Sesame Street was broadcast in over 140 countries to more than 120 million viewers, and became one of the most-watched children’s TV shows of all time. But the iconic series has still had its fair share of controversy since first airing on PBS way back in 1969. Here’s a look at 20 of the biggest scandals to rock the Street.
20. Elmo’s poor grammar
Elmo has become one of the show’s most popular characters since debuting in 1979. But the fluffy favorite has his fair share of detractors, too. Indeed, some linguists believe that his habit of talking about himself in the third person is a bad influence on young children. On the other hand, producers argue that the loveable red creature actually helps pre-schoolers with their pronouns.
19. Cookie Monster was once a keen smoker
Parents in the late ’60s and early ’70s had more to worry about than characters with poor grammar, however. Because, not content with an obsession with sugary baked goods, creators also made the early version of the Cookie Monster a chain smoker! Yes, in several episodes the fuzzy blue creature can be seen enjoying the distinctly child-unfriendly activity of smoking a pipe.