Tag Archives: Sesame Street

The Drink Knight: The Saga of Super Grover and Gatorade

By Andrew Blumetti

“I am whatever Sesame needs me to be.”

 

Ringo Starr…

Judy Winslow…

The guys in Aerosmith who aren’t Steven Tyler or Joe Perry…

Sometimes you’re just that guy.

There’s a street, and while the name screams out a magical land of bagel toppings, it’s actually a place where jovial fur-covered monsters teach us our ABC’s, our 123’s, and the importance of sharing a bathtub with just that special rubber ducky.

♪  Can you tell me how to get… how to get to Sesame Street?  ♪

Practice, practice, practice, and stick your hand up a puppet’s keister. 

Too bad there’s only so many colors in the rainbow, because if you reside at 123 in the brownstone-laden land of Sesame Street, and you’re the blue monster who’s not Cookie Monster, then you’re that guy.  And your name is Grover.

“What does ‘nom-nom’ even mean?!?”

I Got the Sesame Street Blues

While loveable and time-tested, being the second most popular blue Muppet means naturally, you’re gonna lash out to be noticed.   So, when everyone and their grandmother is waxing poetic over that gravel-voiced, pre-diabetic Oreo-muncher, you spill some soup, toss out contractions completely from your vocabulary, pop on a cape, and hurl yourself out the window, cause you’re the redheaded blueheaded stepchild, and you’re getting some attention, come cookies or high water.

Enter, SUPER GROVER

He’s loveable, he means well, and he crashes more often than the Obamacare website.   Heck, he even took time out of his busy schedule to protect our Thanksgiving from evil tryptophan and blowout Detroit Lions games.

Soaring like an eagle, Super Grover protects the skies of Gotham… on Turkey Day.

And if by this point something just looks slightly familiar about Super Grover, replenish those lost electrolytes and take a gander at this, gander-takers…

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There’s a storm a-brewin’ and the forecast calls for a 100% chance of lightning bolts.  They’re flashing all over Sesame Street and they’re leaving huge smoking craters all over the football field.  This is a chicken-and-egg situation so gigantic, it’s like Big Bird squated his feathery-yellow self down and popped out a massive omelette right in front of us.

“Snuffy, breakfast is on me today!”

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Be Like Mike

grover

Simple answer to this origin… history lesson!   But unfortunately, this thirst-quenching quest isn’t really that cut and dry…

Gatorade, America’s most popular sports drink, founded on the campus of The University of Florida in 1965, and currently owned by PepsiCo., has incorporated the lightning bolt into it’s advertising since 1970.   Despite that, with a number of logo redesigns, it wasn’t until 2009 that the current “G-Series” logo was introduced with the bolt included.

Super Grover, the alter-ego of the Sesame Street character was introduced in the 1970’s, and used the “G” logo similar to the Gatorade font for decades, but it wasn’t until a 2010 re-branding that a lightning bolt was added to his costume.

So, while Gatorade was the first to use the lightning bolt, at the same time, Sesame Street can lay claim to the “G”.  All of this nonsensical circular research is really enough to make you feel winded and sweaty.

“After all of this flying, I am going to need many sips of Riptide Rush to feel quenched!”

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Lemon Lime or Lemon LIES?!?

So, if no one can officially produce concrete proof of placing their flag into the soil, it sunk in… maybe this is some kind of clever tie-in?  Maybe coincidences are for squares… Cahoots!  Cahoots I say!

After contacting both parties involved, here’s what I received back:

OFFICIAL STANCE FROM GATORADE/PEPSI CO.:

Andrew:

Thanks for writing to us. While I can’t comment on other consumer feedback, I can tell you that there is no official tie in between Gatorade and Super Grover.

I hope this helps.

Jenny
Gatorade Consumer Relations
A Division of PepsiCo

(sent on January 5, 2014)

OFFICIAL STANCE FROM SESAME STREET/THE JIM HENSON COMPANY:

No reply.   (as of January 10, 2014)

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Well, crap.

“All of this reading and things are still fishy!”

So, all that work, and where does that bring us?

Gatorade can weave a clever yarn, but it’s impossible to overlook these little coincidences

  • As recently as 2011, Sesame Place ran an on-can promotion with Pepsi, Gatorade’s parent company…

Well, I guess there has to be some kind of reward for suffering through a can of Diet Pepsi…

  • Sesame Street characters, Elmo and Abby Cadabby appeared in a segment with Los Angeles Laker, Kobe Bryant, who has appeared in Gatorade commercials as recently as last year…

“Elmo help fix Kobe’s broken knee!”

  • Last year, Diet Pepsi used actress Sofia Vergara in a campaign.  Sofia Vergara is essentially evolving into a giant, jiggly, impossible-to-understand, cartoonish Colombian Muppet as each day passes. 

