It’s never too early to learn the value of a good song parody. Play your cards right and your lyric-bending tyke could be the next Weird Al. Play your cards wrong and they’ll fart out “zany” drivetime parodies for your city’s third tier classic rock station. There’s a lot at stake and Sesame Street‘s been in the business of rolling out entertaining and educational parodies for the juicebox set for decades upon decades.
After Sesame Street underwent gentrification at the non-Muppety hands of HBO, we thought it’d be fun to look at some superstar song parodies that have tumbled out of this television institution. You don’t even need pay cable to give it a watch. We have 14 of these delightful lil’ numbers tucked below and it’s packed with celebrities because toddlers love famous faces!
Scroll through these from a comfortable trashcan or maybe with a monobrow “roommate” and you might even learn a thing or two.
“Share It Maybe”
America’s favourite furry blue binge eater would desperately like your cookie and he’s willing to craft a Carly Rae Jepsen parody to nab it. Sure, it’s labour intensive, but you can’t knock Cookie Monster’s hustle. By the way, you may need to take a few days off work to scrape this parody out of your brain once you hear it.
“Furry Happy Monsters”
R.E.M. may loathe their bouncy 1991 single “Shiny Happy People” but everything seems hunky dory with Michael Stipe and co. when it comes to “Furry Happy Monsters.” Mind you, what blackhearted ghoul could possibly be miserable when there’s a Kate Pierson Muppet stand-in bopping around? (Would you prefer Grover sobbing while “Everybody Hurts” plays?) “Furry Happy Monsters” is unquestionably an improvement on the original.
“Don’t Know Y”
Norah Jones is heartbroken over being stood up by a versatile letter with yodelling capabilities. We’ve all been there before, Norah.
Alicia Keys turns “Fallin'” into “Dancin'” and moves along with Elmo inside horrifying orbs of mystery. ARE THESE BUBBLES FROM AN ALTERNATE DIMENSION? DO THEY HAVE PHANTASM BRAIN DRILLS?
“Just The Way You Are”
The gloriously cheesy “Just The Way You Are” gets a makeover from self-professed “Grouch Groupies” (EYEBROW RAISE) Billy Joel and Marlee Matlin. There’s a chance that Billy crashed into Oscar’s can during one of his drunk driving benders so we can understand the Grouch’s crankiness here.
“Hot N Cold”
Axed from airing due to a goofy controversy over Katy Perry’s bustiness, this version of “Hot N Cold” takes out the “you PMS like a b**** I would know” lyrical chunklets to reimagine the pop anthem as a document about how irritating it is to hunt Elmo down. He really is a jerk.
“Monster Went And Ate My Red 2”
Cookie Monster wreaks havoc on Elvis Costello’s collection of numerals in this parody of “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes.” Guard your red twos with your life. Mathematics depends upon it.
“U Really Got A Hold On Me”
The crumbling relationship between Smokey Robinson and a vowel is outlined in heartbreaking detail. Don’t worry. They patch things up in the end.
“What Makes U Useful”
One Direction seems to have a healthier and far less codependent relationship with the letter “U”, although we can’t rule out “U” driving an ugly wedge between Zayn and the rest of the group leading to their parting of ways.
No, this isn’t a sneak attack Apple brainwashing technique. Feist tweaks her biggest hit to sell the value of counting to four with the aid of some monsters and birds. If we could get a Feist and the Penguins album by Q4 2016 that would be fantastic.
Spin Doctors tackle the hard-hitting issue of playdate decision making. In the ’90s we played it fast and loose with whether or not it was healthy to expose children to the Spin Doctors. Reckless times.
“Put A Lid On It”
Elsewhere in “the ’90s were a perplexing time and difficult to explain to younger generations,” here’s the Squirrel Nut Zippers making life difficult for hapless diner Mr. Johnson.
You would imagine the Goo Goo Dolls could get away with just turning “Slide” into a song about playground thrills, but instead they’ve repackaged this Lite FM staple into a self-esteem anthem about being the monster you’ve always dreamed you could be.
“Born To Add”
Look, where you live may rip the bones off your back, but mathematics is not a death trap nor a suicide wrap. For more number-based learning with Bruce “Barn in the USA” Springsteen, we recommend directing your attention to The Ben Stiller Show.