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.
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.
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.