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October 6, 2015

The five Sesame Street monsters that used to scare me - VIDEOS

by Anna Johns, posted Jun 18th 2007 8:59AM
sesame street; yip yipsGrowing up in the 1970s and early '80s, I was raised on old school Sesame Street. We didn't have Elmo... and Cookie Monster only had one food in his diet. We also had monsters-- Lots of 'em! When you look back at all the old episodes, there are a lot of sketches with unnamed monsters in them. There were Monster Discos and even Monster albums.

Most of those Sesame Street monsters scared the holy hell out of me when I was little. When a monster came on that I didn't like, I'd high-tail it into the kitchen where I would listen for the sketch to conclude. Then, I could resume my Sesame Street watching with friendly characters like Bert and Ernie and Big Bird.

Although, I was not an equal opportunity monster-hater. For instance, I adored Cookie Monster. He was and still is my favorite Muppet. I was also cool with Telly, Grover, and Oscar the Grouch. Here are the monsters that scared me the most when I was little:

1. The Yip Yips. These guys were, hands down, the scariest monsters on Sesame Street (although, this fan group probably disagrees). They came from Mars, you may remember, and always carried a guidebook with them to determine what creature or object they were observing on Earth. What frightened me about them? Oh, everything. They would float down at the beginning of every sketch with their wide eyes, their severe underbites and their big, dark, open mouths. They'd only speak in one-word sentences and, when they thought they knew what they were looking at, they'd say "Yip, yip, yip, yip" in a progressively faster manner. I included video of what I think is their most memorable sketch, where they're trying to figure out what a telephone is. Watching it truly made me shudder.

2. The Honkers. Looking back at the Honkers now, it's hard to understand why they frightened me so much. They're pretty goofy characters, really. They just hit their nose and honk to communicate. I think what made me nervous was that they didn't speak and they sort-of seemed like a weird cult that came up with its own form of communication. The clip below shows the Honkers sketch I remember most, when a baby Honker hatches from an egg and the adults try to teach him how to use his nose to communicate. Creepy.

3. Two-Headed Monster. I'm starting to detect a pattern here. I seemed to be most frightened by monsters that didn't speak or have names (these guys were named 'Frank' and 'Stein', but that was never said on the show). The Two-Headed Monster and others just made noises and grunts. I think I didn't feel affinity for these guys, the Honkers, or the Yip Yips because I didn't really know who they were. The Two-Headed Monster spoke gibberish in deep voices, and the two heads had dark eyebrows and horns. Very scary! Of course, they weren't mean. The video below shows that they were just trying to maneuver their way through life as two separate personalities stuck in one body. It could've been funny if they weren't so darn scary!

4. Herry Monster. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that Herry Monster frightened me. He was sort-of the anti-Monster, or self-loathing Monster who felt bad about being rough and scary-looking. But I know exactly what it was about Herry that frightened me: his eyebrows and his gruff voice. If you watch the clip below, you kind-of feel bad for him. Of course, this is probably the first time I've ever actually seen him sing about being a monster since I'm pretty sure I was hiding in another room whenever this sketch came on.

5. Miscellaneous Monsters. I lumped the rest of 'em into one category. Old school Sesame Street-ers may remember there were always a bunch of monsters. One of the most memorable/frightening generic monster sketches for me was at the Monster Disco. The clip below shows the In/Out Monster Disco sketch. A bunch of monsters are dancing around and there are flashing lights and it's kind-of dark, and I probably have some sort of deep-seeded fear of discos in my psyche because of stuff like this.

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Richard Ott

With all the hundreds of thousands clips from Sesame
Street that's been played over the last 38 years, I'm
surprised the producers of this show or any YouTube
users haven't put together a huge 1-hour Sesame
Street Megamix featuring all of our favorite characters
from the show. It would take a miracle to gather up all
the footage and create voice and song samples to use
in the Megamix, but with a lot of repetitive video and
voice editing to make it sound funky enough, I'm sure
it can be done on YouTube if the show itself can't use it.
If Gloria Estiphon, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and
James Brown did a Megamix, so can Sesame Street. It
just hasn't been accomplished, so I think a YouTube
compilation of Sesame Street would be appropriate,
especially for hardcore old-school fanatics like me who
grew up on the show. Dig out as much TV and VHS
footage of Sesame Street (both exclusive home video
and original program footage, not made up clips) as
you can find and uncover, and make this Sesame Street
1 hour Megamix happen for YouTube, Everybodyyyyyy!

June 19 2007 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

thank god!!!
i always thought i was the only one scared of sesame st as a kid -- all my friends tease me to this day.

June 18 2007 at 8:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Your top three, my favorite three of all time. We can not hang out. You suck.

June 18 2007 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was born in 1990, so I have faint memories of some of these guys from when they aired reruns when I was a kid. I don't think I was scared of them as a child, but looking at them now, especially the Yip-Yips and Honkers, I can see how they would be spooky. Man, those Yip-Yips...

I actually think Tulley is kind of freaky. He's got those bug eyes and his face is a little weird shaped...

June 18 2007 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Phoooooone..... phone phone phone phone.....

June 18 2007 at 2:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Happy Steve

On the Muppet Show, I remember there was this very quick sketch where someone walks by a large machine advertising something about giving you a new look. They'd put in a quarter and then two giant mechanical arms suddenly grabbed the person, RRRRIP out the eyes and hair, and slap on some new one. THAT'S what scared the bajesus out of me as a kid!!! What the heck?!?

June 18 2007 at 12:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anyone notice the old-school Elmo in the Monster Disco? His fur is kinda fro-ed out, but it's definitely him.

I loved the Yip-yips! The one who used to creep me out was The Count. He seemed much scarier when I was a kid--did they tone him down, or have thirty years made the difference?

June 18 2007 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mine was Cookie Monster when he was Alistair Cookie. That music for "Monsterpeace Theater" would send me screaming from the room. The aboslute scarriest Muppet/Sesame Street character was the evil mummy-Ernie twin. Terrifying.

June 18 2007 at 12:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about the chair stealing monster shown in The Muppet Movie? He's one scary fellow.


-Patrick (myspace.com/journeymystery)

June 18 2007 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ha, ha! Apparently those monster sketches all involved counting so I never learned how.


June 18 2007 at 9:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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