Classic Sesame Street Muppet Comedy
September 30, 2015 8:19 PM   Subscribe

Grover the Waiter, or, why does he keep going to that restaurant: Some classic Ernie & Bert: And... MORE....

Grover the Waiter & Mr. Johnson Waiter Grover extras Bert & Ernie
Early Later Recent Ernie & Bert At Bedtime ...and... Ernie & the Cookie Monster
(Calling him "the" Cookie Monster is a silly affectation of mine.) And a few miscellaneous extras
posted by JHarris (43 comments total) 118 users marked this as a favorite
I recognize many of these by description alone; my 12-year old self and his 5-year old sister thanks you.
posted by yhbc at 8:28 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

Chocolate, strawberry, peach, vanilla, banana, pistachio, peppermint, lemon, orange, butterscotch.

checks video

Woohoooo! I still remember Ernie's ice cream cone!
posted by bakerina at 8:31 PM on September 30, 2015 [8 favorites]

Aw. Poor customer guy. I always felt bad for him. Also that guy always makes me remember how I thought the muppets that weren't obviously "monsters" were people whose mouths moved strangely. Where did they get these actors from??
posted by bleep at 8:35 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

Oh my GOD thank you for this. From both me and my two-year-old.

I just saw the "Sneeze" one for the first time the other day and I think I was laughing as hard as she was.
posted by town of cats at 8:38 PM on September 30, 2015

  1. I have made a playlist with all 128 videos in this post, suitable for random perusal.
  2. This is the last post in my post-a-day-for-a-month project. Thanks for following along, those who have. We now return you to my normal sporadic posting schedule.
  3. Three! Three items in a list! Ah-ha-ha-ha! (thunderclap, lights flashing)
posted by JHarris at 8:46 PM on September 30, 2015 [56 favorites]

Oh, thank you. And for the playlist double thank you.
posted by not_the_water at 8:59 PM on September 30, 2015

I love Grover so very, very much. And I can't believe I forgot about Simon Soundman! Thank you for this.
posted by queensissy at 9:10 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

This post was FAR OUT.
But that uptight Mr. Johnson was bumming me out so much that I forgot what day it was.
...until the most underrated, groovy Muppet ever, Roosevelt Franklin showed me!
posted by chococat at 9:24 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

I just posted the sandwich one to Facebook under the title 'Grover the project manager' because that's how our development process usually goes down.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:48 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

A NICKEL!!!??!!




posted by not_on_display at 9:53 PM on September 30, 2015 [10 favorites]

This kind of post is why I visit MetaFilter everyday.
posted by josephtate at 9:59 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

Oh man, that bedtime Ernie and Bert Dancing one is pretty much a sure-fire "happy place" every time. Bert's "What?!" at the boogie woogie sheep is pure comedy gold.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 10:01 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

Three! Three items in a list! Ah-ha-ha-ha! (thunderclap, lights flashing)

I loved The Count. And even now, when I call the line at work, I'll be like "Three! Three ducks. Ah ah ah."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:03 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Fishing" has a special place for me because it's my go-to technique for finding lost things. I just sing Ernie's song with whatever I'm missing,

Heeeeeere, keys keys keys keys keye keys keys keys keys….

(It shocks me, over and over, how well this works for stubbornly lost stuff.)
posted by spbmp at 10:43 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

It isn't one of the comedy sketches, but if I'm to be perfectly honest, Fat Cat Sat Hat really is one of my favorite songs.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:56 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

Is Grover's Wubba Wubba a nod to Ernie's, I wonder?
posted by knuckle tattoos at 11:56 PM on September 30, 2015

well, enjoy that iPad
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:02 AM on October 1, 2015

I am open to adding extra things to that playlist. There's hundreds of Sesame Street Muppet videos on YouTube, I narrowed the focus to the above things just as a way to make it finishable.
posted by JHarris at 1:29 AM on October 1, 2015

(casually flicks through front page)
("oh, classic Sesame St! Favourite that for later")
("JHarris eh?")
(Reviews favourites)
(95% are JHarris' posts)
posted by davemee at 3:33 AM on October 1, 2015

I'm 46 now and I grew up on the Street, as did my son. I have such affection for these characters and these routines and these songs.

Thank you for such a great post. I love all these.
I have long maintained that Bert & Ernie (and Oz & Henson) should stand beside Abbott & Costello and Martin & Lewis as one of the great American comedy duos.
And it's so amazing that Sesame made it an unspoken principle that you can have friends who are weird-looking, or grouchy, or anal-retentive, or any of a dozen other quirks, and they can still be your friends, and you don't have to try to change them or to change yourself.
And thank you Sesame Street for showing me what a counterpoint melody is, and how fun it can be to sing:

I Love a March / I Love to Drum (Bert & Ernie)

Breakfast Song (Ernie & the Cookie Monster)

African Alphabet Song (Ladysmith Black Mambazo & Kermit)

I Refuse to Sing Along (Bert & Ernie)

Inchworm (an Inchworm & a Bug)

One Little Star (Big Bird & Olivia & Mr. Snuffleupagus)
And one last thing. This video of Lena Horne & Grover singing "How Do You Do?" Watch how Ms. Horne doesn't for a moment treat Grover as anything other than a person and a friend.
I love this video so much. And I know in my head that Ms. Horne is singing to Frank Oz's hand, but I can't see it. There is so much person in Grover's performance.
posted by LEGO Damashii at 3:36 AM on October 1, 2015 [7 favorites]

