gund bean-bag toys.[3] Light switch plates, action figures (by Palisades Toys), and stuffed toys followed. The 2006 Sesame Street calendar features the Yip Yips for November, and they make an appearance on the front cover.

The only real acknowledgement of the characters previous to 2003 was their mention in the 30th anniversary book Sesame Street Unpaved.


  1. ^ "The Yip Yips (Martians)". Sesame Street. 
  2. ^ [1] Ernie And Bert Meet The Martians

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