Maybe Ian McKellen should have brought his lesson about the word “resist” to Middle-earth before he delivered it to Cookie Monster.
Sesame Street premiered on television 45 years ago today, and has been teaching kids valuable lessons with the help of colorful, funny puppets and likable human guest stars ever since. It’s perfectly appropriate for kids of any age—but some of the material the show parodies isn’t. (Think Mad Men and True Blood).
To celebrate the show’s 45th birthday, here’s a list of spoofs based on the most kid-inappropriate shows Sesame has ever tackled, ranging from political thriller Homeland to motorcycle gang drama Sons of Anarchy. READ FULL STORY
Sesame Street is now in the midst of its 45th season. By this point, the venerable program has had a positive influence on more children’s lives than breakfast. EW was lucky enough to have two of the Street’s kingpins—Cookie Monster and Elmo—drop by our studio and, just for fun, enact their own versions of shows like Sherlock, True Detective, Scandal, and House of Cards.
And they couldn’t have been nicer. (That is, once we made sure the dressing room had the requisite number of fresh-baked cookies specified in a certain someone’s contract rider.)
Elmo’s Frank Underwood voice is something we deeply needed to hear in order to complete our personal sense of self but just didn’t know it. Watch the video below. READ FULL STORY
Here’s a pleasant surprise: Bert, Cookie Monster, and Murray came to the EW Hideout at San Diego Comic-Con all the way from Sesame Street. They were pretty excited to be there, and really, really like comic books. Except for Bert. He’s into bottle caps.
Unfortunately, there’s no booth for that at the convention, but that’s okay—wait ’til you see how excited they all get when they find out there’s a Justice League movie.
Warning: The following video will make you grin uncontrollably.
Late Night‘s occasional “classroom instruments” videos — in which Jimmy Fallon, the Roots, and special guests perform popular songs accompanied only by woodblocks, toy xylophones, and the like — are generally pretty great. For pure joy value, though, none of the previous clips can compare to this one — which features Fallon and his band performing Sesame Street‘s theme song with Big Bird, Elmo, Grover, and the rest of that show’s principal cast of muppets.
They’re counted in by The Count. Partway through, Cookie Monster devours his instrument. The Roots’ Black Thought does a Sesame Street-themed rap, assisted by Abby Cadabby. This video is, in short, awesome, and you should watch it immediately.
Sesame Street‘s official party line on Bert and Ernie is as follows: “Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”
Uh huh. Sure, guys. Just don’t tell that to the New Yorker, which just revealed its next cover — a piece called “Moment of Joy” that pictures two “roommates” looking awfully snuggly as they watch a certain major news event play out on TV.
L’chaim, chaverim: Chanukah/Hanukkah/Chhaaannukkahhh is finally here!
Maybe the Jewish Festival of Lights, which begins tonight at sundown, isn’t as culturally dominant as Christmas, or as glitzy as New Year’s Eve, or as charmingly quaint as Boxing Day. Maybe it’s a holiday that nobody even really knows how to spell. (I grew up using no “c” and two “k”s, so that’s what I’m going to stick with for the rest of this post.) Still, it’s impossible not to love an occasion that exalts fried food, present-giving, and the menorah (or hanukiah, if you want to get technical), a celebratory candelabra that can be either sophisticated or silly.
And even though Hanukkah is much less visible in pop culture than other holidays, it’s still been immortalized on screen at least eight notable times — one for each night of the festival. Great miracles happen after the jump:
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade isn’t the type of parade that gives out awards to the best floats, what with nearly all the floats being the same every year. So EW’s here to make sure that the highlights of this year’s parade all get their due accolades. Here are the moments from this year’s kickoff to Turkey Day that were deserving of recognition, for better or worse.
Best Marching Band Uniforms: This one goes to Father Ryan High School Band from Nashville, Tenn. Any trombone player that looks like a combination of a hockey player, Judge Dredd and the Power Rangers we saw a few minutes before is definitely the clear winner for a prize like this.
Worst Lip-Syncer: It saddens me to present this award to Don McLean. The poor guy got off to a bad start when he totally missed the recorded spoken words “Sing it with me!” The rest of his “performance” of “American Pie” on the Mount Rushmore float just didn’t feel authentic at all. And then he also missed the spoken “Good and loud!” Of all the music acts here, he’s probably the one least used to the insult of having to lip-sync (Carly Rae Jepsen, The Wanted and Cody Simpson seemed well-practiced in that particular art), so maybe in some small way, we can look at it as a good thing he’s not skilled in the art of lip-syncing.
Best Effort to Match the Theme: Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn gets this one for sporting a red headband and dark green pea coat for his appearance on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles float. READ FULL STORY
President Obama’s reelection campaign knows not to look a gift Muppet in the mouth. For nearly a week, the left has been making hay out of Mitt Romney’s pledge to cut PBS’s funding — and now Obama for America has followed in the DNC’s wingprints, releasing an ad that mocks Romney for vilifying public broadcasting. Update: Sesame Street has disavowed the Big Bird ad on its website, writing,”Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.”
Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you’ll probably be amused by this faux-serious clip. “Bernie Madoff. Ken Lay. Dennis Kozlowski,” a sonorous movie trailer voice intones as pictures of the aforementioned crooks flash onscreen. “Criminals. Gluttons of greed. And the evil genius who towered over them?” That’d be Big Bird. After all, Mr. Snuffleupagus’s best pal is eight feet tall.
Yes, he’s big. He’s yellow. He’s “a menace to our economy.” Then comes the kicker: “Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about — it’s Sesame Street.” It isn’t fair to pretend like Romney’s entire platform is centered on demolishing Big Bird’s nest, but hey — at least some fun has come out of that exaggeration. Watch the new ad below: