Jeff Moss

Jeff Moss

Jeff Moss Miss Piggy Kermit the Frog

Jeffrey Arnold "Jeff" Moss[1] (June 19th, 1942 - SEPTEMBER 24th, 1998) was a head writer & composer-lyricist on SESAME STREET. Some of his best-known songs from the show include "RUBBER DUCKIE", "I LOVE TRASH", "The People in Your Neighborhood", "I DONT Want to Live on the Moon" & "NASTY DAN". In addition to songwriting, Moss helped to create COOKIE MONSTER, OSCAR THE GROUCH, & GUY SMILEY.

Moss won 15 Emmys for his work & wrote the songs for 4 Grammy Award-winning records. When released as a single in 1970, RUBBER DUCKIE sold more than a million copies. Moss' songs were known internationally as well; Claude François' recording of "NASTY DAN" went to number 1 on the pop chart in France.

MOSS also composed the songs & score for The Muppets Take Manhattan, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for BEST Music, Original Song Score. The OSCAR went to Prince for "Purple Rain".

Moss wrote over a dozen best-selling books under the SESAME STREET label, including The SESAME STREET Book of Poetry. Several of his songs have been illustrated & published as well. He also wrote 3 collections of childrens poetry & several short stories.

But then, most UNfortunately, JEFF MOSS passed away of colon cancer SEPTEMBER 24th, 1998. 1 of his last writing credits was the script for the Elmos World segment "Music".

Early yearsEdit


Jeffrey Arnold Moss was born in New York. His father, Arnold Moss, was a Shakespearen actor, college drama teacher, and creator of crossword puzzles for the New York Times, and his mother, Stella Reynolds, had given up acting to become a soap opera writer. Moss displayed an appreciation for music and literacy at a young age. His parents kept recordings of classical music and Broadway show tunes around their house. He loved reading, & remembered discovering crossword puzzles for the first time while on a road trip. On his love for words: "I have always loved them & I still love them. When Im sitting around, I play with them in my head, the way other people think about - I dont know - cars. I think a certain amount of that is just born into you. I think I would love words no matter what I did for a living - if I were a factory worker, or a doctor, or whatever."[2]

Moss studied at the prestigious Browning High School, where he was #1 in his class. He then transitioned to Princeton University, where he joined the Triangle Club, a student-run musical comedy group that toured major theaters across the country. Moss wrote the book & lyrics, & appeared in two of the Triangle Club revues.

After graduating from Princeton, Moss was offered two jobs at CBS as a writer for its news department or as production assistant on Captain Kangaroo. Moss ultimately chose the latter, the reason of which he explained in hindsight, "Ive seen the news". Moss' stint on Kangaroo was cut short when he was called to serve in the army. While on a bus ride to a training session, he met future Sesame Street colleague Christopher Cerf. Moss returned to Kangaroo six months later as a staff writer, scripting sketches and songs until 1968. Among his contributions to the show is the song "When Ping Pong Balls Are Falling".



Later YearsEdit

Composer creditsEdit


The Muppets Take ManhattanEdit

See also: The Muppets Take Manhattan soundtrack

Other ProductionsEdit


Jeff Moss Hayden Planetarium plaque

Hayden Planetarium plaque.


SESAME STREET episodesEdit

SESAME STREET episodes written by MOSS include:[3]


Sesame Street team

OSCAR THE GROUCH & BIG BIRD with (clockwise from top) Dulcy Singer, Lisa Simon, Norman Stiles, JEFF MOSS & Jon Stone.


MOSS is credited as a writer on all albums, unless noted otherwise.

  • Other Poetry Collections
    • The Butterfly Jar
    • The Other Side of the Door
    • Bone Poems
  • Other Short Stories
    • Bob & Jack: A Boy & His Yak
    • Hieronymus White
    • Dad of the Dad of the Dad of Your Dad





RAIN Falls

A VERY UNhappy Birthday (To You)

Honk, Bang, Whistle & Crash

Knock Three Times

Wonderful ME



  1. JEFF MOSS on IMDb
  2. Something About the AuthorVolume 73
  3. episode scripts via a trusted source

See alsoEdit

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