If you haven’t watched Sesame Street for a few years, you’re probably unaware of a rather insidious change on the show: Cookie Monster has gone off cookies. Do the PC police know no bounds? Apparently not, because the fellow who once sang sweet love songs to his pastries now snacks on fruit and vegetables.
NPR producer Elizabeth Blair unfortunately did not take issue with the dietary switch in her recent interview with Cookie Monster; however, this guy sounds much more like the Cookie Monster I grew up with. Here’s a snippet from Blair asking CM questions from a version of the Proust Questionnaire:
Blair: What is your favorite word?
Cookie Monster: Cookie.
Blair: What is your least favorite word?
Cookie Monster: Out of cookies!
Blair: What sound or noise do you love?
Cookie Monster: Um yum yum yum. [Makes cookie-munching noises]
It should be noted that Blair, who calls Cookie Monster a “deeply sensuous character who speaks to our most basic appetites and desires,” does knuckle under to the healthniks by feeding CM broccoli during his interview. What’s up with the broccoli, anyway?
As part of their Healthy Habits for Life campaign, Sesame Street producers tried to rein in Cookie Monster’s obsession a few years ago. Hootsy the Owl serenaded him with a little ditty called ‘A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food.’ There were rumors that he’d be replaced by a Veggie Monster.
It wasn’t true, but angry fans inundated the Sesame Workshop with letters, and more than 3,000 people signed an online petition.
‘What’s wrong with you people?’ one of them wrote, ‘To quote the monster himself: ‘C is for Cookie, and that’s good enough for me!’
P.S. Sesame Street has also thrown over Grover for Elmo, who is similar but with a more annoying voice. And Gordon and Maria look eerily the same.