This show was brought to you by the letters J and M, and by the number 5.

No, it really was. Oddly enough, I just watched this episode -- it was on at 4AM on some random cable station. Watching this episode as an adult I appreciated how well the writers handled it and how many subtle things I never picked up on when I saw it as a child.

For instance, in the same show, parallel to the Mr. Hooper story line was a story about Mr. And Mrs. William's new baby, perhaps suggesting the continuity and cyclic nature of human life.

At one point in the show, Big Bird insists on walking around with his head between his legs -- and when asked why he was doing this he could only say it was "Just Because." Later on the grownups have to tell Big Bird about Mr. Hooper -- and he has all of these questions that children must have when somebody dies, "Is he really gone?, When will he be back? Do you mean forever?" When Big Bird wants to know why, they tell him, "Just Because". He understands this -- but more important is that the children at home could understand this, could begin to understand what it means for a thing to be inevitable, for a thing to be forever.

If you watched carefully, you could see that at the end the grownups crying just a bit, and you could see that none of them were acting.