Media

One More Reason to Hate on Sesame Street

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This Sesame Street number with Katy Perry and Elmo was first released online, prompting parents to complain about teh cleavage therein. The producers of one of the most beloved (and truly awful!) kids' shows of all time to cancel its planned TV run.

The children's program pulled a taped segment featuring the "California Gurls" singer and Elmo after it was aired on YouTube. Scores of concerned parents expressed concern at the pop star's risque outfit, which was a tight bustier, as she sang a version of her song "Hot & Cold."

Sesame Street said in a statement Thursday that in light of the "feedback we've received," they won't include it on the show. While the show said it would still be available on YouTube, it had been removed by the official Sesame Street YouTube channel.

More here. This strikes me as perfectly consistent with the demographic of the fussy, hyper-anxious parents who make their kids watch Sesame Street (based on my personal experience and those of my own kids, I refuse to believe that any child would willingly do so). It's the Castor Oil of the small screen. Yes, I know it's a contentious argument, but Sesame Street was the bleeding-edge (if hand puppets bleed, and I hope they do) of the turn to ultra-didactic kids' programming that so befouled the Johnson-Nixon years, a.k.a. The Saturday Morning Massacre. If there's a case for eminent domain for in TV, please let Sesame Street be the first block bulldozed!

Equal time: Jesse Walker is an admirer of Sesame Street. Me? Obviously, not so much. (Blame Barry Goldwater, who stepped in to secure public funding at a key moment in the show's development.)

Update!: Elmo attempts to do damage control with this YouTube-hyped interview, which is the Interwebs equivalent of Christine O'Donnell appearing on Hannity!

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NEXT: Reason Morning Links: Guess What Elmo Is Thinking About Today

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  1. Don’t you know boobies are the source of all evil? Never mind the literal water of life that springs forth from them to sustain and nurture infants.

    1. Boobies are the gateway drug.

      1. Pink lipstick = Whore

    2. Brilliant move, Sesame Street. No, seriously, no sarcasmo. This youtube clip will get more hits than everything else you do this year combined. Not my normal type, but that is one sweet ass looking lady.

  2. Don’t be a hater.

  3. Sesame Street is fine.

    1. It was fine. Then they added Elmo, and it’s been all downhill ever since.

  4. Oh noes! The bouncy bouncy boobies! Little Marcus will defintely turn out gay now.

    WTF? You see more action in Nuva Ring commercials. When will people stop giving a shit what a bunch of Wiches of Eastwick Veronica Cartwright stand-ins whose diamond-incubating anuses pucker every time the mere whiff of sex comes on the telly?

    I’m more offended by Sesame Street’s taste in music.

    1. It was already determined that he would turn gay after he watched Tinky Winky on Teletubbies.

    2. Actually, the way our culture is today, the fear will be that he won’t turn out gay.

    3. I hate me some Islam, but their rules sure make a lot of sense. Elmer take my keys, I’m not driving no more.

  5. What about all those slinky outfits Miss Piggy wore on The Muppets, all in a vain attempt to seduce Kermit? Where were all these jerks then? Oh, right, they were watching…

    1. I once watched Deborah Harry singing “Call Me” on The Muppets, and I thought that was pretty provocative. Of course, back in the day, Deborah Harry could read the phone book while wearing a burka and it would be provocative.)

      1. The Muppets were a totally different animal. Totally.

        1. I used to watch every show, regardless of whether or not the kids were in the room.

          1. That would be because The Muppets was a pretty damn good variety show on its own merits.

  6. It has a kinky sort of Pee Wee’s Playhouse vibe.

  7. I love how the first instinct of the woman is to wear a cocktail dress on Sesame Street. This generation really is dumber than others.

    1. I think she’s supposed to look like a princess. Hence the veil.

      And yes, that’s hot.

      1. While I don’t disagree, the knowedge that the freakishly skanky Russell Brand has been there takes the shine off a few notches.

        1. I don’t understand why so many girls think Brand is hot. HE HAS A MUSTACHE THAT GROWS INTO HIS NOSE, PEOPLE.

          THAT’S GROSS.

        2. She’s just rebelling against her parents. I have a feeling that she’s really quite naive.

          1. A local “Generic Christian Denomination” Church recently hosted her parents (Akron, OH, for whatever reason). The talk was titled “Help! Our Daughter is a Rock Star!” or something. Weird shit.

    2. Woodrow, you fucking nincompoop.

  8. My kid won’t watch Sesame Street. He likes Arthur and Curious George.

    I laugh when he’s watching Curious George, because the average episode involves George being a huge dick and wrecking somebody else’s stuff for fun, and between the little 15 minute cartoons my PBS station has a disclaimer about how the kids watching shouldn’t try to do the dangerous/mean/destructive/etc. things that George does.

