Today’s top ten includes an eight foot bird, a guy who lives in a trashcan, a vampire, an imaginary creature, a super-hero, and a robot. Now, I ask you, where else are you going to find a list like that? Given the show’s recent milestone, today’s list looks back on the best classic Sesame Street characters (sorry folks, no Elmo).
Note: The list does differentiate between Sesame Street and The Muppets so, though I love them dearly, don’t expect to see Gonzo or Fozzie here (though you can expect a certain Sesame Street News reporter to make an appearance).
10. SAM the Robot – Yeah, this inclusion might surprise some of you. Although he constantly stated he could do anything the robot’s attempts to help (much like a certain furry blue super-hero) often didn’t achieve the best results. Although he appeared in on Sesame Street for a short time I still think back on him fondly. And SAM also earns a warm spot in my heart for his appearance in the Star Wars-themed issue of Spidey Super Stories.
9. Oscar the Grouch – It’s hard to love Oscar. With his rough edges and surly nature (not to mention the pungent odor from living in a garbage can) the grouch is hardly what one would call huggable. He loves trash! And yet, the character has endured from the show’s very first episode by promoting an important idea of caring for those who are different or disagree with you (even if they are mean sometimes).
8. Snuffleupagus – For years Snuffy was only referred to by Big Bird. Everyone one else on Sesame Street assumed Snuffy to be nothing more than his imaginary best friend. After years, to only the surprise of the adults, Snuffy finally made his first formal appearance on the show (though the reasons behind the decision are kinda creepy).
7. Yip Yips – Whether you call them the Yip Yips, the Martians, or just those weird little aliens, these little guys provided an amazing amount of joy simply by examining everyday objects such as telephones, clocks, and water faucets.
6. The Count – A vampire Muppet who loves to count everything in sight. He’s even got his own castle and a Countmobile. Oh yeah, he’s making the list.
5. Kermit the Frog – It may not be that easy being green, but Kermit has made it work for decades. Whether working as a roving reporter for Seasame Street News or hanging out with other Sesame Street regulars, it’s impossible to argue against Kermit the Frog inclusion on the list. Given licensing issues, and the death of Jim Henson, the character hasn’t been seen on Sesame Street in a long time. It saddens me more than a little to think of young kids growing up in a world without his voice. If we’re talking favorite Muppet Kermit would probably be #1, but here he’ll have to settle for fifth place.
4. Bert & Ernie – Sesame Street’s odd couple have been cornerstones of the show since its beginning and have provided a variety of memorable moments from Ernie’s rubber ducky to Bert Doin’ the Pigeon. No matter what trouble Ernie gets them in or how grumpy Bert gets, the pair always find a way to stay the truest of friends.
3. Grover – Lovable. That might be the best word to describe Grover. Yes, he’s a terrible waiter, and even worse salesman, but somehow we forgive Grover almost anything. And he’s a super-hero to boot!
2. Big Bird – I love this 8 foot giant canary. Just watching Big Bird makes you believe two things: 1) Muppets are real, and 2) Muppets have souls. With his childlike innocence and wonder Big Bird provides the young viewer a perspective and voice on the show. He’s also given it an imaginary best friend and let us feel his real pain when the show has lost a loved one such as Mr. Hooper, or Jim Henson. Though he can be annoying at times, he’s the heart of the show.
1. Cookie Monster – Everyone has their favorite, and Cookie Monster is mine. You may prefer Big Bird, Grover, Elmo or Oscar, but Cookie Monster is good enough for me. From “C is to Cookie” to defending his new stance on the cookie agenda with Stephen Colbert (and don’t forget what he did to that poor letter “W”), the character has provided countless memorable moments.With his blue fur, googly eyes, and love for cookies, is there any wonder he’s so beloved?