Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 21/10/96

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Go go Grover!

Grover has always been my favourite Sesame Street Muppet. Partly, this may be because he looks a bit like me: tall and skinny with arms that are too long (contrary to popular belief, though, I don't have blue fur). Mostly, though, I think it's because I owned a Grover fiinger puppet when I was very young.

Whatever the reason, I've got a formidable collection of Grover merchandise these days: Little Golden Books, model cars, two different finger puppets, rubber figurines, videos, Super Grover coffee mugs, and more that I can't remember right now. The picture of Grover as Yankee Doodle here is taken from the book Big Bird's Mother Goose, in which Grover also appears as a sheep (three times), a mouse and Little Miss Muffet in a series of spectacular shots.

These are not the problem. The problem is that they are not enough. And the reason is simple: Elmo.

Now, Elmo is pretty darned Muppetty in his own right, and that can't be a bad thing. But since Muppetteer Kevin Clash introduced him in the early 1980s, this little furball has completely overtaken Sesame Street merchandising. I haven't seen a single recent major range of Sesame Street stuff where he didn't take a leading role. There's a small core group of Sesame Muppets who feature on nearly everything: Bert, Ernie, Cookie, and Big Bird. Elmo has joined this selective team, and I can't help feeling it's been at the expense of Grover.

It's as if the Children's Television Workshop figures that one furry monster in the team is enough. Well, it isn't. I want more Grover, and I want it now.

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