It’s finally happened…

It took all my self-control not to holler “UKELELE!!” while browsing San Francisco’s Aloha Warehouse a few days ago. Afterward, I went to a bakery.

It’s official, folks. I have now become Cookie Monster.

On the Ides of March…

…my thoughts turn to one of the greatest Sesame Street sketches ever, the second installment of Monsterpiece Theater (written by Tony Geiss). From 1979, here is Alistair Cookie’s presentation of “Me Claudius”:

 

(Yes, all you historians out there: I am aware that the I, Claudius  TV series is set long after Julius Caesar’s death. Next, you’ll be chastising me for the monsters’ grammar. By all means, relax and enjoy some Muppets!)

Song In My Head #55: Sesame Street’s “Fuzzy and Blue (and Orange)”

I’d always assumed this Sesame Street tune, with its vaudevillian charm, was yet another classic penned by Joe Raposo. As it turns out, “Fuzzy and Blue (and Orange)” is the result of a 1981 collaboration between Stephen Lawrence and David Axelrod. While the song itself is quite catchy, my favorite part involves the little spoken interlude near the end. I’m still waiting to hear Grover’s precisely enunciated “Hit it, boys!” as a sample sometime:

Viewers of Mexico’s Plaza Sesamo often find Muppet Pancho Contreras belting out “Peludo y Azul,” the song’s Spanish-language version. Lola shines in the Frazzle role, further cementing her spot on this list

 

Song In My Head #53: “I Can’t Stop Dancing” by Archie Bell and the Drells

Some of you may remember my post about the (now-canceled) show The Muppets, featuring my strong feelings about Muppet problems. I realize now that I should have directed the show writers to this 1968 classic! Sure, there are many things to love about “I Can’t Stop Dancing”: the groove, the chiming melody, the clattering-yet-uncluttered percussion that nods to the Houston band’s smash hit “Tighten Up.” (What do you mean, you don’t know “Tighten Up”? You need it in your life! Go find it and listen now. I’ll wait right here.) What melts my heart every time, though, is the song’s premise. The song’s hero loyally eats lunch at the same place each day, but the music played there is so rockin’ that he can never finish his food, because he simply must dance. That predicament should have inspired an epic Muppet Show production number, or at least a shy heart-to-heart with a sympathetic Grover on Sesame Street. How does this dilemma get resolved? Wonder no longer:

In honor of National Cookie Day…

…I had to bring you Cookie Monster’s funkiest Sesame Street moment! “Cookie Disco,” co-written by  Christopher Cerf and Sam Pottle, first aired in 1977. The album version has graced countless mix tapes made by yours truly. (I played it several times when I was a college-radio DJ, usually following up with a Stooges number. Iggy Pop and Cookie Monster share a strange kinship in my head. I still have hopes that Cookie and Iggy will appear in a show segment together someday. It’s the least Sesame Street producers could do for me, now that they’ve chopped the show down to a half-hour.) Frank Oz’s rumbly vocal gives this “Theme From Shaft” homage real heft, but the backup singers deserve their props in the song and video alike. I confess that I still prefer the album version’s ending, where Cookie bellows “ME EAT THIS RECORD!” (How can we hear him say “Delicious!” afterward if he’s eaten the album? That used to confuse me when I was little.) Nevertheless, Cookie’s outfit and headdress go a long way to compensate in the video.

A friendly memo regarding THE MUPPETS

To the staff writers of The Muppets:

After watching the first three episodes, I feel qualified to give a few helpful reminders. Since you’ve all forgotten, here are some examples of the real problems that Muppets face each day.

The siren call of the Vendaface machine:

Trying to perform with Alan Arkin while he suffers the effects of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew’s Mr. Hyde potion:

Too many Beakers (though I’d argue there are never enough):

The scourge of cluckitis!

Earning your Frog Scout punk merit badge!

And of course, dodging sharpened bananas:

I’m sure you see my point. Think about it.

Very truly yours, Elizabeth