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Jimmy Fallon, Elmo

Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

The Tonight Show got seriously cute Thursday night.

Host Jimmy Fallon invited Sesame Street characters to help him play a prank on unsuspecting families taking pictures at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. Speaking to Elmo, Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby, the father of two, 41, whispered, "OK, guys. Be quiet. We're doing a photobomb. You know what a photobomb is, right? Well, a photobomb is when someone takes a picture and then we jump in the background and surprise them, and then they don't know that we're there until they see it on their phone. Do you understand what we're doing?"

Fallon and his friends took turns popping up in the background. A group of characters snapped selfies while Fallon and Elmo did a "double hoagie." Fallon decided to up the ante and corralled Count von Count, Ernie, Abby Cadabby and Cookie Monster into making his dream a reality. "We just did the double hoagie," he told them. "Let's do the quintuple hoagie." He suggested doing a "double hoagie" with Cookie Monster, who offered up a better idea: "Double cookie."

It was a good idea in theory, but not in practice.

Cookie Monster devoured the chocolate chip cookie. He chewed the sweet treat so loudly that he blew his cover and exposed his presence to a young boy and young girl posing for a picture. The jig was up, but no matter: all of the kids were excited to see the Sesame Street characters.

One little girl's reaction to seeing Big Bird was too cute for words.

After showing the cute clip to the audience in Studio 6-B, Fallon said, "That is the cutest thing ever. Our thanks to our pals at Sesame Street and to all the kids and parents who showed up."

Jimmy Fallon, Sesame Street

Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

Last summer, Sesame Street announced that its next five seasons will air on HBO, after running for more than four decades on PBS. Its 46th season premieres Saturday, with two new 30-minute episodes airing back-to-back. The show has also been condensed to a half-hour format. Stars Tracee Ellis Ross, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams will each make cameos this season.

(E! and NBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)