Credit: Jesse Grant/PBS

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… Super Grover and Superman!

Season 44 of Sesame Street kicks off on PBS today, and as has become custom, some familiar faces will appear on the beloved kids show throughout the season. On the premiere, which airs at 10 a.m. ET/PT, Elmo, Cookie Monster, et al. will be visited by Charlize Theron and Dave Matthews. Then in Tuesday’s episode, things will get heroic on Sesame Street when Superman himself, Man of Steel star Henry Cavill, swoops in.

The British actor filmed his segment during Sesame Street‘s annual Celeb Week, when the show’s New York-based cast and crew pack up their puppets and fly to Los Angeles for a few days of taping celebrity guest appearances. Celebs like Usher and Ginnifer Goodwin step on set on the hour, every hour for back-to-back tapings of segments for the show’s upcoming season.

Cavill appears in a “Word on the Street” segment with Elmo, the Three Little Pigs, and the Big Bad Wolf to teach kids about the word “respect.” But of course the newest Superman couldn’t leave set without taking time to meet another Muppet — or, rather, the alter ego of another Muppet — who knows a thing or two about wearing capes and saving the day. Before leaving set to get back to his busy Man of Steel promotion schedule (his Sesame Street visit was a mere week ahead of the blockbuster’s release), he took time for a photo opp with Super Grover.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Cavill was quite laugh-prone while taping with the Sesame Street Muppets, who had him cracking up when they launched into gags with a prop cake between takes. But Cavill had his chance to get the Muppets and puppeteers giggling too: At one point during shooting, a light high up on set blew out. Leslie Carrara-Rudolph — who was taking a break from puppeteering Abby Cadabby to operate one of the pigs — said, “We have Superman right here. He’ll just fly up and fix it!” And Cavill gamely played along, miming soaring upward with a lightbulb, looking just the part for the Man of Steel, chin up and dignified.

After completing his final take, Cavill turned to the puppeteers sitting around him and took a moment for some sweet gentlemanly praise: “Can I just say, you guys are incredible,” he said. “It’s really remarkable to watch you guys work. I have enormous respect for what you guys do.”

Cavill’s segment airs in the episode titled “Don’t Get Pushy” this Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. ET/PT on PBS. Other celebs scheduled to appear on Sesame Street this season include The Big Bang Theory actor Kunal Nayyar, Gilmore Girls alum Lauren Graham, The Butler actor Forest Whitaker, and Angels baseball player Albert Pujols.

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