Carol Spinney, the original voice and puppeteer behind Big Bird since Sesame Street first aired back in 1969, retired recently, so everyone was talking about Big Bird’s best moments. Sure, nobody can argue the emotional impact that was “I’ll Miss You, Mr. Hooper” (if you don’t cry at this, you are not a human being), but in all honesty, even growing up and out of watching something like Sesame Street, I have to state a controversial opinion… I never really liked Big Bird, ever. Even when I loyally watched the show as a little kid, I didn’t like Big Bird.
My fondness was for the other Muppets on Sesame Street and their interactions. Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Grover, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster. In fact, many of my favorite moments from Sesame Street (and songs too!) contained these Muppets. Here are some of them, with YouTube clips.
Sesame Street was a show filled to the brim of recurring skits starring the Muppets (and this won’t be the only one in the list!), and this skit was a parody of Masterpiece Theater, a show that aired on PBS from 1971 to 2008. Cookie Monster takes on the name of Alistair Cookie, and the segment often parodied actually stories aired on Masterpiece Theater with a element of learning. Here is Grover going up and down stairs multiple times.
“Healthy food tastes so good!”
Our favorite New York inner street played host to segments that were music videos to original songs that taught specific subject matters. Strange? Not at all; the creative team back in the late 60s noticed that children had a knack for memorizing catchy ad tunes more so than things they learned in school, and that was especially double for children who ended up in public schools that suffered from low budgets and poor quality teaching. Cookie Monster has one early famous song called “C is for Cookie”, but one thing that Sesame Street did in it’s nearly fifty year run was adapt to the times when it came to music, including parodies and original tunes.
Healthy Food, a music video staring an R&B rapper looking Cookie Monster, sings along with veggie Muppets the importance of healthy food. The lasting legacy of this song even had Sesame Workshop remake it recently, though I was kind of eh about it.
Yes, I am sort of biased for Sesame Street’s blue monsters, because the educational skits they were in were always my favorite for being funny.
Grover working ordinary part time jobs at a restaurant was hilarious because of Grover being well-meaning but making things worse. As someone who has worked several retail jobs, the feeling is mutual; you try to do a good job but the customer is either out of their mind or you are out of your league. (FYI, I was split evenly 50/50 with this.)
“Here fishy fishy fishy fishy!”
Long before Bert and Ernie were rumored to be gay (and no, I don’t believe it and I don’t believe that Sesame Street writer either), they were seen as two Muppet roommates with clashing personalities that taught lessons and had humorous interactions. Ernie was the goofy and outgoing guy while Bert was stern and prone to losing his cool, yet above all else they were good friends who genuinely cared for each other. Even when Ernie is humiliating Bert like an asshole.
Case in point, their fishing trip as seen above.
THE YIP-YIP ALIENS
All I can say is…
And if I didn’t show one of your favorite moments, share them in the comments!