I was talking with Emma and my brother on the weekend (we were in Brisbane visiting my family) about the way in which Cookie Monster is a wildly inappropriate role-model for young people. After all, he is a binge-eater and he smokes (he always has a pipe at the start of Monsterpiece Theatre). Despite that, I love him. Cookie Monster comes from a time when Sesame Street wasn’t some gentrified neighbourhood ruled by a politburo of indie-pop-loving, designer-cardigan-wearing, liberal elites. The downhill slide started with Elmo – that little red ferret took over the block and changed everything…
Now, as soon as Cookie tries to do his thing, Hootchie the Owl appears and sings Cookies are a Sometimes Food.
Admittedly, it’s a kind of cool song, but OH! THE SHAME! It’s like watching a caged bear forced to do tricks. At least at the end of the song Cookie scores one back by announcing “But now is SOMETIME!” and eating the cookie anyway. Nice one, Blue Man.
Anyway, I was feeling bitter about Elmo so I did a bit of research and discovered that Cookie Monster has always been an ambassador for responsible nutrition. His 1987 hit, Healthy Food conveys a far more positive message with a much funkier tune. Why did Elmo have to send his Owlish minion to mess with my Monster?
Because he is pure evil wrapped in faux cuteness, that’s why…
P.S. I’m currently in love with Monsterpiece Theatre – check out Chariots of Fur. It’s a timeless morality tale that speaks right into the heart of modern life. And it’s got all my favourite Blue Monsters.
And while you’re there – what about the flannel-wearing grunge of Fur Jam, Don’t waste the Water (the fish will remind you).
And a new favourite of mine: Norah Jones singing, Don’t know Y (basically, the saddest song about a letter of the alphabet that’s ever been written, “Don’t know why, Y didn’t come”. Don’t worry though, because he was just a bit late…)
I think I could spend all day on sesamestreet.org