And now for something completely different.
Today I was in the early stages of thinking about a new “Salient Themes” post which, if it makes it to the publication stage, will involve Herry Monster, that gruff but lovable stalwart of ’80s Sesame Street.
That reminded me that I recently read that Funko had released a Herry Monster toy (it happened almost six months ago, but I only read it recently). Which is very cool even though, like most Funko Pop figures, it has black, soulless eyes that look ready to swallow you whole. But still, Herry needs more merchandising love, so let’s take what we can get.
I sneaked a quick peek at the responses on the forum, and they were talking about Herry’s pink-striped pants and whether we actually ever got to see them on the show itself. And that reminded me: not only does Herry not wear pants on the show (as far as I know), but sometimes Herry doesn’t even have legs.
Look at this sketch in which Herry is sitting and talking with Edith Ann (Lily Tomlin) in her gigantic chair:
You could assume that he is kneeling on the chair, with his legs tucked under him (that’s probably how I interpreted it when I was a kid), but in that case, wouldn’t he have …I don’t know…knees?
In this one, Herry plays a butterfly in the school pageant about the lepidopteran life-cycle, and at the end he is hoisted into the air on a fly system, and it is readily apparent that he does not have any legs:
Didn’t they know ahead of time that Herry was going to be flying? Why didn’t anyone think to build him any legs? This is what happens when you let someone other than Prairie Dawn run the school pageant.
So I started getting quasi-philosophical about all this, and I thought, “Well, Sesame has always been good about including people/characters with disabilities; maybe from that we’re just supposed to assume that Herry just doesn’t have any legs, and they never bring it up because it’s not a big deal.”
But then I remembered the Monsterpiece Theatre sketch “Chariots of Fur,” in which Herry and Grover run down the beach together to awesomely inspirational music. Running typically requires legs, and in this instance Herry does have them, and we get several close-ups of them:
So has Herry been to a prosthetist since the butterfly pageant? Or maybe Herry doesn’t have legs, but the character he’s playing in “Chariots of Fur” does have legs, and Herry is just that good an actor!
I just blew your minds, didn’t I? 😉