Part 1 – Part 2
How many under-served demographic groups could there possibly be in the potential Sesame Street viewing audience? Based on the data we now have available to us here at Tough Pigs, my informed, scientific answer is: a whole bunch. I asked for ideas for new Sesame Muppets designed to reach very specific sections of the TV audience (kinda like how Abby Cadabby was calculated to appeal to little girls), and I got some doozies. If Sesame Workshop wants to stay relevant in this age of narrowcasting, they should snap up the rights to each and every one of these characters.
Now let’s see what you came up with. This is part one of two; part two can be found here.
Minesweeper Grouch, created by Joe H
Target audience: Minesweeper addicts
Joe says: 85% of all kids today learn their 123s from Minesweeper. It’s a fact. So why not make a lovable Sesame character for them? The Minesweeper Grouch is Oscar’s Ukrainian comrade who, under cover of night, plants flags and question marks where he thinks numbers might be buried. His motivation is unknown, but the residents of Sesame Street feel safer knowing they won’t be blown up by a mine when they go outside.
Zefrem, created by Quinn R
Target audience: Polygamists
Quinn says: Zefrem the Polygamist Rabbit and his wives are recent move-ins to Sesame Street. They’ve lived on a remote compound for most of their lives, and are enthralled at all the big city has to offer. There are thousands of polygamist children in the United States, and finally getting a “plig” Muppet on Sesame Street would be a real coup. They make fast friends with The Count, who’s delighted at the many different ways the rabbits can breed. And inbreed.
I-Can-Sing-All-of-Rent-Monster, created by Michal R
Target audience: Rock musical devotees
Michal says: Can you sing all of Rent? Of course not; you’ve got better things to memorize, like the complete works of Gertrude Stein. But without thinking too hard, you can probably come up with half a dozen friends who, when reminded of a single lyric from the much-ballyhooed rock opera, proceed to sing straight through to the show’s end without hesitation. Who’s to stop these suggestible souls from similarly devoting themselves to Sesame Street? Enter I-Can-Sing-All-of-Rent-Monster, a charming gal with an enchanting laugh, a lilting singing voice, and the most visually arresting pair of pants this side of Fourteenth Street. You won’t be able to turn away. No one will.
The Irographs, created by Leighanne M
Target audience: Chart lovers
Leighanne says: This illustration has been brought to you today by the Irographs: Malleable little Muppets aimed at people who enjoy both (a) irony and (b) charts. Here they’re representing the different kinds of pies that people like, only they’re not doing it as a pie chart.
Monster Muppet Fan, created by Chris S
Target audience: Muppet geeks
Chris says: A huge fan of all the non-human characters that populate Sesame Street, Monster Muppet Fan is known to sit at his computer for hours at a time looking up every minute detail of his fellow Muppets’ lives. When he does leave his room, it’s usually to follow his furry friends around, take notes on what they’re up to or plans they are making, and then go home to post all about it his blog: “The Monster Muppet Fan Site”.
He is also known to carry around his trusty video and still cameras to catch his friends in the act of not sharing, messing up the alphabet, or
forgetting their numbers and then posting the incriminating evidence on TMZ.com. Because of this, he is sometimes referred as “Paparazzo Monster”. The only other reason Monster Muppet Fan will venture outdoors is to pick up the latest merchandise based on his Muppet friends, have them autograph it, then display his new found possessions in his room for the world (AKA him) to see.
Accessories: Video camera, Still Photography camera with wide angle zoom lens, Computer with high speed internet connection, specially configured laptop with harness to walk and blog at the same time, thick horned rimmed glass.
Appearance: Sometimes mistaken for Harvey Monster.
Cigarilla, created by Ryan R
Target audience: Cigar smokers
Ryan says: Not once in the history of Sesame Street has there been a Muppet who smoked cigars. Now there’s Cigarilla, a cheroot-puffing gorilla who will finally fill that void and bring in all the formerly estranged smokers in TV-viewer land. His educational potential is considerable — he can build triangles, squares and rectangles out of cigars, he can teach the letter S (for stogie, smoke and stench), and kids will have lots of fun counting his hacking coughs. Unfortunately, we’ll never know what kind of chemistry he might have with other characters, because none of the other Muppets can stand to be around him.
Tanner Monster, created by Anthony S
Target audience: 7th graders
(Tanner was absent on picture day)
Anthony says: This Muppet is enthusiastic and friendly, but his ever-changing body keeps him from being as outgoing as he’d like. He can often be found counting the new hairs under his arms. Rosita makes him feel strange, and he doesn’t know why. Ideally he would be played by John Tartaglia.
Tuna Salad, created by Joe H
Target audience: Picky eaters
Joe says: The Tuna Salad Muppet is for kids who aren’t big fans of their regular fruits and veggies. Sure, there have always been Muppet characters like Broccoli, Scallions, Tomatoes, Apples, Grapes, and the like. But as the first Muppet to represent fish, celery, and mayonnaise all in one character, more kids will be chowing down on this deli-friendly snack in no time!
Benjamin Beaver, created by Quinn R
Target audience: (see below)
Quinn says: Benjamin Beaver’s mother has Baron von Munchhausen Syndrome, so she makes lots of trips to Gina’s veterinarian clinic. She doesn’t ever really need to make them, but she’s sure that Benjamin is sick, and she needs the attention herself. Benjamin likes Gina’s office, and even though he doesn’t start out sick, he usually ends up with a case of chicken pox or bird flu by the time he leaves.
Gus the Amicable Zombie, created by Michal R
Target audience: Zombies
Michal says: I can’t tell you how many times a member of the undead community has approached me on the street and said, unprovoked, “Gosh, Michal, I’d love to become a regular Sesame Street viewer, and perhaps even contribute vast sums of the fortune left to me by my late self to the public broadcasting cause, but I just feel so — so alienated. We’re talking about a show that regularly features monsters, a mammoth-like creature who can turn invisible, and an abominable giant bird. My goodness, they’ve even got a vampire with a daily segment — and yet the zombie population has never even merited a walk-on spot. I’ve never felt so insulted in all my undead life.”
Won’t someone think of the zombies? Won’t someone PLEASE THINK OF THE ZOMBIES?
by Ryan Roe – Ryan@ToughPigs.com