“I love PEEEEEPSI, and being on SEEEEEESSSSAME STEEEEEET.”

 

With Sesame’s tight-lipped stance, perhaps we’ll never know if this sports beverage and this puppet superhero are in bed together.  Despite what Gatorade’s official statement is, like it or lump it, kids plopped in front of the tellie will know that lightning bolt, and when they cramp up on the soccer field this spring, we all know what beverage they’ll be handed first.   To quote Ned Flanders, while this remains foggy, I’ll remain a bit of a “Suspocious Aloysius”.

In a year’s time, when we’re treated to “Grover Grape” flavor Gatorade, we’ll all know where that marriage began.

Looks like Oscar’s flavor is still not confirmed yet.

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Three Scare Meals a Day: Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and Frankenberry

By Andrew Blumetti

As the once fresh-green leaves begin their inevitable journey to crunchy Orangeland and Yellowville, and the mercury on the thermometer drops while the daily dose of white girls in yoga pants fawning over Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte on Facebook shoots up, there’s no denying it any further ladies and germs-  We are in full autumnal mode.

A season I never was super crazy about as a child, (what red-blooded kid really likes the carefree summer ending and school to start again?) years later, I absolutely love this time of year.

There’s a refreshing crispness to the cool evening air, football season is in full burst, fresh-pressed apple cider is on every shelf, and Halloween season, my favorite holiday, is ramping up speed.   Chock full of creepy haunted houses, blood-curdling horror flicks, just-carved pumpkins, and spooky decorations as far as the eye can see…

…and don’t think your the walls of your local supermarket can keep you safe. 

Rise and shine, wipe the gross eye-gunk out and look twice in the morning, cause your simple breakfast is now in danger.

The “Monster Cereals” have once again been unleashed upon us–  a classic line of cereal created by General Mills, complete with a cult following, found annually on store shelves from September through Halloween.  At one time produced year round, they now are only available seasonally during the fall, just in time to make Tony the Tiger run for the hills and Snap, Crackle and Pop shake in their sugary britches.

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CHAPTER I:  MEET THE GOBLINS YOU’LL BE GOBBLIN’

COUNT CHOCULAVampires drinking blood is sooo Twilight, cause this fanged-fiend has a Sweet Nosferatooth.  His cape is nearly indistinguishable from his hair, he’s got a Barbara Streisand nose, square buck-teeth fangs, and “hunka-hunka burnin’ love” sideburns that’d make Uncle Jesse green with envy.  Get your daily dose of Bran Stokers!

 

 

BOO BERRYGet your spoooooooooooon ready this moaning, cause it’s paranormal snacktivity time when this blueberry ghoul fills your bowl.  While his snazzy bowtie and hat may scream out “1920’s jazz musician”, it’s you who will be screaming when this always-tired looking poltergeist joins you at the breakfast table.

 

FRANKENBERRYWith all those gears, clocks and whistles on his head, he looks like a steampunker straight out of Victoria’s Secret, but this Pepto Bismol-y hellion is anything but.  Flamboyantly tasty, this strawberry Frankenstein is “igor” to make your breakfast frighteningly delicious.

 

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CHAPTER II:   HOLY CRAP!  THE LEGEND OF FRANKENBERRY STOOL


Take a trip back to the early 70’s…. Once upon a time, when disco reigned king, lava lamps had yet to become “retro”, and Cher had less fake body parts…

After the introduction of Frankenberry, the bloody-good cereal caused some unexpected and jarring scares to moms and dads nationwide…

As the tale goes, the mad scientists from the spooky lab at General Mills used a certain red dye to give the cereal its trademark color.  Frankenstein had his final revenge on the living as said red dye didn’t fully break down in the human body, and the pinkish scare parents received during potty time became an unintended hilarious result infamously known as “Frankenberry stool”.

The braintrust at General Mills wisely decided this “my cereal’s turning my poop red” press wasn’t a wise marketing move, and have since changed the boo poo formula to a more stomach-friendly dye.

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CHAPTER III:  THE MONSTERS HAVE RECORD SALES!

I always thought my parents’ old Elvis records were a collector’s dream, but if you’re a true vinyl lover, your wax collection isn’t close to complete without off-tune breakfast ghouls serenading you.

Presented here, for your listening enjoyment, is one of a line of free records included with the cereal, entitled The Monsters Go Disco.

We’re still holding our breath on that ghastly  cover of “I Will Survive”, but in the meantime, fasten your bell bottoms, here’s a taste of campy monsters gone campier:

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CHAPTER IV:  QUENTIN TARANTINO AND FRUIT BRUTE-  A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

People of Internet Land, meet Fruit Brute…

Upon first glance, this hairy Halloween hooligan may not be instantly recognizable as a household name.

