It seems like such a long time ago. Those days when our only concern was sitting in front of the television and getting a daily dose of informal education by way of watching Big Bird and company frolic around on Sesame Street might as well be decades behind us now. Of course, we say “might as well be” because they are, in fact, decades behind us now. So you’ll forgive us if a quick trip back down Memory Lane revealed some interesting tidbits about the legendary show that have slipped our mind over the years.
Here are ten things we forgot about Sesame Street…
A Vampire Lived Amongst Them
Decades from now, teams of psychologists may look back on “Sesame Street” and trace the warm and fuzzy vampires of the early 2000s (Edward Cullen in Twilight, several “True Blood” cast members) back to the warm and fuzzy Count von Count. But make no mistake: for all the fun of the thunder claps and his counting everything in sight, this was an undead blood-sucker freely roaming the streets. They even gave him fangs.
And He Was a Bit of a Player
It was never clear which girlfriend The Count preferred, but he definitely had at least two:
The Countess von Backwards…
…and The Countess Dahling von Dahling
He also seems to be a bit of a snob, only messing around with quasi-royalty.
People on Sesame Street Used to Not Be Able to See Snuffleupagus
Up until 1985, only Big Bird could see Snuffleupagus, and the rest of the people in the neighborhood would give him the, “sure, sure, you’re friends with a giant…something,” whenever they’d juuust miss him in various scenes. But, according to the book Sesame Street Unpaved, by David Borgenicht, producers decided to make everyone else see Snuffleupagus out of concerns that kids would be afraid to tell their parents things—like if they were being creeped on by molesters—thinking that parents wouldn’t believe the kids the same way nobody believed Big Bird when he repeatedly tried to convince everyone Snuffleupagus existed.
Muppets are an easy group to hunt and kill
They’re also apparently tasty and delicious and mistaken for fish, when properly prepared. It’s not exactly “Sesame Street” canon, but in the early 90s, MTV’s “The State” produced a brilliant sketch where a suburban couple would bait Muppets into coming to the window, then kill and eat them.
Supergrover’s Secret Identity Was Not Grover
It was Grover Kent, ace doorknob salesman for Acme Incorporated.
The Amazing Mumford Had Legitimate Magical Powers
His tricks never worked the way he intended, but something supernatural always managed to happen when he uttered his catchphrase, “A la Peanut Butter Sandwiches!” He once made a lady dissipate, reappear and then turn into a monster. He levitated Grover. He made pineapples disappear. He hinted that he learned all of this “in the Orient.” A typical trick for The Amazing Mumford was growing Thumbelina to normal size and shrinking Kermit the Frog, while his intent was really trying to shrink the Big Bad Wolf.
Prairie Dawn Doesn’t Have a Nose
Pretty much very other major “human” Muppet—Bert, Ernie, Mumford, The Count, random dudes in the background—had a nose. But Prairie Dawn, seven-year old pageant coordinator, did not.
There Was a Lot of Hero Worship On the Show
Oscar had his Grouchketeers, Big Bird had his Birdketeers, Snuffleupagus had his Snuffleketeers (likely based on his time as a Grouchketeer), and Telly even started the Bobketeers (followers of Bob). It seemed so normal as a kid, but should one neighborhood have this many organizations based on people who live there?
Guy Smiley Wasn’t the Only Game Show Host
Guy Smiley is arguably the best game-show host on Sesame Street:
But he isn’t the only one. Sonny Friendly would occasionally pop in and host some shows from time to time, including the awesomely titled “The Crying Game.” His greatest moment, however, may have been on the ambush game show, “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” with Gina:
There Was Once a Character Who Would Repeatedly Bang His Head on a Piano
Don Music, who couldn’t finish the simplest of songs, like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” would slam his head against the piano in frustration when he couldn’t figure out the last word. He was probably one of Sesame Street’s most awesome characters, but also a health hazard for little kids who followed his lead.
Big Bird is Two Degrees From Kevin Bacon
Although, really, it’s Caroll Spinney, who has played Big Bird since the character was introduced. In 1985, Spinney played Big Bird in Follow That Bird, which also featured John Candy. And Candy was in 1991’s JFK with Kevin Bacon. And just like that, the world gets a little smaller.