The adults said that Mr. Hooper died instead of saying he passed away because the staff thought that their young viewers didn't know what "passed away" meant.
The whole segment where Big Bird finds out about Mr. Hooper's death was filmed in one take.
A child psychologist was sent to help the writers with the segment where they talk about Mr. Hooper's death. He told them not to say that Mr. Hooper died in a hospital because it would cause children to become scared of hospitals. Also, he said that they should air the episode during a holiday so that parents could be at home to talk to their children about death. So that is why this episode was aired during Thanksgiving.
All of the drawings that Big Bird drew of the adults were made by Caroll Spinney, the actor who plays Big Bird.
The staff were thinking about showing flashback scenes of Mr. Hooper, but they decided not to because they thought it would confuse their viewers.
The producers were planning on telling the viewers that Mr. Hooper moved away or replacing him with a different actor until they decided to tell everyone that he passed away and they created the segment where Big Bird learns about death.
The segment of Big Bird finding out that Mr. Hooper died was adapted into a children's book called, "I'll Miss You, Mr. Hooper".
When the adults are talking to Big Bird about Mr. Hooper's death, they were almost in tears because they were still grieving over Will Lee, the actor who played Mr. Hooper.
Big Bird: (looks at his picture of Mr. Hooper) I'm gonna miss you, Mr. Looper.
(the others laugh a bit)
Maria: That's Hooper, Big Bird. Hooper.
Big Bird: You're right.
Big Bird: (looks at his picture of Mr. Hooper )Well, I give it to him when he comes back.
Susan: Big Bird, Mr. Hooper's not coming back.
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This episode was dedicated to the memory of Will Lee, who played Mr. Hooper from 1969 until he passed away on December 7 1982.