Sunny day, stashin’ the cash away
On my way to where the deal is sweet
Can you tell me how to grift
How to grift off Sesame Street?
Well, as you can probably guess, it comes down to money.
That old street has become prime real estate, and over the past five years or so the rentiers and predatory capitalists have been doing what they do in such neighbourhoods:
The show that Sesame Street has become is, as I said before, gentrified. It has literally been cleaned up — the original set was (unheard of for the time) a “movie quality” set, with an artificial but lifelike patina of urban decay. The set used today lacks the signs of use, wear and damage. It uses more brightly colored paint that has proven more eye-catching to young children. The contrast between the original set and the contemporary set is dramatic.
It is also a much less recognizable, organic-feeling urban community. The human cast in the show’s early years felt like a community that might exist in a neighborhood in a large city — a mix of Latinx folks, African Americans, white creatives like Bob (a voice coach), and Mr. Hooper, an ethnically Jewish working-class shopkeeper with a distinct accent who had clearly lived there all his life, let his customers put groceries on their tabs and tried to learn Spanish as he worked on his GED at night school.
The contemporary cast feels very much symbolically multicultural, a more inclusive but less organic-feeling “one from each column” approach. Meanwhile, the majority of screen time goes to the Muppets — especially to newer characters who are coded younger, as the show’s core audience is now much younger.
Wayne and Garth do Uber: cool.
Cookie Monster does DoorDash: not cool.
In fairness Cookie Monster was shilling for commercial interests long before he was educating children.
Has everyone forgotten?
Its especially galling because delivery apps like DoorDash are predatory and slowly killing the restaurant industry.
Yeah, he even had an early job working for IBM!
Sesame Street characters have ALWAYS been used in commercials. That’s where some of the cash to produce the show came from.
Don’t care, I love Grover & the “Super Grover” bit is perfect; DoorDash & UberEats are both terrible in Canada as well so I never use them anyway
And the use of muppets in ads pre-dates Sesame Street. The IBM commercial @Otherbrother posted above was one example, and then there were these:
I was just commenting the other day how the Sesame Street characters don’t do advertising, while the Muppets do, due to who owns them etc. I guess things change!
I blame Bert. Bert is evil.
Why would I order DoorDash from a group of characters who still have to ask directions for how to find their own street after living there for more than 50 years?
It’s important for children to learn about senile dementia.
So people that are paying $5-$10 million for airtime alone are donating a capped $1 million to charity? Fuck outta here.
At least this ad wasn’t based around (and possibly didn’t even feature? not rewatching it) fucking Elmo, which hasn’t happened for a long time. I think you can tell someone’s age based on their complete disdain for that little asshole.
Also, hot take. Door Dash burned down Mister Hooper’s store to squeeze in on the territory. Prove me wrong.
Rule 34? Or was “fucking” not meant as a verb?
Wow, that third one was great. The look on Bert’s face when Ernie mentions a handy…almost seemed like he didn’t know that means something very different in German!