At 11:04 AM on September 26, 2020, the official Sesame Street Twitter posted an image, surely not expecting the pandemonium that it would cause.
The image features 12 of our favorite Sesame Street friends, each labeled with a month of the year and their name. The title explained the purpose simply: “YOUR BIRTH MONTH IS YOUR MUPPET.”
So I looked at it, and I saw that I was Snuffy and my partner was Bert, which kinda works, except I’m clearly Bert and they’re clearly Herry Monster. But, y’know, I’m also vaguely imaginary, so Snuffy was fine enough.
But something was amiss. Something I couldn’t pin down until fellow Tough Pig Shane Keating tweeted that since his birthday is in September, he is a Rosita. And more important than whether or not Shane was bilingual, or best friends with Prairie Dawn, or able to fly… was the fact that Rosita is not a September at all.
Chaos broke out in my apartment. Yelling, screaming, throwing a plastic figure of Chef Gonger across the room. You see, I’m something of an expert in Sesame Street minutiae. And while I don’t blame the social media person at Sesame Workshop who posted this image — they do amazing work and I love everything they send out — we all should know that Rosita’s birthday is December 7.
For those not in-the-know, most of the major Sesame Street Muppets and humans (and some weird oddballs like Sam the Robot and Furnella Furchester) have canonical birthdates, which were recorded in the vintage Sesame Street calendars, issues of Sesame Street Magazine, and books like Sesame Unpaved. Admittedly, there are some inconsistencies, particularly involving good ol’ Zoe, but these have remained fairly consistent for decades.
This particular Twitter image is odd, because most, but not all of the characters correspond to their appropriate birth months. Abby, Slimey, Grover, and Rosita are all on the wrong months, while everyone else is placed correctly. That couldn’t be a coincidence, so it’s weird that it wound up like this.
So all we need to do is move some Muppets around and we’ll be golden, right? Wrong. While this would be accurate to the canon calendar, it may not be accurate to life. Sure, Sherlock Hemlock was born in April, but is he truly an April? Does he truly encapsulate all that April has to offer?
You see, in real life we have calendars to tell the day of our birthday, but we also have ZODIACS to tell the spirit of our birthday. For instance, the fact that I was born on August 10 is meaningless, but the fact that I am a Leo is obviously the most important thing of all, as it tells the world that like a lion, I am proud, outgoing, and capable of eating over 85lbs of meat in a single sitting.
Others have tried to make Sesame Street zodiacs before. I’m a big fan of Twitter user @ellle_em, who has made many fun zodiacs including one all about the Sesame gang. While Elle knows a lot about the zodiac, their post is imperfect, and I’m sure you can guess why. Look at it: Elmo as Aries? Please. Elmo might be cheerful, but Elmo was born in February and Elmo knows it.
So clearly, what we need is a Sesame Street zodiac that is accurate both to the characters’ canonical birthdays and their personality traits. Is this possible? Well, if anyone is tenacious and pedantic enough to figure out, it was going to be someone here at ToughPigs…
THE TRUE SESAME ZODIAC
ARIES (MARCH 21 – APRIL 19) ? NATASHA
Aries is a fire sign, characterized by positivity and determination. Like rams, they run right into their problems, worrying about what will happen later rather than sooner.
Well, someone needs to call Humphrey and Ingrid, because this sign is all about NATASHA, born April 16. Folks, you might not remember Baby Natasha so well, but she was the most incredible and talented baby in the world: the fastest crawler, the best at blowing raspberries…she even became a superhero at least once. She also giggles possibly even more than Elmo. Baby Natasha is the right choice for this sign.
TAURUS (APRIL 20 – MAY 20) ? BABY BEAR
Taurus is an earth sign. Surprisingly for the bull, they’re relaxed, although they are stubborn. They love to live in luxury and relax, but also aren’t afraid to work hard. According to my research, they love “succulent flavors.”
And if there’s one Taurus Muppet who loves succulent flavors, it’s our good friend BABY BEAR, born on May 12. What is porridge but the fanciest and finest of cuisine? What is drawing Hero Guy if not the hardest job of all? And who is a better friend to anxiety-ridden Telly Monster than a master of wee welaxation?
GEMINI (MAY 21 – JUNE 20) ? SAM THE ROBOT
There’s two of Gemini, because Geminis love to be as busy as possible. They’re social and balance as many hobbies as possible, but their hyperactivity can lead to mistakes.
No Muppet has made more mistakes doing more things at once than SAM THE ROBOT, who was born(?) on May 24. You remember SAM the Robot, right? He was a robot who assured us he could do anything, except he really couldn’t and usually just messed up and repeated himself a lot. There’s truly no more appropriate Gemini than Sam.
CANCER (JUNE 21 – JULY 22) ? MARIA
Cancers are very in-tune with their emotions, which is one of the key lessons Cookie Monster spent, like, 25 movie parodies trying to learn. They’re domestic and love their homes. Though they come off as tough at first, they are warm and compassionate. They protect their families and are true caregivers.
When anyone on Sesame Street has a problem, they turn to MARIA, who was born on June 26. Although she can be quick to frustration, especially regarding Oscar the Grouch, she’s always served as a kind of den mother to the Muppets of Sesame Street. Plus, what’s a more important domestic skill than the ability to fix a toaster?
LEO (JULY 23 – AUGUST 22) ? PRAIRIE DAWN
Leos are strong fire signs, who love the spotlight and showing off their creative talents. They’re dependable and love their friends, but are quick to anger when their performances are jeopardized in any way.
