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Image: via Sesame Workshop
Image: Sesame Workshop

18. The show was once marked for “adults only”

Considering Cookie Monster’s smoking habit, it’s perhaps a good job that Sesame Street was originally given an “adults only” label. Yes, in 2009 The Week’s Dale Hrabi told NPR that episodes from 1969 to the early 1970s were given the warning. And little wonder – early episodes not only included a pipe-smoking Cookie Monster, they contained an early version of Grover wreaking havoc with a group of hippies.

Image: Twitter/SesameStreet
Image: Twitter/SesameStreet

17. Bigots once tried to get the show banned

Some disgruntled viewers went much further than simply boycotting the show back in the ’70s. In fact, a Mississippi state commission tried to get Sesame Street taken off air altogether. But not due to concerns over grammar or smoking. No, the bigoted commission instead took umbrage with the show’s “highly integrated cast of children.” Luckily, their attempts fell completely flat.

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Image: YouTube/Sesame Street International Social Impact
Image: YouTube/Sesame Street International Social Impact

16. Mahboub the Arab angered Israeli viewers

Of course, Sesame Street has also been at the center of more recent controversies. In 2006, for example, the Israeli version introduced five-year-old Arab muppet Mahboub to teach youngsters acceptance and tolerance. Sadly, the character didn’t have the same effect on the adult population, and Mahboub ended up enraging many of the country’s Jewish viewers.

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