Sesame Street’s Best Literary Adaptations: A Retrospective

Posted by Sarah Fox

This retrospective has been brought to you by the letter A for Awesome. Here's a look at the many awesome literary adaptations Sesame Street has gifted the world. Let's count them shall we? 1…2…3…Ah-ah-ah-ah!

“Waiting for Elmo”

This parody of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot appeared in Monsterpiece Theater. Cookie Monster, dressed as Alistar Cooke, introduces the episode by explaining how it doesn’t make any sense. The parody has two monsters waiting for Elmo and discussing their different emotions about the wait. The wait gets so boring that the tree on set gets up and leaves, echoing all students’ thoughts on the original play.

Lesson Learned: People have emotions. Trees don’t like listening to those emotions.


“Les Mousserables”

This episode parodies more of the musical than Victor Hugo’s book by having the puppets sing about their feelings throughout the piece. Cookie Monster greedily tries to hog the cookies from the poor starving townspeople, but, after identifying their emotions through examining their body language, he gains empathy and gives the people his cookies. After much singing and histrionics.

Lesson Learned: You can identify what people are feeling by looking at their body language. Which usually means that they want some cookies. So you need to share your cookies with them.


“Furry Potter and the Goblet of Cookies”

Professor Crumblemore, a wizard Muppet, helps Cookie Monster (as Furry Potter) go through a series of magic tasks to gain the Goblet of Cookies. In order for Furry Potter to succeed, he must listen to directions. The whole sketch is reminiscent of a 1990s videogame with the various puzzles and magic tasks.

Lesson Learned: Listen to directions from wizards and make sure nothings falls on them.


“Lord of the Crumbs”

Cookie Monster plays Gobble, a monster that has a serious hankering for cookies, who lives in the land of Monster Earth and wants to bake cookies from a rhyming recipe.  He is a conflicted monster; he has one side that tells him to eat the ingredients for instant gratification and another that says to wait and bake the cookies for maximum enjoyment. He nearly caves, but he has the help of a “crazy light lady” and a wizard who keeps telling him “you shall not pass” when he tries to get too near the oven before finishing the recipe.

Lesson Learned: Don’t try to make cookies yourself. It takes too much time. Get instant gratification by buying them at the grocery store.

Did we miss your favorite Sesame Street literary adaptation? Let us know at @QuirkBooks!

Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox is an editor, writer, writing consultant, and pop culture enthusiast. Besides regularly contributing to Quirk Books’ blog, she has published an edition of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. You can find her online at