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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

C is for Cookie

The Cookie Monster has been on my mind as of late. He's always been one of my favorite Sesame Street characters, right up there with Bert & Ernie, Big Bird, Elmo, Grover and Oscar the Grouch. I don't have any complaints about him. Everything -- from his big floppy neck to his blue fur to his bouncing eyeballs -- is great. For a one-note character, I find him so endearing, but why?

A big no-no in script-writing is making one-note characters. Sure, plenty of writers sculpt one-note characters and critics tear them apart (see reviews of pretty much every splatter/slasher flick post-Halloween). With the Cookie Monster, all he wants are cookies even if he also has fruit and vegetables in his diet. No matter what the sketch is, chances are good that there will be some scarfing of a cookie or a few cookies. After 20+ years of watching these kinds of predictable sketches, I never get tired of the Cookie Monster.

What's been so funny about taking the piss out of metal bands is the fact that a number of their singers sound like the Cookie Monster. That low, bellowing growl is definitely not as warm as normal singing, so it usually causes a mixture of reactions. I can handle that style of singing to an extent, so I appreciate the bands that also have clear singing in their songs. But why is the Cookie Monster, out of so many other deep-throated growlers, seen as the stereotypical voice of these bands?

More often than not, these metal bands take themselves too seriously. The Cookie Monster does not (other than his eternal quest for cookies). He has grown over the years as he's learned to ask questions and have some nutrition in his diet. For those death metal bands that seem to always spit out the same record, you wonder why their growth is so stunted. Hell, even the songs that the Cookie Monster performs have more melodic variety in the vocal department (ie, "C is for Cookie").

I guess since the Cookie Monster, along with so many other Sesame Street characters, are staples of our childhood, we have a hard time forgetting. They are staples of so many generations after ours that they're constant reminders. Since the world of metal has been dominated by singers that share that tonal growl for at least twenty years, I guess I now understand why he's always compared to them.

3 comments:

Random Kath said...

Thank you, Eric - now I will have "C is for Cookie" stuck in my head as I'm going to bed. :-)

Robo-Pirate said...

C is for Cannibal Corpse, that's good enough for me.

JC said...

Dikembe Mutombo sounds like Cookie Monster.