Virginia MacWhirter of Sudden Falls, OR writes:
Dear Tyler, I heard that one of the Muppets had died recently, but, like Paul McCartney, they all seem to still be around. What’s the real story?
According to trusted sources in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the original Cookie Monster, Sid, did in fact pass away in September of 2010. He had left Sesame Street sometime before that over what were described as “creative differences,” and his role was taken over by his brother Edgar, who still appears on the program.
Sid had long been plagued with depression. His life was empty, and the many cookies he consumed could not begin to fill that aching void. Life’s rewards seemed to crumble in his fingers and fall to the floor.
With the CTW, Sid thought he could finally follow his life-long passion for cookies, and for a long time he happily filled that role. But the program’s management eventually became concerned that he was encouraging unhealthy eating habits, and insisted he start touting the virtues of other foods. This he reluctantly did, but when the producers wanted to further de-emphasize cookies a couple of years later, he balked. He had stretched as much as he could, and couldn’t become the Carrot Monster they now desired. His letter of resignation said, in part, “Cookies good. Nom nom nom. Carrot stinky.” Ironically, focus groups found that none of the viewers liked the idea of a Carrot Monster, so this plan was dropped; but by that time, the production staff had found Edgar easier to work with, so they kept him on.
After leaving the show, Sid lost touch with his old friends. Besides their work on the show, and the occasional movie or Sesame Street on Ice performance, the other cast members were busy with their own lives. Big Bird was often away negotiating peace in the Middle East. The Swedish Chef was touring to promote his cookbook. Bert and Ernie never really had time for anyone but each other anyway. So Sid pined away in solitude and grew ever more morose.
A journal entry from that time may give some idea of what he was going through.
What is point? Will crawl under sideboard and fade away.
Bottom of sideboard boring. Anyway, time for As The World Turns.
Arrrrgh! As The World Turns canceled! What do now!?!?!
This was very near the end. Five days after the date of this journal entry, Dr. Teeth stopped by. His daughter, Natalie, was selling Girl Scout Cookies, and Sid could always be relied on for a large order. There was no answer to the doorbell, but the little red roadster was still in the driveway, so Teeth went around looking in the windows until he saw a horrible sight; Sid lying on the kitchen floor, having evidently choked to death on an enormous cookie he had made himself. There was no milk in the house.