THE NUTRITION GESTAPO WILL HAVE MY COOKIES WHEN THEY PRY THEM FROM MY COLD DEAD FURRY BLUE FINGERS...What's this? The Cookie Monster? Rapping about healthy foods?
"Don't tell Cookie Monster, but the producers of the new season of "Sesame Street" have declared his favorite treat a "sometimes food."
As in, it's OK to eat a cookie sometimes, but not every day, and certainly not for every meal, as Cookie is known to do.
Instead, Hoots the Owl will explain to tot-sized viewers that fruit is just as sweet but much more healthy, while Cookie will don a skullcap and rap with Wyclef Jean, telling viewers that "nutrition is really hip."
It will be a repeated theme throughout the new season, which starts Monday on most PBS stations. "Sesame Street" is launching a multi-year "Healthy Habits for Life" initiative that emphasizes the importance of eating healthy meals, exercising and sleeping."
People are crying "sacrilege", "blasphemy", and "nanny state".
The Stanford Daily's Chris Holt has written an opinion piece proclaiming "C is for crazy people":
"Now Cookie Monster is qualifying his eating. According to the makers of Sesame Street, the new season will feature a more "health conscious" theme. Now Cookie Monster is being lectured by a pompous owl who reminds me of those health nuts I routinely like to eat bacon cheeseburgers in front of."
Well, Chris, I understand the sentiment and I certainly am not averse to eating Big Macs just to piss off the Morgan Spurlock types, but, personally, I can't get too outraged at the subjugation of a personal childood hero.
Let me explain; most people around my age (30), born in the mid-seventies, probably haven't watched Sesame Street much at all since around the era that Mr. Hooper died (1982), Elmo first appeared (1984), and people other than Big Bird started being able to see Mr. Snuffleupagus (1985; before then, people thought Mr. Snuffleupagus, whose real name is Aloysius Snuffleupagus, by the way, was Big Bird's "imaginary friend"). But I'm not "most people around my age" and I watch an inordinate amount of children's television, and here's a news flash: Cookie Monster rapping about healthy food ain't a new development!
I'm sure I remember Cookie Monster rapping about changing his diet before, so I checked "Tiny Dancer"'s always reliable Sesame Street lyrics archive and discovered that the first attempt to rehabilitate Cookie Monster's dietary habits happened eighteen years ago, in 1987, with the song "Healthy Food" (penned by someone called Christopher Cerf).
Well, me known for eating cookie,
When me don't, they shout,
"Look, he trying to throw loyal fans a curve!
What he doing eating fish,
Or vegetable dish?
Man, he sure got a lot of nerve!"
Well, me answer you straight,
When me filling up plate,
Taking only cookies is all wrong!
'Cause you also got to eat
Fruit or veggies and meat
If you want to be healthy and strong!
Boy, it taste so good.
Me one healthy dude
'Cause me eat healthy food.
Me love it boiled or stewed,
Me love it whole or chewed.
You'd feel just great if you'd
Eat some healthy food!
So I wouldn't fret too much about political correctness spoiling your childhood memories; as I've demonstrated, Cookie tried to go on a diet almost a generation ago but soon reverted to sweet, sweet gluttony. I guess he's a yo-yo dieter!
(Hmm... if you're on a "yo-yo" diet on Sesame Street, does that mean that you have to try and remember passing the street clock and the plastic house and then the animal fountain while the crazy psychadelic Yo-Yo Man transmogrifies into those objects in the background?)
EDIT: I neglected to check out Technorati before writing all that, but some other bloggers also remember the "Healthy Food" song: "Wednesday White" remembers, as does Dr. Chuck Pearson. Dale Bentley too.