There must be a full moon out because here’s a fruit-lovin’ werewolf who met his eventual discontinuation in 1983.  Much how John Travolta’s sinking career was thrown a grindhouse-y life preserver from director Quentin Tarantino, he also attempted to toss one to the Brute, as an old cereal box made a cameo appearance in some of QT’s most prolific films from the 90’s:

Here’s his appearance in with Lance, a mangy heroin dealer in 1994’s Pulp Fiction:

…and with Mr. Orange in 1992’s Reservoir Dogs:

“Are you gonna bark all day little Brute-y, or are you gonna bite?” 

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CHAPTER V:  THAT CRUMMY DUMMY NAMED FRUITY YUMMY MUMMY

 

To fill the void of those who love fruit cereal and missed the ‘Brute, “Fruity Yummy Mummy” was introduced to a yearning public.

You’d think calling a character fruity might be a bit politically incorrect, but it pales in comparison to his originally offensive moniker, “Wrapped-Up Flamer”.

Much like The Mummy films, public interest was tepid at best.  Production “wrapped up” on Fruity Yummy Mummy as he joined the Brute in the cereal graveyard in 1993.

but…

As the old saying goes, “everything old is new again”.

On a stormy, cold, early autumn evening, as the howling wind blew the rickety shutters around like a worn-out ragdoll, it was said that a unkempt cherry-scented paw and a decrepit fruity wrapped hand both broke open the foggy, cold cemetery ground and rose up from their breakfast graves, shambled past the chipped, weathered headstones of “Nerds Cereal” and “French Toast Crunch” …

and then they traveled into your local supermarket. 

Tell your milk to suck it up and get ready for a crap-your-pants scare.  2013 marks the long-awaited return of both Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy to store shelves.

 

blog cereal

The Smiths may never get back together, but this is a pretty close second place. 

 

 

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CHAPTER VI:  TATBOO!!



A rabid cult following often leads to obsessive behavior-  fanatics still line up for midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture show, and diehards camp outside McDonald’s for the yearly appearance of the fast food Bigfoot known as the McRib.   Keep that in mind when the next time you come between a man and his breakfast food…

Skulls, crosses and heart tattoos are too pedestrian for these inked-up cerealites, as they’ve made their love of Monster Cereals permanent.  While some monsters want to get under your skin, these monsters will have to settle for being on it.

Blumes note:  Ladies, if you dig these, let me know, I just may end up with one.

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CHAPTER VII:  PRANK CALL MATERIAL

Ever meet someone with an unfortunate last name you know they grew up being teased with?  Ask any “Tom Banana”, “Lisa Smurfs” or “Bill Spaghettios”, every day of high school ridicule must’ve been a daily nightmare.

Growing up with the surname of  “Frankenberry” couldn’t have been a jolly walk in the park either, and I’m sure all these people could testify to that fact.

LISTINGS OF LAST NAME “FRANKENBERRY” IN THE UNITED STATES:

 The Frankenberry family reunions in Pennsylvania must be a real hoot.  Every meal is pink and the three-legged race is a suspenseful thrill ride.

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CHAPTER VIII:  MOVE OVER AL ROKER

Today’s forecast calls for a 30% chance of raaaaaaaaaaainnnnn!  (Get it?  Like a zombie?)

Actually, if we were to name this after Al Roker, we’d have to call it Poo Berry.

(rimshot)

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CHAPTER IX:  COUNT ON A FIGHT!

There’s only room for one friendly non-blood sucking vampire in this town, and the eternal battle’s waged on for years.  Hide the garlic, and stay outta the sunlight, this is most likely how True Blood will end one day:

“DING DING!  Ladies and Gentlemen!  Welcome to tonight’s main event–  a fangy Battle Royale for the ages!  Two pale purgatory pugilists in a fight to the (un)death!”

“In this ring, straight from a cardboard coffin in some creepy Cocoa Transylvania, the deliciously… the chocolately…  the sideburned…  the Riboflavin-y…  Mr. Count Chocula!”

“And in this ring, hailing from Sesame Street- he’s lilac-colored, he’s got eight total fingers, he’s good with numbers, and he’s got Snuffleupagus poop on the bottom of his shoe…  it’s Count Von Count!”

Frightened readers, it was said the infamous vampire battle went on for hours.  So long, Abraham Lincoln and Buffy even konked out and lost the urge to slay them.  In the end, it was Sesame Street Count who reigned victorious…

in one round, two rounds, ha ha ha…

“Number One baby!”

