The Earth Day Special

The Earth Day Special is a television special revolving around Earth Day that aired on ABC on April 22, 1990. Sponsored by Time Warner, the two-hour special featured an ensemble cast addressing concerns about pollution, deforestation, and other environmental ills.

The Earth Day Special
Written byArmyan Bernstein
Richard Baskin
Various Writers
Directed byDwight Hemion
James Burrows
Gerry Cohen
Ted Haimes
Jim Henson
Terry Hughes
Terry Lennon
Jay Sandrich
Dick Schneider
Dave Wilson
StarringBette Midler
Danny DeVito
Rhea Perlman
Voices ofJeff Bergman
Opening theme"Somewhere," performed by Barbra Streisand
Composer(s)Patrick Williams
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Armyan Bernstein
Richard Baskin
Paul Junger Witt
Lorne Michaels
Production location(s)Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank, California, U.S.
Running time120 minutes
Production company(s)Warner Bros. Television
Original networkABC
Picture format4:3 SDTV
Audio formatMono
Original releaseApril 22, 1990

Several cutaways are made to famous fictional characters watching events unfold, and discussing what can be done to save the planet.


The episodic narrative, consisting of several individual skits threaded together, focused on an ailing Mother Earth (Bette Midler), who falls from the sky and faints, and is rushed to the hospital where she is attended to by Doogie Howser (Neil Patrick Harris[1]) and two other doctors (James Brolin and Dana Delany). This special is watched by a married couple named Vic (Danny DeVito) and Paula (Rhea Perlman), and features a host of contemporary celebrities and characters, including Bugs Bunny, the Muppets, and E.T. This special was one of Jim Henson's final performances as Kermit the Frog prior to his death later that year, as well as one of Jeff Bergman's first as Bugs Bunny following the death of Mel Blanc the year prior.


Appearing as themselves

Muppet performers



  1. A Matter of Time: The Unauthorized Back to the Future Lexicon Page 125
  2. A Matter of Time: The Unauthorized Back to the Future Lexicon Page 300
  3. YouTube clip of Wastebusters
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