JG's Ten Sesame Street Muppets That Are Missing And Presumed Dead
By James Guttman Apr 23, 2013 - 10:40 AM
I was born in 1977 and grew up watching Sesame Street
. So, 30 years later, when my children began watching, I expected to see some familiar faces. However, I was horrified to discover that some beloved Muppets just up and went missing without a second thought from anyone! No search parties! No shout outs on Elmo's World! Nothing! So it's time to remember those fuzzy friends that hung on our street and try to answer the question of what happened. It's JG's Ten Sesame Street Muppets That Are Missing And Presumed Dead
1970s Sesame Street was - in keeping with their letters theme - f'd up. Case in point - Don Music. Don was a coked up, frazzled musician that was so strung out he couldn't remember the letters of the alphabet.
Don's primary objective was to scream and hammer a piano like a 1978 East Village hipster. Once in a while, the powers that be at PBS would send Kermit the Frog over to interview him. Kermit, always on the verge of a massive heart attack, would lose his mind and start screaming. It was a game they played with him because they're cruel.
When my kids began watching Sesame Street, I didn't expect that ol' Don would be around. He wasn't. I assumed he died of something drug related. Probably Quaaludes.
What better way to teach ethnic diversity than with a black puppet who's purple?
But why not? I mean, hell, the other puppets were all yellow and orange. That's where Roosevelt Franklin comes in. In the Muppet World, the purples have soul. It's like Franklin from Arrested Devlopment.
I only just realized his name was Franklin. Hmmm. An homage to our favorite purple friend?
I told you it was hardcore. It wasn't like he had a small ethnic inflection. His voice was done in a way that if you ever learned a white guy was the puppeteer, you'd freak out. Don't worry, he wasn't. But just sayin'.
For those born after the urban era of Sesame Street who might be thinking that Franklin was a minor character that I'm just adding to the list, take a look at this…
"Franklin Comes Alive"
Yup. Purple Power, baby.
So where is Roosevelt Franklin now? Dead? Maybe. But my guess is that the orange man is just holding him down.
I hate Simon Soundman. He bugs me out. He should bug you out too. He's the Muppet Version of Jones from The Police Academy Movies. At the drop of a hat, he opens his mouth and shows that he can imitate any sound.
Sound cool? It's not. It's disturbing.
Want further proof that he's disturbing? A little while ago, I came across an old Sesame Street videotape with Simon on it. I showed it to my son, who was one year old at the time. Simon was one of two Muppets that made him cry.
Every time he watched the thing.
So while that could have helped lead to his Sesame departure. Rumor has it that he
(BLAMMO!) his brains out.
Bruno The Trashman
Long before the dude who puppeted Elmo was the creepy guy from Sesame Street, Bruno The Trashman was.
Bruno was a gigantic muppet who's sole job was to carry Oscar's trashcan around. He never spoke. He never looked happy. It was, without a doubt, the most terrifying creation in Sesame Street history. I mean, look at this guy:
What was with him? Was he a mute? A monster? Oscar's manservant Hercubus? It was nuts. I suppose after all these years, the show finally decided that it's better to not have Oscar move anywhere than to scare the living crap out of four year olds who were there to learn ABCs, numbers, and an occasional Spanish word.
So, what happened to him? Knife fight. Knife fight with who? Probably Mumford.
The Amazing Mumford
How the hell did this guy disappear? Oh wait. That's his thing.
The Amazing Mumford was Sesame Street's resident light-skinned purple magician. He had male pattern baldness and Michael Dukakis eyebrows. With a wave of his wand and a call of "Ala Peanutbutter Sandwiches", he could make anything happen.
He was all over this show back in the 1970s and 80s. Hell, he had a Golden Book. A Golden Book!
But then, years later, Abby Caddabby - a magical fairy with similar powers - came along and took his spot. That bitch. The Sesame Street powers-that-be finally decided that it's better to have a cute little pink pixie doing magic on their kids show than a Dracula-dressed middle-aged man who looks like the uncle who tried to touch you.
