Cookie Monster Puppet

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Description (Brief)

Cookie Monster is a live-hand puppet originally performed by Frank Oz and currently performed by David Rudman. In a live-hand puppet, like Cookie Monster, one of the performer’s hands is in the puppet’s head while the other is in one of the puppet’s arms, which has gloves for hands. Another puppeteer is usually needed to operate the other arm, which is known as right-handing. Cookie Monster is one of the main characters on Sesame Street. He is covered in blue fur with large googly eyes. He constantly eats anything and everything, but cookies are his favorite.

Cookie Monster evolved from a monster created by Jim Henson for a General Foods Canada commercial in 1966. This character advertised the snack foods Wheels, Crowns, and Flutes along with two other monsters and was known as the Wheel Stealer. The Wheel Stealer continued to evolve as he appeared in an IBM commercial and on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967. He eventually made his way to Sesame Street after losing his teeth. Once there, he gained his love of cookies and the name Cookie Monster by the second season.

This puppet is the original Cookie Monster puppet created in 1969 for Sesame Street. He is able to feed himself because his hands are simply gloves for the performer’s hands, and he has a hole in his mouth that runs down the performer’s sleeve. The cookies that are eaten by Cookie Monster are rice crackers that are made to look like cookies because the oils from actual cookies would damage the puppet.

Location
Currently not on view
date made
1969
performer
Oz, Frank
Rudman, David
maker
Henson, Jim
Physical Description
synthetic fibers (overall material)
foam (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 26 in x 55 in x 6 in; 66.04 cm x 139.7 cm x 15.24 cm
ID Number
2013.0101.20
accession number
2013.0101
catalog number
2013.0101.20
Credit Line
Gift of the Family of Jim Henson: Lisa Henson, Cheryl Henson, Brian Henson, John Henson and Heather Henson
subject
Sesame Street
Puppetry
Children's television programs
Television
Television broadcasts
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History