October 15, 2008
We will be posting answers to our Sesame Street quiz throughout the week. Did you miss it? Check out our video before we spoil some of the fun.
Have you watched it? Ready to test your Sesame Street-smarts? Let’s go…answers are after the jump.
Question 1: When did Cookie Monster eat a typewriter?
Answer: The 1978 holiday special Christmas Eve on Sesame Street featured a subplot wherein Cookie Monster made multiple attempts at contacting Santa Claus so that he might ask for cookies for Christmas. Cookie Monster proceeds to eat a pencil, a typewriter, a telephone and—in an off-screen feeding frenzy—Gordon and Susan’s Christmas tree. Apparently the Douglas Fir is one of the few things that gives him heartburn.
Question 2: When did someone try to make a meal out of Big Bird?
Answer: In A Muppet Family Christmas, the casts of The Muppet Show and Sesame Street collide at the home of Fozzie’s mom’s house for a big holiday dinner, prepped by none other than the Swedish Chef, who thinks Big Bird would make an ideal entrée. But when Big Bird presents the Swedish Chef with a gift of chocolate-covered birdseed, the culinary whiz has a change of heart: instead of serving poultry as the main course, he opts for Shredded Wheat and cranberry sauce.
Question 3: What is the marital status of Snuffy’s parents?
Answer: Trick question: they are still officially married. However, Sesame Street has a tradition of helping young children deal with difficult concepts—a notable example being the 1983 episode that discussed the death of Mr. Hooper. In 1992, the show’s writers tried to tackle the issue of divorce, and Snuffy’s parents were slated for separation; however, the episode did so poorly with test audiences that it was shelved and has never been aired. For more information on this episode, read “G” is for “growing”: Thirty Years of Research on Children and Sesame Street by Shalom M. Fisch and Rosemarie T. Truglio. You can preview portions of the book through Google books here.
Question 4: When did Cookie Monster have a pipe?
Answer: Hosted by Cookie Monster—donning the debonair alter ego of Alistair Cookie—”Monsterpiece Theater” has been a recurring segment on Sesame Street since 1981, a loving lampoon of the long-running PBS series Masterpiece Theater and its original host, Alistair Cooke. Cookie Monster’s original ensemble included a red smoking jacket—sometimes accentuated with an oh-so-stylish pink cravat—and the requisite pipe. Although intended as a gag, the pipe was ultimately deemed inappropriate and in the 1990s, the introductory segments to earlier “Monsterpeice Theater” episodes were re-filmed without that particular prop.
Vintage: Cookie Monster with pipe, introducing “Upstairs, Downstairs.”
Modern: Cookie Monster, sans pipe, introduces “The Kind and I.”
Question 5: What is Oscar’s original hair color?
Answer: Okay, so we threw you a bone on this one. Oscar originally had orange fur, but was changed to green circa 1970. His explanation? While vacationing at Camp Mushy Muddy, the dampness of his environs caused him to turn green.
Oscar sings “I Love Trash” circa 1969:
Question 6: One of these things is not like the other: How are our letter and number sponsors not in keeping with the traditional Sesame Street format?
Answer: Sesame Street has never been sponsored by a punctuation mark. “Umlaut” is just kinda fun to say out loud, so we threw it in. Also, the highest number to sponsor an episode of Sesame Street is the number 21, and those episodes are few and far between. Counting exercises, however, have shown children to count as high as 40.
The game show Happiness Begins at 40 hosted by Guy Smiley, a character who was retired after Jim Henson’s passing in 1990.
The exhibition, Jim Henson’s Fantastic World, continues its national tour through 2011, including stops at the Atlanta History Center from Oct. 25 through Jan. 18, 2009, the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando, Florida from Feb. 7 through May 3, and Seattle’s Experience Music Project from May 23 through Aug. 16.
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