    Seeing some TOTALLY COVERED breasts has to be less harmful to kids than seeing Curious George destroy someone’s garden, or steal all the newspapers on his street, or whatever.

    1. That is why Curious George has been wildly popular with kids since it was written in the early 1940s. What kid doesn’t want to go around and be a huge dick and mess up adults’ stuff and get away with it? Hell, I am not a kid anymore and it is still a pretty alluring fantasy.

      And yeah Katy Perry seems to have an almost perfect chest, natural, not flat, but still small enough they can be perky.

      1. THESE ARE SMALL? THE URKOBOLD LIKES YOUR STANDARDS, JOHN. HAVE A COOKIE. MADE WITH MOTHER’S MILK.

        1. Did she pull off the cleavage-underboob move there? Good girl.

        2. They caught her at just the right angle and she is wearing some serous tape there to get them up to look that big. She is a natural D or a large C, which is big but not so big they are no longer perky. As I said, perfect.

          1. You’ve banged girls with perky Ds, dude? Where did you find them?

            1. I had a g/f for a while back in the early 00s who was over 30 and had Ds that were very perky. I called her body the land that time forgot. It was like she was still 18 from the neck down. It was astounding. Sadly, although she was nice, she had all the personality of a deck chair. But God they were amazing and natural.

              1. Sometimes I think John just makes stuff up.

                1. It is true honest. And how she dumped me is even better. I went to Vegas with her and her lame ass friends. So I wanted to go out and party and go to shows. And none of her friends wanted to do any of that. They just wanted to wander around casinos and not even gamble. They were all cheap and wouldn’t spend money, not even to gamble. So I got bored and started playing blackjack. And I got on the greatest hot streak of my life. I ended up winning over a thousand dollars. And also pretty much ignoring her and her friends for a good portion of the trip.

                  She dumped me the following Monday. But what the hell. It was fun while it lasted. And you really can’t date a chick if you can’t stand her friends.

                  1. They just wanted to wander around casinos and not even gamble.

                    WTF??

                    John, if you are ever in the Chicagoland area, I will buy you a drink.

                    I wish to hear more of your stories and possibly subscribe to your newsletter.

              2. Is this you, John?

                “It’s not your fault that he can’t satisfy his own wife!”

          2. John has spent a significant amount of time examining Katy Perry’s breasts, I would say.

            NTTAWT.

            1. Actually, I didn’t look too long. I don’t have to. That is a product of a lifetime of examining women’s breasts. And also dating a couple of girls in law school who were on the beauty queen circuit and learning the secrets of taping.

              1. But I recall you were wrong about whatsername – the Miss California who got dumped because of her views on gay marriage or whatever. You insisted she didn’t have breast implants and it was tape that made them look so large. But later it was revealed that she did have implants, and the Miss California pageant paid for them.

  9. Your kids don’t like Sesame Street? How do they feel about climbing trees and fun?

    I do, however despise that useless, squeaky latecomer Elmo.

    1. What do you expect? We’re talking about a guy who semi-permanently wears a black leather jacket and sports a Justin-Bieber’s-creepy-uncle haircut.

      Hipsters do not age well.

    2. Have you seen Sesame Street lately?

      I’ve got a 22 month old and I have become reacquainted with it after a 30 year absence.

      Elmo isn’t nearly as bad as the muppet fairy (Abby). And now they are doing away with the muppets. Abby now has a 15 minute long CGI segment.

      Uggh.

  10. I honestly have no idea who Katy Perry is.

  11. Electric company for life!

    1. No, sorry, perhaps you haven’t seen the newer material. Loathsome.

    2. How ’bout Zoom?

      “I’m gonna zooma-zooma-zooma zoom!”

    3. Reading Rainbow!

    4. 3-2-1 Contact!

    5. Anyone besides me remember “Vegetable Soup”?

      1. I remember ice cream soup. Upgrade with stuff you put on a sundae and in the words of Penny Arcade “it tastes like watching two girls kiss.”

    6. W00t! I got the original Elec Co. on DVD’s when my kids were little and I loved it.

      Watching a young hip Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader was awesome.

      And growing up near Fargo made me a devotee of Fargo North Decoder.

  12. The thing is, kids see young women dressed like that everywhere and would not even notice what she was wearing.

    I like the idea of sesame street and willingly watched it age 1-3, but totally preffered Eureka’s Castle. I had a decent grasp of what sounds letters make, addition and subtraction, and rudimentary reading skills heading into kindergarten.

