Sesame Street Trivia: 22 Surprising Facts From The Neighborhood

We all know them, especially the main characters. They’re fun, they’re weird, they keep kids company. But just how much do you know about this loveable cast? Believe us, there are some surprising Sesame Street facts that even hardcore fans of the series might not be aware of.

1. Bert and Ernie are not a thing

Bert and Ernie

The question of whether Bert and Ernie are more than just roommates has been a source of speculation for years. Despite rumors and fan theories, Sesame Street’s creators, particularly Frank Oz, maintain that the characters are just best friends and not romantically involved.

2. Cookie Monster’s real name

cookie monster

Believe it or not, the cookie-loving blue monster has a real name that was first hinted in a 2004 song and confirmed in an interview in 2017.

3. Count von Count’s obsession with numbers

Sesame Street Secrets:

The Count’s love for counting is no secret, but did you know why is he so obsessed with it? Apparently vampires have arithmomania, an OCD condition that makes them count their actions or the objects surrounding them.

4. Oscar the Grouch used to be a different color

Oscar the Grouch

The original drawings for Oscar portrayed him as a magenta freak but apparently due to TV limitations they had to switch it out. When Oscar first appeared on Sesame Street in 1969, he was orange. The trash can-dwelling, perpetually grouchy character we know and love today emerged in the second season. He’s surely one of those loveable but weird cartoon characters out there.

5. Sesame Street’s original mission

Sesame street

When Sesame Street premiered in 1969, its main goal was to help underprivileged preschoolers prepare for school. The show focused on providing educational content to children in low-income areas and featured a diverse cast from the start. As the show progressed, they went onto targeting a wider audience and focusing on teaching kids to be kinder and stronger as well.

6. From TV to the real world

sesame street street sign 1

In 2019, the year the show had its 50th anniversary, the city of NY decided to rename the intersection of West 63rd and Broadway as Sesame Street.

7. Cookie Monster’s British relative

Sesame Street Secrets: biscuit monster

The furry cookie lover character has a British cousin with a very British name: Biscuit Monster.

8. Mr. Snuffleupagus’s big reveal

Mr. Snuffleupagus

For years, only Big Bird could see Mr. Snuffleupagus, leading adults on Sesame Street to believe that Big Bird’s giant friend was an imaginary creature. However, in 1985, producers decided to reveal Snuffy to the grown-ups to help children understand that they could talk to adults, that they would be believed.

9. Sesame Street’s international influence

All Sesame Street cast

Sesame Street has had a significant global impact. Versions of the show have been produced in more than 150 countries, reaching millions of children worldwide with educational content tailored to target the viewers in that area.

10. The origin of Telly Monster’s name

Telly Monster

Telly Monster was originally introduced as the Television Monster, reflecting his initial obsession with watching TV. Eventually, his name was shortened to Telly, to make it more fun, but his love for television remains a defining trait.

11. Snuffy’s original design

Mr. Snuffleupagus

Mr. Snuffleupagus underwent a design evolution, in his early appearances having shorter snout and shaggier fur along with crazy eyes. The changes were made to make him more child-friendly and approachable. And thank heavens for that.

12. Avenue Q Connection

Puppeteer John Tartaglia

Puppeteer John Tartaglia, who performed as various characters on Sesame Street, went on to co-create the adult-themed puppet musical “Avenue Q.” The show shares some puppetry techniques and humor with Sesame Street but it was definitely not kid-friendly. Unfortunately, the show is now officially closed.

13. Rosita, the first bilingual muppet

Sesame Street Secrets: Rosita

Introduced in 1991, Rosita is the first bilingual Muppet on Sesame Street, teaching children English and Spanish. Her character has since become a beloved member of the cast.

14. Kami, the HIV-positive muppet

Kami

South Africa’s stake on Sesame Street features Kami, a muppet that was infected with HIV at birth after a shady blood transfusion.

15. Henson’s Original Kermit Voice

Jim Henson

Before his passing in 1990, Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets, was the original performer and voice behind Kermit the Frog. Since then, puppeteer Steve Whitmire took over the role.

16. Sesame Street’s impact

Sesame Street gang

A study found that children who regularly watched Sesame Street in their preschool years had better academic outcomes, including improved grades and a higher likelihood of staying at the appropriate grade level.

17. Loved by Emmy Awards

Emmy Award

The show has so far managed to get 210 Daytime Emmy Awards (including Creative and Children’s) and 12, an insane number for a kids’ show.

18. Nigerian Cookie Monster

Nigerian Cookie Monster

This guy has a different go-to snack, yams. And he really, really, really likes them.

19. Don Music copycats

Don Music

The frustrated composer who would often bang his head on the piano keys whenever he had trouble getting a tune caused several incidents. Apparently some of the kids would copy his moves an bang their heads whenever he did so.

20. HBO Partnership

HBO building

In 2015 Sesame Street struck a deal with HBO, allowing the premium cable network to air new episodes before they aired on PBS, meaning months in advance. This marked a significant change in how the iconic show reached its audience.

21. Mr. Snuffleupagus has a first name

Mr. Snuffleupagus

The loveable snuffy has a very old-person first name: Aloysius.

22. Cookie Monster, the only muppet with five fingers

cookie monster

While the rest of the cast has four fingers, the cookie chomper has five fingers.

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