I regularly watched Sesame Street from the time it first premiered (I even remember when Oscar was orange) until I was in my late 20s because I loved everything about it, but especially the Muppet comedy bits and even more especially the Grover The Waiter sketches. ("Grenaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadaaaaaaaa......" will still set me off laughing)

When my daughter was born in 2001, one of the things I looked forward to as a new parent was that time when she would be old enough to watch Sesame Street and we could enjoy it together. Except by the mid-2000s it was a shadow of its former self, turned into an extended vehicle for Elmo...and we all know how THAT turned out. So my daughter never liked original Sesame Street (which ran for a while on Noggin), and that still pains me. (So does her utter disdain for Looney Tunes, but that's for another post) My only consolation in my old age is all of these clips that I can watch on YouTube all by myself.
posted by briank at 5:01 AM on October 1, 2015 [3 favorites]

Wow, thanks for this post. When babyozzy needs to wind down, we sometimes play the (new) Sesame Street clip sets on the PBS Kids app. The latest Sesame Street really isn't bad -- it's a bit fast-paced, and there's not as much Bert and Ernie as I'd like, but overall it's still got heart and it's no longer all-Elmo-all-the-time. I can't wait to queue some of these up.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:21 AM on October 1, 2015

Ernie and Bert were my childhood model of how loving same-sex marriages should work.
posted by sonascope at 6:38 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

Sesame Street is entertaining, but the data shows it's surprisingly bad at teaching children to read.
posted by w0mbat at 7:01 AM on October 1, 2015

The data? It's a tutoring site, so they seem to have a vested interest in selling their services. Anyway, Samurai Pizza Cats did a much better job at teaching kids to read, so it's a big fail for Sesame Street {/hamburger}
posted by filthy light thief at 7:17 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

I learned to read because my mother sat me in front of Sesame Street daily (we're pretty sure she had PPD) from the month I was born in 1970. I was reading (not repeating) by 18 months. Exclusively because of Sesame Street.

Sesame Street was truly, throughout childhood, my home away from the chaos in my home.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:29 AM on October 1, 2015 [3 favorites]

30 Dots.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:39 AM on October 1, 2015

My favorite was always Lefty the "Salesman," seen here with the Golden AN.
posted by slkinsey at 7:59 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

12345678910 11! 12!
posted by Poldo at 8:39 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is amazing, thank you! Flagged as fantastic. Aaaaaah-ha-ha-ha-ha!
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:53 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

There are rather a lot more videos in the playlist I made now than just the ones in the FPP. I'll add any more beloved Muppet/Sesame Street comedy bits people link.
posted by JHarris at 2:38 PM on October 1, 2015

I wouldn't know how good it was at teaching you to read because I grew up watching Sesame Street and I don't remember learning how to read. I only remember that I was a PITA to my 1st grade teacher because I already knew how to read.

posted by randomkeystrike at 2:48 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

I never have a price negotiation with a client without thinking about this. Never, ever.

(wish there was a better video out there)
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:51 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

I watched that first hamburger bit with Grover, and all I could think was "Maybe Michael Steele should pick the medium burger."
posted by Sphinx at 4:19 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Question! Is Cookie Monster a puppet operated by two puppeteers? There are times that his mouth and both hands appear to be articulated and I don't have another immediate solution to this other than two puppeteers.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:33 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

thank you for this. I just got off a 3.5 hour phone meeting and this really refreshes my spirit!
posted by supermedusa at 4:48 PM on October 1, 2015

The Cookie Monster is sometimes performed by people, in those cases where both hands must be articulated. But often only one hand is actually articulated, and then the other can be manipulated through other means.
posted by JHarris at 5:04 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

The Swedish Chef, by contrast, usually requires two people.
posted by JHarris at 5:04 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

And then there is the Cookie Monster heavy metal band for the rock and roll set.
posted by boilermonster at 11:16 PM on October 1, 2015

posted by waterisfinite at 7:48 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Jharris, you are now my fact-checking cuz.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:27 PM on October 2, 2015

I had forgotten that in Grover's mind, he is a put-upon waiter dealing with a completely unreasonable customer.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:08 PM on October 3, 2015 [4 favorites]

I love Sesame Street, but I think I mostly watched it with my younger brother when I was in junior high and high school (our house was a PBS-only house on weekdays).

But in my job at a pre-school and kindergarten, I have two Sesame Street things to share.

First, in one of the classrooms we have a record player and an old LP of Letter Songs. When it's a child's birthday, we play the songs that spell out their names. I love the L song with Bert singing about his love of linoleum, but truly, all of the songs are so sweet/funny. Makes me smile just thinking of it.

Second, somehow Deb--the superhero that runs our kitchen, feeding almost two hundred children three meals a day--asked me to create a CD of children's songs for her 2-year-old son to listen to on rides in the car. After I gave her the CD, she asked if I could maybe move one song to the end, but other than that, she said that her son LOVED the songs and started singing along with his favorites, and holy cow that just made me so happy!
posted by blueberry at 10:45 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

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