There’s no Sesame Street character I associate with dependable theatrics more than PRAIRIE DAWN, who was born on August 3 and has been directing the same stage pageant for almost half a century. We know she likes to support her friends, because you’re obviously not casting Herry Monster and Grover in shows because of their raw talent. And that anger? Don’t sit in her chair.
VIRGO (AUGUST 23 – SEPTEMBER 22) ? MURRAY MONSTER
Virgo is an earth sign, so it’s unsurprising that Virgos stay grounded in the physical world. They’re logical, perfectionists, and love structure and support. Though they have a lot of jumbled ideas, they usually can sort them out into neat little boxes.
Who loves structure more than MURRAY MONSTER (born September 7), the Muppet who gave Sesame Street its overall structure from 2007 to 2015 by telling the audience what was coming next, what was coming soon, and rapping about underpants (this definitely happened once). Murray loves to learn about everything, but most importantly, he loves making his knowledge physical in the form of words on the street.
LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 23 – OCTOBER 22) ? TELLY MONSTER
The air sign Libra is all about balance, equality, and harmony. Libras love art and style, and like to surround themselves with the finest things in life. They value close friendships and others’ approval, but tend to be weakened by their own indecisiveness.
As we all know, there is no more balanced shape than a triangle, with three perfect sides and three perfect angles. And the Muppet who appreciates this artistic masterpiece most of all is TELLY MONSTER, born on September 29. We all know Telly can be indecisive and desperate for people’s approval, and no one has more best friends than him. Show him an equilateral triangle, and it’ll all make sense.
SCORPIO (OCTOBER 23 – NOVEMBER 21) ? COOKIE MONSTER
Scorpios know what they want, and they’re not afraid to do whatever it takes to get it. They’re very in tune with their emotions and will make elaborate plans to ensure things go their way. According to my research, Scorpios’ drive can make them power-hungry.
And no one has a more powerful hunger than our good friend COOKIE MONSTER, who was born on November 2. Cookie Monster may not seem like the type to make elaborate plans, but remember that time he literally shrunk himself after saying the shortest person should get the cookies? Likewise, no one is as single-mindedly driven as Cookie. He’s a Scorpio through and through.
SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 22 – DECEMBER 21) ? ROSITA
Like an arrow, Sagittariuses fly far and wide on their quests for knowledge and adventure. They love change, new experiences, and broadening their horizons. Sagittariuses are very knowledgeable and great storytellers, though they aren’t always great at obeying boundaries and rules.
ROSITA, born on December 7, is one of the only Sesame Street Muppets capable of flight. Additionally, she loves learning new things and has traveled far and wide, flying to New York City from her ancestral cave in Mexico. Rosita’s emotions sometimes keep her from following the rules–there are a lot of episodes where she has to cope with getting too excited and accidentally hurting her friends–but everyone loves the songs and stories she tells. A true Sagittarius who never should have been put in September.
CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 22 – JANUARY 19) ? WOLFGANG THE SEAL
Capricorn is the sea goat, which is admittedly one of the least exciting mythological animals out there. Just as a sea goat is capable both of climbing mountains and swimming in the deep, Capricorns are flexible and can maneuver between practicality and emotionality. They are excellent at focusing on goals, which can sometimes make them seem distant to others.
Honestly, this was tough, but seals like WOLFGANG, who was born on December 23, are basically like sea goats. Also they’re cold. I dunno. Look, it’s hard to write a whole article.
AQUARIUS (JANUARY 20 – FEBRUARY 18) ? ERNIE
Aquariuses are free spirits. They’re rebels who do things their own way, and desperately want to change the world. Aquariuses don’t want to do things the usual way: they want to do things unconventionally and stick it to all the authoritarians who would try to shape their destinies. But sometimes, their passion distracts them and makes them mistreat their friends and loved ones.
ERNIE was born on January 28 and is the biggest rebel I know. Most people go to sleep by counting sheep, Ernie goes to sleep by playing the bugle with sheep. Most people live in a right-side-up world, Ernie lives in an upside-down-world. Most people would remember to sculpt Bert’s nose, Ernie will rip the nose off Bert’s face to finish his artwork. You know Ernie loves Bert, but you know he’s so busy trying to be zany that he always winds up ruining Bert’s day.
PISCES (FEBRUARY 19 – MARCH 20) ? GORDON
Pisces is the final sign of the zodiac. This means Pisceses have mastered all the lessons the other signs need to learn, and are masters of empathy and compassion. They can understand anyone’s problems and compassionately work to solve them. Because of their wide understanding, they can be flexible and adaptable.
You know him, you love him, he’s everyone’s dad. That’s right: Pisces is all about GORDON, born on February 24 (one day before his nephew Chris, who’d also work well for this sign). Gordon is the Sesame Street character who can solve any emotional problem: the cast always comes to him when they’re scared, or angry, or confused. He’s lived a long life and experienced it all. And of course, no one’s more flexible than a science teacher who has been played by no fewer than four actors.
So there we have it. A true, appropriate, and fully-considered Sesame Street calendar. Now we’re ready to make a shareable image!
And I’m sure this will be super popular, even though ours doesn’t feature Big Bird, Elmo, Abby, Grover, Bert, the Count, Oscar, Slimey, or Snuffy.
Click here to rap about underpants on the Tough Pigs forum!
by Evan G