So how did Mumford die? Bruno stabbed him. Weren't you paying attention?
Most people from my generation have vague memories of Little Bird. Where did he come from? No one ever said it directly, but I imagine he got laid by Big Bird.
Wait. You know what I mean.
Little Bird was a natural character on the Street. Think about it rationally. There's a big bird. There are regular birds. So it only makes sense to have a Little Bird. If there was a Smart Bird on Sesame Street, one would expect Stupid Bird to live next door. You get it.
He also happened to look like he was on a four day coke binge. But it was the '70s. Everyone looked like they were on a four day coke binge.
So what became of our Little Bird? Where did he go? I think it's pretty obvious. Big Bird ate him.
Now common sense would dictate that if all these Muppets have up and disappeared, a detective should be on the scene to investigate, right? Well, the detective is missing too.
That's right. Sherlock Hemlock, the Basil Rathbone of children's television, spent the better part of the '70s and '80s solving mysteries about apples and cooperation and all that jazz. Then, about 15 years ago, he vanished.
Now for you whipper snappers out there, Sherlock Hemlock is probably the most famous name on this list. Most children learned about detective hats and magnifying glasses from this dude. He was awesome. I even sat through the awful first episode of Netflix's "Hemlock Grove" on the off-chance that he would make a cameo. Now, he's just gone and all the ungrateful bastards that he helped find apples for didn't even lift a furry finger to find him.
So what happened to Sherlock Hemlock? According to his letter, he was actually murdered by Professor Moriarity in a case of mistaken identity. Sad.
Hoots The Owl
Hoots the Owl was a miserable old bird. Debuting long after I had stopped watching, Hoots pops up in occasional videos my kids pick up. He's a jazzy ol' owl that does his part to shatter the stereotype that all black Muppets have to be purple.
Hoots does nothing but play the saxophone. He uses it to teach lessons and relate stories. In one memorable moment, he told Ernie, through song, that he could play the saxophone too if he just "Put Down The Ducky". Yes. Ernie didn't realize that he needed to put his toy down in order to play music. Hoots taught him that because Ernie is a freaking moron.
Listen to Hooter bitch and moan to John Legend about his life. As if John Legend has time for that jibber jabber.
Shut up, Hoots.
Voiced by Kevin Clash, the Elmo puppeteer, Hoots left when the furry red monster hit it big. Now that we're learning he would hit it no matter what size it was, Hoots's voiceman has all but guaranteed that the bird won't be back. Lucky for him. It was only a matter of time before Big Bird ate him.
Let's get one thing out of the way. I don't like Mr. Snuffleupagus. I don't like that he takes an hour to say a sentence. I don't like that he used to be imaginary and now everyone can see him. I don't like that he's the other Sesame Street character that made my son cry (after sneezing a giant meatball off of spaghetti - it was pretty scary). I don't like him.
I also don't like his sister.
From Season 19 to Season 31, Alice Snuffleupagus was constantly on this show. Snuffy was taking care of her or racing her or whatever weird shit Snuffleupaguses do. You got the feeling that his parents sort of neglected them because Snuff was always taking care of his hairy baby sister elephant.
Then, one day, she was gone.
So where is Alice today? She grew up, went on a rampage, and was shot. Repeatedly. Sorry for the downer.
Biff and Sully
Old school Sesame was pretty hardcore. It had songs about taking the Subway by yourself and even began with creepy Gordon (the original one) bringing a little girl home with him from the school he taught at. Yikes.
That's why two hard-nosed construction guys fit right in. Sully and Biff would slap you in the mouth with a piece of wood if you didn't learn your goddamn letters. That's the point. What's two plus nine?
EH! Too late.
These two all but disappeared over the last twenty years. Where did they go? They ran off, got married, and died in a tragic boating accident on their 10th anniversary. There. It was them.
They were the same sex Muppet couple on Sesame Street. Now leave Bert and Ernie alone.