Cookie Monster is a popular Muppet character on the children's television show Sesame Street. He is covered with blue fur and has "googly eyes", but he is most known for his voracious appetite. He can (and often does) eat anything and everything, but his favorite choice of food above everything else is cookies, hence his name. (Chocolate-chip cookies are his favorite kind.) In a song in 2004, Cookie Monster revealed that, before he ate his first cookie, his name was Sid. The character has been performed by Frank Oz and David Rudman.
The book Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles explains Cookie Monster's origin as follows: "In 1966, Henson drew three monsters that ate cookies and appeared in a General Foods commercial that featured three crunch snack foods: Wheels, Crowns and Flutes. Each snack was represented by a different monster. The Wheel-Stealer was a short, fuzzy monster with wonky eyes and sharply pointed teeth. The Flute-Snatcher was a speed demon with a long, sharp nose and windblown hair. The Crown-Grabber was a hulk of a monster with a Boris Karloff accent and teeth that resembled giant knitting needles.
"These monsters had insatiable appetites for the snack foods they were named after. Each time the Muppet narrator, a human-looking fellow, fixes himself a tray of Wheels, Flutes and Crowns, they disappear before he can eat them. One by one, the monsters sneak in and zoom away with the snacks. Frustrated and peckish, the narrator warns viewers that these pesky monsters could be disguised as someone in your own home, at which point the monsters briefly turn into people and then dissolve back to monsters again."
As it turns out, these commercials were never aired — but all three monsters had a future in the Muppet cast. The "Crown-Grabber" was used in an Ed Sullivan Show sketch, in which he ruins a girl's beautiful day. Known from then on as the Beautiful Day Monster, he made a number of appearances on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. The "Flute-Snatcher" turned into Snake Frackle, a background monster from The Great Santa Claus Switch and The Muppet Show.
In 1967, Henson used the "Wheel-Stealer" puppet for an IBM training film called "Coffee Break Machine". In the sketch, the monster (with frightening eyes and fangs) devours a complex machine as the machine describes its purpose and construction. At the end of the sketch, the talking machine explains that it's wired with a security system that's set to explode if it's tampered with. The monster promptly explodes. This sketch was also performed in October, 1967 on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Two years later, Henson pulled the puppet out of the box again for three commercials selling Munchos, a Frito-Lay potato chip. This time, the puppet was called Arnold, the Munching Monster. After the three ads were produced, Henson had the opportunity to renew the contract. He chose not to, because at that point he was working on Sesame Street — and that monster puppet was moving on to the next stage in his career.
Cookie Monster, still unnamed, made his Sesame Street debut in the first episode, interfering with Kermit the Frog's "famous W lecture" by eating a model "W" bit by bit (turning it into an "N", a "V", and finally an "I", to Kermit's frustration).
In his early appearances on the show, Cookie Monster seemed somewhat scary to younger viewers, as he personified the childhood fear of "being eaten by a monster". However, this fearsome image did not last long, and Cookie Monster quickly became one of the most popular and beloved characters on the show. Cookie Monster's theme song, "C is for Cookie", is one of the most famous songs from Sesame Street. The noise Cookie Monster emits whilst consuming cookies is referred to as the 'Cookie monster noise'.
The idea of Cookie Monster setting a good example for children with respect to their eating habits is not new; it has been used since the 1970s with public service announcements and individual sketches. In fact, Sesame Workshop released a home video in 2000 called Happy Healthy Monsters. The Healthy Habits for Life segments of Sesame Street caused false Internet rumors that Cookie Monster's name had been changed to Veggie Monster.
David Rudman officially became Cookie Monster in Sesame Street's 2002 season (taped 2001) but the year before that, Rudman shared the part with Eric Jacobson. Once Jacobson was cast as Grover and Bert, Sesame Workshop chose Rudman as Cookie Monster to allow for more interaction between Cookie Monster and Bert/Grover. Frank Oz still performs Cookie Monster and his other Sesame Street characters a couple of times per year.
Numerous children's books featuring Cookie Monster have been published over the years:
* Happy Birthday, Cookie Monster
* Cookie Monster's Kitchen
* Cookie Monster's Christmas
* A Cookie Gone Wrong - Monster's Story
* Biggest Cookie in the World
* Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree
* Cookie Monster's Good Time to Eat
* Cookie Monster's Blue Book
* Cookie Monster, Where are You?
* Cookie Monster!
* Cookie Monster's Activity Book
* Cookie Monster Mammoth Color
* Cookie Monster's Book of Cookie Shapes
* Monster and the Surprise Cookie
* Sesame Street: Wanted, the Great Cookie Thief
There is a Tickle-Me Cookie Monster available; however, this did not sell as well as the Tickle-Me Elmo
* An article in The Wall Street Journal notes that the guttural singing style in death metal bands is called "Cookie Monster singing".
* Trekkie Monster in Avenue Q is based on Cookie Monster
* Cookie Monster has appeared on Family Guy in rehab for his addiction to cookies, claiming that the cookies found in his room were planted there by someone else.