Close Sesame

The recession, it seems, has worked its way from Wall Street, to Main Street, and now, in one last (?) horrifying twist, to Sesame Street.

Last week, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that runs the show, announced it was laying off 20 percent of its workers.

So I started thinking about how each of the individual characters on the show would be affected, and this is how it shook out:

Dude has nothing to worry about. He made so much money with those damn “Tickle Me Elmo” dolls in 1996, he hasn’t lived on Sesame Street since. Flies in once a month from Corsica or Fiji to film his segments, then bounces out. Probably isn’t even aware there is a recession. Only reason he could be going broke is if he was involved in the Madoff scheme.

Chance he’ll be in line at a soup kitchen in a week: 2 percent

Cookie Monster:
May need to trim back his budget, focus more on fruits and vegetables since they’re cheaper than cookies. Then again, he also eats license plates and trash, so he could find food just about anywhere.

Chance he’ll be in line at a soup kitchen in a week: 60 percent, mostly due to fact that he will not stop eating cookies

Bert and Ernie:
These guys had it figured out since day one. For the past forty years, they’ve saved by living together in a one-bedroom, basement apartment at 123 Sesame Street, splitting the utilities I assume and, at least on camera, eating very rarely. It’s plausible that the building is rent-controlled, meaning they could each be dropping, like, 100 bones a month on rent.
Then again, it doesn’t seem like they’ve worked a damn day in their lives.

Chance they’ll be in line at a soup kitchen in a week: 30 percent, but only because of Bert’s expensive habit of collecting bottle caps.

Big Bird:
The guy lives on a pile of sticks in an abandoned lot. The only way he’d get bumped from there is if a developer bought the site, which isn’t going to happen for at least a few years.

Chance he’ll be in line at a soup kitchen in a week: 0 percent, unless that’s already where he gets his meals. Vagrant.

Count Von Count:
This was a foregone conclusion. There’s no way Count could afford to live in that impressive castle all by himself, especially with his limited mathematical skills (Only able to count to 10? C’mon guy.) His seclusion from Sesame Street’s other residents did him no good when the castle was foreclosed on: unable to find an apartment, he was forced to move into the abandoned lot with Big Bird.

Chance he’ll be in line at a soup kitchen in a week: 100 percent

Oscar the Grouch:
My man must be loving this! Total economic chaos, people crying, kids rooting through the trash to eat. I couldn’t imagine a better scenario for Oscar.

Chance he’ll be in line at a soup kitchen in a week: 0 percent, gets his meals from the garbage.

On Sesame Street, he was a TV reporter. C’mon, this is a joke, right? He was laid off last year and now works as a word-processing temp for a chemical company.

Chance he’ll be in line at a soup kitchen in a week: 75 percent. The other 25 percent of his time he gets his meals from the free happy hour buffet at assorted seedy bars.

Other casualties: Mr. Hooper’s Store (couldn’t pay the rent, despite the fact that the store had been open for 40 years), Linda the Librarian (took early retirement package at 58), and Mr. Snuffleupagus (offs himself due to chronic depression).


  1. Oh, shit, man. That was a GREAT laugh. AWESOME!

  2. Funny stuff. I pimped it on facebook.
    C. Ben

  3. a) i disagree about snuffleupagus. if he's partly invisible, does he even have to eat? maybe this is his time to shine. and maybe big bird will finally see him because he'll be so delirious from not eating.
    b) nonprofit has no hyphen.
    c) very thoughtful post. funny, even.

  4. There's the copy editor in you Kristy.

  5. Ha, I love this. Cookie Monster, however, is currently off cookies.


  6. Hilarious stuff - though deep down I wish we could make Elmo disappear.