Cookie Monster Puppet

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.

In a 2005 episode of Sesame Street, Hoots the Owl sings Cookie Monster a song about healthy eating, teaching him that “A Cookie is a Sometime Food,” part of a Sesame Workshop educational program launched in response to the obesity epidemic. Though Cookie Monster didn’t stop eating cookies, the episode generated controversy and conversation, with some commentators bemoaning that “woke” Sesame Street producers were robbing the series of its innocent joy.

Description (Brief)

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.

Description (Brief)

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.

Date Made: 1969

Performer: Oz, FrankRudman, DavidMaker: Henson, JimBuilder: Sahlin, Don

Subject: Sesame StreetPuppetryChildren's television programsTelevisionTelevision broadcasts


See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Entertainment, Jim Henson

Exhibition: Entertainment Nation

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: Gift of the Family of Jim Henson: Lisa Henson, Cheryl Henson, Brian Henson, John Henson and Heather Henson

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2013.0101.20Accession Number: 2013.0101Catalog Number: 2013.0101.20

Object Name: puppet

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


Record Id: nmah_1449002

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.