Cookie Monster Arrested by PC Police
Sesame Street’s famed Cookie Monster is giving up the sweets and promoting healthy eating. Jim Henson must be rolling in his grave.
Something must be wrong in the land of Muppets. First PBS announced that “Sesame Street” would kick off its 35th season this week with a multiyear story arc about healthy habits. No problem there; childhood obesity rates are soaring. Then I learned of changes that turned my “Sesame Street” world upside-down.
My beloved blue, furry monster – who sang “C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me” – is now advocating eating healthy. There’s even a new song – “A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food,” where Cookie Monster learns there are “anytime” foods and “sometimes” foods. “Sacrilege!” I cried. “That’s akin to Oscar the Grouch being nice and clean.” (Co-workers gave me strange looks. But I didn’t care.)
Being a journalist, I did the only thing I knew how to do. I investigated why “Sesame Street” gave Cookie Monster a health makeover. The answer would lead me into a world where television producers worked with health experts and politicians, a place where Cookie Monster does care about his health, and by association, the health of children.
[Dr. Rosemarie T. Truglio, the show’s vice president of research and education] said the show changes every year, focusing not just on teaching numbers and letters but also emotional and physical health. With the rise in childhood obesity, Truglio said “Sesame Street” is concentrating on the need to teach children about healthy foods and physical activity. This season, each episode opens with a “health tip” about nutrition, exercise, hygiene and rest.
Truglio said “Sesame Street” also will introduce new characters, such as talking eggplants and carrots, and offer parodies, such as “American Fruit Stand.” Even guest stars will address healthy activities, such as Alicia Keys talking and singing about the importance of physical activity.
Even politicians have gotten into the act, filming public service announcements with “Sesame Street” residents. In one taping, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist taught Elmo to exercise – jumping up and down. In another, Sen. Hillary Clinton and the small red monster discuss the various textures and tastes of foods.
Somehow, I just knew she was involved.
Robert Paul Reyes adds,
The “Cookie Monster” has been emasculated. The formerly fearsome monster is now a wimpy shill for healthy eating. His “C is for cookie” song has been replaced with a new song — “A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food.” God, what is the world coming to? That’s like Lil’ Kim singing, “I’m a sometimes slut.”
Quite right. Couldn’t Hillary eat an apple while Cookie Monster ate chocolate chips and children given a choice as to which would be the better role model?