    Sesame street probably isn’t responsible for all of that (parents read to me, were active and engaged). I know that as a kid my eyes would probably have been fixed on elmo and would not have noticed what’s on Katy Perry’s chest except that it’s green, my favorite color!

    1. Eureka’s Castle was pretty awesome. I remember when Pizza Hut had a promotion where they were giving Eureka’s Castle hand puppets away with kids’ meals or whatever. I managed to get three or four of them.

  13. When I was little, no one had to force me to watch Sesame Street. It had nothing to do with content, but with seeing puppets.

    You must be raising very cynical children, Nick.

    1. And that surprises you?

    2. They’re cynical, but they’re so cute in their little leather jackets.

      1. Damn funny there. No sarcasm.

  14. Sesame Street can bite it. My children never watched it and the Tickle Me Elmos they were given for Christmas, despite my explicit ban on Sesame Street toys, went straight into the attic.

    They learned their letters, numbers, colors, and beginner reading and math from us, not from TV.

    On the other hand, I’d put the over/under on how many times we watched Lilo & Stitch at 500. They only recently stopped quoting the dialog. I probably spent five years hearing “Yeah, he took the red one” every time one of them saw a red car.

    1. 500 times! You’re a monster!

  15. I listened to a few seconds of the song. Is that shit what you kids these days listen to? Horrible.

    1. “Blood and Thunder” would have been more appropriate for Hit & Run.

    2. WARTY, YOU FOOL, KNOW YOU NOTHING OF MUTING TECHNOLOGY?

      1. Urkobold, you don’t fool me. Her CD hasn’t left the Urkomobile’s changer in months, has it?

        1. THAT IS A TYPICALLY INSANE AND FALSE COMMENT BY YOU, FOOLISH ONE. A MORE ACCURATE STATEMENT WOULD’VE BEEN THAT THE URKOBOLD HAS THE GPS COORDINATES FOR WARTY’S TAINT ON HIS SPEED-DETAINTER.

  16. Sesame Street Moms,

    Sam has a message for you.

  17. “The producers of one of the most beloved (and truly awful!) kids’ shows of all time to cancel its planned TV run.”

    Is it just me or does this sentence read funny?

    1. I’m sure Nick to fix that.

      1. Nick to need copy editor often.

    2. The Jacket is supposed edit for him, but decided to get an early start on the weekend.

  18. That cartoon where they counted upto 12as it followed around a pinball. “One Two Three Four Five, Six Seven Eight Nine Ten. Eleven, Tweleve.” I could probably attribute my love of trippy cartoons to watching Sesame Street.

    1. Asking someone to count to 12 like on Sesame Street is a great way to distinguish foreign spies (and Reptilians) from Americans.

      1. came for this. a lot of their cartoons were cool. and i fantasized about plying that pinball machine.

    2. They still play that cartoon.

      One cool thing about becoming a parent is reliving your childhood.

  19. This is the free market at work and a perfect example of why we don’t need someone to regulate what’s on TV: parents WILL actually police it themselves. So don’t be a whiny bitch about it.

    1. But what about the Parents who thought her outfit was no big deal? Can they be trusted to raise their kids?

      1. “…it would still be available on YouTube…”

      2. Some kids’ mommies wear less than that to work, others have moms who are strippers instead of Hooters waitresses. I’m pretty sure WJ Clinton will make the rounds, feel some pain, and lobby on their behalf.

        1. Re: Brett L,

          Some kids’ mommies wear less than that to work

          If they happen to be swimming instructors, then yes.

          […]others have moms who are strippers instead of Hooters waitresses.

          In this fucked-up world, this is an either/or choice for them…

    2. Exactly what I was thinking.

      Business* offers product. Some customers complain about product. Business determines that complaints are worth heeding. Business modifies product accordingly.

      What’s wrong with that?

      *For the sake of simplicity, I’ll ignore the rent-seeking inherent in Public TV.

      1. Just because you didn’t coerce anyone does not make you immune from criticism.

  20. You have kids? Now your “Hey, I’m still cool” act is even sadder.

    1. You should be ashamed for using a name that refers to Anchorman. Fuck off, Ferrell-fellating fuckstain.

      1. Dorothy Mantooth is a saint! A SAINT!

      2. My actual name, thanks. Haven’t been around here in a while, have y’all settled on a date for the revolution yet or is it still just impotent rage?

    2. I was thinking Randolph Mantooth from Emergency 51.

      1. Me too. Only I know him from the soaps.

  21. I kissed a muppet and I liked it.

    1. So, what’s small, green, and smells like Pork?

      Kermit’s finger.