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CHAPTER X:  COUNT CHOCULA AND FRANKENBERRY WERE CROSSDRESSERS

They wore the same thing!  How embarrassing…

Ru-Paul made a living out of dressing like a woman, but when it comes to dress-wearing, these bozos oughta stick to their day jobs.   But I guess if it’s good enough for J. Edgar Hoover, it’s good enough for them.

Blumes note:  Tell me you weren’t thinking Frankenberry looks like Charles Nelson Reilly.

cnr

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PERFECTION: The Most Terrifying 60 Seconds of Your Life

By Andrew Blumetti

And now, a play-by-play of every time I’d play the classic Milton Bradley board game, Perfection.

You know the drill of this heart-attack in the making- twist, timer, tick, tock, trouble, and KA-BLOOM!  A yellow mess on the rug that the dog isn’t responsible for this time.

Please enjoy, relate, and relive the hair-raising madness of the most nerve-racking minute you’ll ever come to experience in your lifetime.  It’s cheaper than a shrink afterall…

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Tick tick tick tick

– Strap in for one minute of pure geometrical mayhem!  In your face math!

I’ve just turned the cheap plastic round timer on my Perfection game, and that stupid thing is spinning faster than Amanda Bynes’ vision when she slunks behind the wheel on a Friday night.  Gotta make sure not to over-tighten it though, that “Made in China” Smurf-blue knob looks like it’ll break if the wind blows too hard.

– Reaching over to that pile of golden plastic pieces, and fumbling around, there goes about five of them off the coffee table, and I’ve realized this godforsaken game would’ve been better played on the rug instead.

– Quick!  Grab that triangle or square one or anything that looks like a simple Sesame Street-level shape, and try to fit it in game board holes while the gettin’s good.  Basically, just avoid getting held up on those tricky looking ones from the island of misfit shapes, they’ll just gum everything up.  Squeeze those in like a champ in the final precious seconds instead.

– The gravity of the situation hits like a splash of cold water:  this game is for “ages 5+”, so at my current anemic pace,  basically I’m handling this as badly as a kindergartener.  After more nervous laughter than a first date, time to look at the timer on the game for some piece of mind.

– Phew!  All that self-doubt was a mere overreaction… still have 35 seconds left.  This thing’s money in the bank…

– Oops, spoke too soon- the faded numbers are impossible to read, it’s actually only 25 seconds left…

– And to top it all off, that nonstop ticking, which is the soundtrack to my obvious board game failure, is starting to make the hairs on my arm stand up straight.  It’s like watching that scene in Paranormal Activity, when possessed Katie awakens, gets up and just stares at… wait, this isn’t the time for that!

…and is it me, or does the ticking seem to be somehow speeding up as time goes on?  Is that physically possible?   Is Milton Bradley practicing some sort of voodoo?   Cause I don’t think they should be.

– Geez, why did I waste time thinking about the ticking?  That was another precious ten seconds down the crapper…

– OK, down to just a few left, time’s running short, but it’s time to dominate this ticking time bomb like Tom Brady marching the troops down the gridiron with two minutes left.  These back-against-the-wall heroics are what separates the men from the boys.

but big time folly:  those annoying shapes from before are still staring me in the face, laughing.

– Maybe I should just stop the timer for a couple seconds, you know, just to fit a few extra pieces in… nah, that’s cheating.  I guess, right?   …and I am an adult.   …Stupid adults.

– …and to top it all off, I can’t believe they made me apply the stickers onto this thing myself.  Cheapskates…

– Let’s see… nailed the diamond, star shape and the pentagon…  can’t wait to push that switch that stops the game!  No messy cleanup, no heart-stopping plastic explosion that I know is coming, yet still makes me jump.  (I mean, who wants to go through that?  Look at how those Caucasian kids are being thrown around on the box, I’m too delicate for that fate.)  I’ll tell ya, if they gave out medals for Perfection playing, I’d pull in gold, silver and bronze.  That’s right… all three platform levels. 

Five seconds left!  Better hurry!

– Crap on a stick!  That stupid S-shaped piece that looks like Pac Man if Picasso got a hold of him then threw him in a blender.  This awful thing always haunts me.  I always fumble it the way an arena football player fumbles pretty much every play.

– This feels like watching one of those poor sap victims in a Saw movie watching the timer tick down till their arms and legs get yanked out.

3… (gettin’ hairy…)

2… (man up Andrew- it’s time for a last minute board game miracle…)

1… (hmmm…)

uh ohhh…

DING!!

– Ahhh, stupid piece of plastic crap.  It wasn’t me, the timer must be busted.  Maybe they should call it Imperfection.

(That line was gold!   I wish someone was here to hear that…)

– Ehhh, this Commie game’s for kids.  I’ll clean it up later.  I’m gonna go have some Fruit Roll-Ups.

THE END.

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