I obviously had nothing better to do. I was looking up Sesame Street characters’ fan pages on Facebook. First, the main characters. You know, the more commercial ones who’ve sold out and allow their furry faces to be printed on kids’ bed sheets, foam chairs and shoes; who take up half the shelf space at your average toy store: Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Bert & Ernie.
Then I started reminiscing about those I used to like best as a kid. The cookey, funny muppets. The seldom-seen ones. The outright weird. Yip Yip Martians, Guy Smiley, the Two-headed Monster. I even made a pie chart:
Pretty much each one has a Facebook page. But what surprised me was their number of respective fans. Here are a few things I learned:
– Cookie Monster is hands-down the most popular muppet, with 1,101,176 fans. Not surprising, since he’s one of the most recognizeable faces on the show. That, and he impressed most of us as kids with his ability to chow down on cookies, household objects and most of the alphabet.
– Elmo sits in the #2 spot, but with about half as many fans (679,771). Not because he’s any less known, but probably because so may of us are Just. Plain. Sick. of seeing him everywhere and hearing toys vomiting out his cringe-inducing laugh. Please stop producing those toys. Seriously.
– Bert & Ernie, as a pair, are a distant third, with 115,017 fans. What’s interesting is that their individual fan pages rack up 1,065 and 3,818 fans respectively. Which indicates that on their own, these two don’t have much to offer: Bert’s a chronically irritated SOB, and Ernie’s a loser who tells bad jokes and that everyone wants to punch. Only together do they balance out to give us the cooky, ambiguously gay roomies we grew up with.
– Oscar the Grouch and his 44,083 fans prove that people appreciate and even like getting a good dose of truth (as he sees it), even if it does come in the form of an old smelly sneaker or a broken alarm clock. Because he loves trash.
– Big Bird comes in at 26,127 fans. Although he’s well-known and loved, he fades into the background. He’s everywhere, but doesn’t bring anything to the show. Kind of like a Jar Jar Binks that people actually like.
– Yip Yip Martians were the coolest. They were funny and funky, and deserve way more than their measley 3,072 fans. Obviously they’ve been underused in recent years. They were out of this world (see what I did there?)
– Mr. Snuffleuppagus comes in at 1,979 fans. But what can we expect of the only living woolly mammoth on Earth, who was little more than a big yellow bird’s imaginary friend for a large portion of his life?
– Slimey the Worm got himself 851 fans. That’s 852 more than expected, even for the only worm ever to become an astronaut on a mission to the moon.
I’ll let you make your own conclusions about the rest of the muppets and their fans.
I would like to apologize to Kermit at this time, for not including him in this analysis. Although I know he hosted the Sesame Street News and is a very popular muppet, I associate him more with the Muppet Show, a hilariously entertaining production he hosted while moonlighting as a pimp for Miss Piggy. No wonder those two never hooked up. You know what they say about dipping your pen in the company ink…