14 Highly Uncomfortable Facts About ‘Sesame Street’

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14 Highly Uncomfortable Facts About ‘Sesame Street’

Sesame Street has been a haven of comfort for countless children and adults for generations. But it’s not without its scandals and villains. Here are a few facts that’ll make you look at Big Bird with a suspicious glare…

Mississippi Cops Crashed a Live Performance in Riot Gear

In 1969, the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television (five random chodes appointed by a racist governor) voted to take Sesame Street off the air, because the country was “not yet ready” for a “highly integrated cast of children.” The cast responded by traveling to Jackson to do a live performance, and that’s when the cops showed up to practice that deescalation training.

Big Bird Is an Absolute Freak in Brazil

In 2021, Big Bird took to Twitter to address rumors that he was a different guy in different countries. He explained that he simply has cousins, like Pino, his periwinkle Dutch cousin, and Minik Kuş, his weird orange Turkish cousin. Then there’s Garibaldo from Brazil, who even Big Bird admits is objectively horrifying: “He may look scary, but he’s one of the nicest birds I know!”

Oscar Is Orange Under That Puke Green Coat

Oscar was a vibrant orange for the entire first season, which certainly paints his rage as more sinister than sad. When they changed him in Season Two, they explained that he got that color because he took a dip in “Swamp Mushy Muddy.”

Elmo’s Puppeteer Was a Monster (Allegedly)

Puppeteer Kevin Jeffrey Clash was the hand behind Elmo for almost 30 years, but quit in 2012 amid allegations from three accusers that he had maintained sexual relationships with them as teens. 

Kermit Acted Like a Horny Fool on Craig Kilborn’s Show

Kilborn held up a picture of Kylie Minogue, who had recently had Kermit sing a duet with her on a British variety show. Kermit responded by visibly shuddering and saying, “I think I just wet your leather here.” Grow up.

Did Kermit Grab Sarah Silverman’s Ass?

That same show, Kilborn had Kermit and Silverman play some weird game. At one point, Silverman said, “Ow! He pinched my ass!” Kermit first defends his honor — “It wasn’t me! I can’t even reach her!” — but then made sure to stipulate, “I would have, though.”

Kermit Redeemed Himself by Dunking on Ellen

As is her wont, Ellen plastered images of Miss Piggy on the big screen behind Kermit, while the two lovers were on a break. Kermit expertly wriggled out of this contrived gotcha moment, saying, “Maybe some of your audience has dated a pig? You’d be surprised how many women can relate to that.” This got a huge applause from the studio audience, which you know really chapped Ellen’s ass, as former guests have reported “we were not allowed to be funnier or smarter than Ellen.”

Miss Piggy Has Never Appeared on ‘Sesame Street’

What the hell is up with that?

But Bill Cosby Sure Has

Cosby made 12 appearances on Sesame Street in the early 1970s, and the Muppets returned the favor several times over. Numerous Muppets popped up in an episode of The Cosby Show called “Cliff’s Nightmare,” and Elmo made a solo appearance on Cosby in 1999. How deep does this rabbit hole go?

They Buddied Up to Jared the Subway Guy, Too

A bunch of Muppets appear in an old Subway ad, getting starstruck over the future convicted sex tourist. Miss Piggy even tells Kermit, “Oh, he's so dreamy. He reminds moi of you!” In what way, Miss Piggy?

Alec Baldwin Appeared a Few Months Before His Infamous Voicemail Surfaced

Baldwin made a cute cameo in 2007, just a few months before it came out how he really feels about children — namely, a voicemail of him brutally berating his 11-year-old daughter surfaced and went viral.

The Show Owes Its Life to Michael Jackson

After Sesame Street dropped a banger called “Hey Food,” the company that owned The Beatles’ catalog was gearing up to sue the show into oblivion. Michael Jackson stepped in, purchased the publishing rights to most of the Beatles’ discography and dropped the suit.

Snuffy’s Parents Got Divorced

An unaired segment from 1992 shows Snuffleupagus’ dad dropping him off at his mother’s house, with Snuffy tearfully asking “When do we see you again?” and then arguing with his mom. Pretty gut-wrenching stuff.

Snuffleupagus’ Mom Calls Him ‘Snuffy.’ That’s Not Okay

“Snuffleupagus” is their last name. His full name is Aloyisius Snuffleupagus, his sister is Alice Snuffleupagus. But it gets weirder: His mom’s name is Mommy, his dad’s name is Daddy, his grandmother’s name is Granny. What exactly is going on here? How is it that three generations were named after their relation to a big mopey toddler from the future?

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