      1. Oh dear. I remember this joke from middle school, early 80s. Good memory, you.

        1. I was born in ’88, but the joke seems to have stuck around.

  22. She looks like a blow up doll in the video still.

    Fuck Sesame Street. I always thought it was the square-ass version of the Muppets.

    The best kids show out there right now is Phineas and Ferb.

    1. Yes, yes it is.

    2. Hail, hail Doofania!

    3. Phineas and Ferb? Avatar?

      Sheeit, if I didn’t have two teenage kids, I wouldn’t even have the slightest clue what those are.

      How freaking young are you people?

      1. This many.

        The fact you mentioned Emergency 51 is like stamping “Old Fuck!” on your forehead. At least for the other people old enough to know what it was.

        Now get off my lawn.

      2. Yep, Phinneas and Pherb and Avatar rule in my household. Along with Clone Wars for the boy. I actually don’t mind watching those with them.

        Then, the boy will want to watch all of the drek on Cartoon Network. I fucking hate Chowder.

    4. Aren’t those two old Muppets in the balcony libertarians? They complain about and criticize everything the others do.

      1. Statler: Hey I heard this Obama guy is all about “Hope” and “Change.”
        Waldorf: He should be about “Hope” and “Leave.” BWAHAHA

  23. Why are parents complaining about Katy Perry’s outfit when Elmo is buck naked?

  24. “If there’s a case for eminent domain for in TV, please let Sesame Street be the first block bulldozed!”

    Winner of the Quote of the Day!

    1. What more fitting final episode could their be for Sesame Street than the entire neighborhood being condemned and the property being given to a Kelo-type private development? After all, how many people does Oscar employ?

  25. It’s the Castor Oil of the small screen.

    You certainly do not remember Villa Alegre . . .

    1. I do – and you’re right.

  26. Today on Elmo’s World, we’re going to look at boobies! You know, boobies!

    Let’s ask Mr. Noodle what he does with boobies!!! Mr. Noodle??? Oh no….!!!

  27. I still like some of the old Sesame Street skits, like the funky guitar player making shapes with the square instructor. One that was a bit more odd was a version of “One of these things is not like the others.” The split screen showed four kids, three of whom were dancing, and one standing still. The latter obviously didn’t belong. Coincidentally, he was black, and the three dancing kids were white…

    1. Imagine if Sesame Street had been on in the Jim Crow era. They could have done a “one of these things is not like the other” where they’ve got three white guys and a black guy all at the same lunch counter…

  28. Anyone here see the classic Pee-Wee’s Playhouse episode where Miss Yvonne rode a horse to orgasm, saying, at the end, “Thank you, big boy!” I don’t remember hearing of any complaints.

    http://farm2.static.flickr.com…..8279a9.jpg

  29. This message is brought to you by the numbers 6 and 9.

  30. As long as you make a clear distinction between Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, I won’t have to put a jihad on you.

    The Muppet Show (paricularly the first couple seasons) is gold.

    1. Floppy disks!

    2. Not that the girl is better, mind you, but the presentation is flawless.

      1. I used to travel to Moscow in the 90’s after the fall of the Soviet Union. In the summer months, there would be drop-dead gorgeous Russian babes walking around in see-through tops. I was fortunate to not be killed from stepping into traffic while distracted.

        1. There are drop-dead gorgeous women all over Moscow and most of Eastern Europe for that matter.

  31. The Children’s Television Workshop (CTW), which produces “Sesame Street”, has been getting corporate welfare for 40 years. The government subsidizes the production of the show and its broadcast. And when the CTW makes millions of dollars from the licensing of Emmo and other “Sesame Street” characters, the CTW gets to keep the profits.
    “Sesame Street” is nothing more than a government subsidized info-commercial for the CTW.
    Has anyone watched children’s programming in Latin America? Katy Perry would be view as being overdressed.

    1. And that rant was sponsored by which letter?

      1. Hey, hey, he was just getting to the interesting part, the part about Sabado Gigante.

    2. Re: MarkD,

      Has anyone watched children’s programming in Latin America? Katy Perry would be view as being overdressed.

      She would be seen as being too skinny. We like our women curvy, dark and luscious.

      1. We like our women curvy, dark and luscious.

        Mexicans: doing the women Americans won’t do.

    3. Anyone remember the utterly insane Brazilian children’s show XuXa? In which the leggy blonde hostess for whom the show was named exposed her flesh, did booty dances, and had a slew of barely legal back-up dancers in similarly revealing costumes doing the same? I found some clips on YouTube but no good examples of what I mean. In any case, these parents afraid of Katy Perry’s breasts would surely have freaked over Xuxa.

