The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Cookie Monster
Cookie is the MAN! Cookie's got it ALL going on! Cookie is a huge terry-cloth mass of greed, gluttony, and astonishing lack of self-restraint, and this is on EDUCATIONAL TV! And Cookie Monster, in his Zen-like wisdom, provided my generation with perhaps the only clear moral message we'll ever know, a beacon for our scattered lives: "C is for cookie, and that's good enough for me." It's good enough for all of us, Cookie. A

I know lots of people are enamored of this Muppet-come-lately, and I have to admit I have no idea why. Elmo is this completely harmless, sweet, friendly toddler-monster, and he bores the hell out of me. He lacks the joie de vivre of his predecessors; you'd never see Elmo tearing apart huge Styrofoam vowels, yelling angrily at passerby, or even "doing the pigeon." Instead of bizarre antisocial behavior and physical comedy, we get cute childlike antics and "tickling." Pleh. D-

Oscar the Grouch
Mean people may suck, but Oscar rocks. I always enjoyed Oscar's bit where he's happy when he's angry and angry when he's happy, but I never knew I'd be emulating him someday. Oscar is another example of a character that wouldn't even be considered if Sesame Street were being created today. Instead they'd slip some Zoloft in his feed, transplant him to a brightly-colored recycled oil-drum, and have him lead "Ring Around the Rosie." A-

Ernie and Bert
Yeah, yeah. Were they just roommates or were they lovers? Listen folks, they were Muppets. They may have had hands up their asses but it was purely for puppeteering purposes. Besides, for my money the real sexual tension was between Grover and Kermit. Anyhow, Ernie and Bert always had the song-and-dance thing down pat. Ernie's Rubber Ducky song is the Sesame Street classic, and Bert's "Doing the Pigeon" had similar appeal, plus a really unnerving dance move. And then there was the bit where their noses got pulled off. Always fun. B

The Count
Man, talk about a twisted personality! Talk about obsessive-compulsive disorder! Talk about the numbers one through twelve! You really couldn't get the Count into any long-term plots because he really only did one thing, but he certainly did it well. I think many children learned to count purely on the off chance that they could summon thunder and lightning by doing so. But I have one question. The Count looked like a vampire, right down to the fangs. And he had the bat thing going. Was he a vampire? Did he feed on living blood? Or, more likely given his Muppetness, living felt? A horrifying yet oddly appealing idea. B-

Big Bird
The name was kind of a gimme. Big Bird is somewhat less twisted than most of the Muppets around him, but due to his intimidating size and lack of baby-lisp, he doesn't have the repulsive Elmo cuteness. In the early days he had a kind of lovable loser image going, with all his hallucination, and his calling Mr. Hooper "Mr. Looper," but Hooper/Looper took the dirt nap and Snuffy showed himself to everyone, so B.B.'s in a much more capable place now. C+

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