The longevity of Sesame Street has seen some inevitable turnover through the years, some less controversial than others, but the latest loss will have most everyone in a nostalgic fit. Sonia Manzano, best known as the iconic Maria, will say goodbye to Sesame Street after a whopping 44 years on the air.
At some point, we’re not sure when, Sesame Street stopped being a low-key educational children’s program and started being an educational children’s program that finds time to create internet-friendly parodies of whatever pop culture event is huge in a given week. So yeah, of course the show has made an Avengers-themed sketch and of course it’s called The Aveggies: Age of Bon Bon and of course it recasts Cookie Monster as the Hulk.
At some point in the SNL writer’s room, everyone must have realized that guest host Taraji P. Henson plays a monstrous character named Cookie on the smash hit Empire and, a few Cookie Monster jokes later, they were scrambling to call the producers of Sesame Street. Yes, SNL put Henson’s Cookie on the world’s most famous children’s program and the results are kind of spectacular.
Because there is nothing small children still learning to read love more than ultra-violent fantasy epics, Sesame Street has created a Game of Thrones parody. And we’re not talking about a simple excuse to dress up some Muppets in medieval garb. There are some serious George R.R. Martin deep cuts in this strange little sketch, which marks the first and probably last time that Sesame Street will obliquely reference brutal massacres, beheadings, and regicide.