Friday, 21 October 2011

Can You Tell Me How To Go Down On Sexame Street?

To an enquiring adult mind, children's TV can often seem quite sordid and full of the kind of innuendo that might corrupt those precious little tykes sat in front of the box.  The Magic Roundabout was full of drug references.  The Little Mermaid displayed prominent phallic symbols on the royal castle.  Bagpuss was an allegory for a wank sock.  Actually, I made that last one up, but the others are genuine concerns that parents have picked out from seemingly harmless children's programming.

As adults seem to have a fascination with sex and children's TV, it was only a matter of time before someone hacked the Sesame Street YouTube channel, and replaced the videos with hardcore pornography.

This raises many questions.  Just how big is Big Bird?  Why does Elmo always invite people to tickle him?  How exactly did Eagle get that massive bend in his nose?  As you can tell by my avatar, I have a vested interest in this.  More importantly, why wasn't I called up to participate in this puppet lovefest?  It's because I'm fat, isn't it?!

Taken on our last work outing.

In all honesty, this wasn't the muppet orgy I expected, and under no circumstances did my honourable colleagues insert their squeakers into orifices that only human hands have previously breached.  Instead, this was plain old vanilla human on human, extreme anal sex.

Why would someone do such a thing?  To put it simply, they thought it would be a laugh, but that doesn't leave me with much to write about.  Instead, I'm going to take the angle that this is proof of the adult obsession of sexualised children's content. 

That might seem like a stretch, until you consider the recent campaign to convince the Sesame Street creators that Bert and Ernie should have a gay marriage.  In a modern society, this in itself isn't a big deal, but it would have to acknowledge that Bert and Ernie have a sexual relationship.  Again, that would be fine, but it is completely irrelevant to the show.  A soap opera-styled sexual blossoming story just doesn't quite sit correctly with learning how to count and a storyline about words beginning with the letter "Q".  It's like overtly saying that Zippy from Rainbow enjoys auto-erotic asphyxiation (which is handy when you have a zip for a mouth), right after the gang learn how to share their toys with each other.

This feels like the bedfellow of the old urban legends surrounding Disney and it's supposed subliminal sex messages.  Just like The Little Mermaid example from earlier, people also seemed to think that word "sex" appears in some dust on The Lion King, amongst other things.  It goes hand in hand with the fallacy that popular kids show Captain Pugwash was replete with inappropriate characters such as Roger The Cabinboy, and Seaman Staines.

These rumours always annoy me, especially when people present them as fact.  Sometimes kids shows aren't trying to turn the nation into depraved maniacs.  Sometimes they are trying to educate or entertain children.  If there are veiled adult references, they are done so in such a manner that children would never understand, such as this hilarious scene in Cow and Chicken involving some lesbians who literally start eating carpet (see below).

How is this in any way inappropriate?

Of course, there are examples of these kind of myths which have turned out to be true.  For example, there was a frame in The Rescuers which clearly showed a topless woman in a window during a chase scene.  This is rumoured to have been inserted by a disgruntled artist working for Disney at the time as something of a "fuck you" before he left/was fired.  Then, there's the rather amusing "lost" episode of Rainbow, where Zippy encourages everyone to play with their twangers.  This was filmed as a joke for the cast and crew, and was never actually broadcast (despite claims to the contrary).

This makes me nostalgic for the old anarchic cartoons which were rife in the 90's.  The likes of Ren and Stimpy, Cow and Chicken, Rocko's Modern Life, and even Earthworm Jim had a massive sense of fun, weren't afraid to push the odd preconception of what a kid's show should be, and were hilarious for both children and adults alike.  In comparison, kid's TV seems neutered by these standards, perhaps provided by the drive for directed content.  The success of cartoons such as Family Guy show that there is a market for adult animation, and this seems to have created a gulf between kids and adults cartoons as creators try and target their shows to a particular audience.

Before I break down in tears over my lost childhood, here's that clip I mentioned earlier, which still manages to entertain me:

Cow And Chicken


  1. chuck palahniuk in his book haunted remarks how people seek to humanize objects and objectify humans. also, if you youtube "avenue Q" you'll find an adult version of sesame street. otherwise, I agree that people are a little obsessive about trying to find fault with everything child oriented. There is probably an additional post on the painstaking lengths that overzealous parents will go to in order to keep their kids "safe". In closing, thanks for the 90's memories and for the Rescuers bit as I've not seen or heard about that one before.

  2. everything is about SEX.

    i think that's what we know! and cow and chicken. and teletubbies. they were edgy as shit!

  3. @Drone - I saw Avenue Q when they came to London. Absolutely awesome show, which left me breathless with laughter. And I agree about overzealous parents; I have a post coming on Monday that explores this to some degree.

    @ihateverything - Not everything is about sex. Horticulture, for example. Unless you have some sort of plant fetish...

    "Oh yeah baby, show me that stamen!"


Leave me a nice comment or die trying.