  32. When I watched Sesame Street I was at an age between having titties thrown in my face for food, and wanting to see the ones on the girl next door. By the time you start digging chicks, you’re not watching that show anymore. The kids they think it would influence probably don’t understand the complaint.

    Perhaps someone is afraid it will make parents think it’s ok to dress their daughter like a prostitot.

  33. We must Save the Children? from…breasts?

  34. I would think the concerned parents’ complaint would be that it’s wrong to expose our children to a talentless skank and attention whore.

  35. based on my personal experience and those of my own kids, I refuse to believe that any child would willingly do so

    Hey, Gillespie, while I agree with your point about the overreaction to the Katy Perry skit, I’d also like to say in response to your crack above, fuck you and the horse you rode in on!

  36. “Clockwise!”
    “Counter-clockwise!”
    “On top of!”
    “Beneath!”

  37. Scores of concerned parents expressed concern at the pop star’s risque outfit, which was a tight bustier, as she sang a version of her song “Hot & Cold.”

    It is a wedding dress. If you can manage to watch the video long enough you will discover the “tight bustier” has a hem well below the waist.

  38. When I was a kid I absolutely despised Sesame Street but watched The Great Space Coaster religiously. I have no idea what that says about me.

    1. I never watched kid shows at all when I was a tyke. Strictly news (Vietnam!) and horror flix.

  39. I catch quite a bit of Sesame Street with my two-year-old, so why not throw some cleavage dad’s way? One rerun has Sara Jessica Parker in a tight sweater teaching Elmo the concept of “pair.”

    And Sesame Street is great — The kid loves it, and it’s occasionally mildly funny. Nick, if you wanna see insufferable toddler programming, check out the smarmy, nicey-nice bilge pumped out by Nick Jr. or Sprout.

    1. She was also waiting for ‘Mr. Big.’ Turned out to be the yellow stork who should be smothered to death inside that suit instead of the big penis guy.

    2. B.P., from one dad to another, I encourage you to watch Yo Gabba Gabba with your little one.

      You have a better than 50/50 chance of seeing a hottie in the ‘Dancy Dance’ segment.

  40. Why are there so many taxis? And no other cars?

    Is SS sponsored by the transportation authority?

  41. I don’t think Eminent Domain is necessary to bulldoze Sesame Street. Wasn’t it already “the projects”?

  42. I’ve always found it funny that no one ever seems to have a problem with all of the inherent violence in childrens cartoons, not to mention popular tv shows and movies that people will let their kids watch or rent. But show an inch of skin and those same people go into a frenzy. I think it has more to do with their own sexual repression then anything else.

    1. Gag. Like that hasn’t been said a million times over.

      Violence in cartoons isn’t real, it is simulation.

      Sex even when it is simulation, is real.

      1. “Sex even when it is simulation, is real.”

        And natural

      2. Slightly exposed cleavage is not sex, nor even an imitation thereof.

        And of course, sex is simulated without being real in soft-porn all the time.

    2. +10

      As others have noted above, kids who are of the age to watch Sesame Street are not going to even notice a small amount of cleavage. You could have a fully naked woman dancing with the muppets and they’d probably think it was funny, but there wouldn’t be any sexual component to their perception, it would just be funny because they don’t see that in real life.

      As usual, the problem is Concerned Citizens Being Concerned, not any harm done to the children.

  43. my son loves Elmo stuff but never shows much interest in the show itself, which is fine by me. Still would be the mercifully brief Barney phase he made us endure……now he mostly watches Little Einsteins and Thomas the Tank Engine. In other words, we’re screwed no matter what until he gets old enough to want to watch my beloved Loony Tunes DVD collection.

    And to think, for a while there I thought I had him hooked on The Muppet Show…..so close.

    1. I learned so much from the old Bugs Bunny cartoons. I think that’s where I got my sense of humor for a few years as well.

  44. prompting parents to complain about teh cleavage therein

    as a parent, i’m complaining that the cleavage isn’t ample enough, or at least exposed …

  45. My all time favorite Sesame Stree musical skit is “Rebel L”.

  46. I like the original Thomas the tank engine stories. In one of the first episodes Henry, a locomotive, disobeys Sir Topham Hat and as a result is bricked up alive ala Edgar Allen Poe in a tunnel and abandoned.

    http://ttte.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sad_Story_of_Henry

  47. She’s got skinny legs, so what’s the big deal?

  48. I’m not sure what Nick’s “One more reason to hate Sesame Street is. Is it because they are censoring their content to keep from being harassed? hmmmmm….

  49. Shit, I wish there more tits on Sesame Street. Something for the kids, something for the parents that have sit through it, you know.

  50. Just watched this with a 9 year old boy. He did not notice the outfit or the bouncing.

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