Cookie Monster is a Muppet monster character from the popular children's educational program Sesame Street. He has blue fur and googly eyes. As his name suggests, he loves cookies but over the years he has also eaten many other kinds of foodstuffs and a great many things that humans find inedible, including automobile parts and letters of the alphabet. Cookie Monster eats everything messily and noisily, always cramming the entire object into his mouth and making loud munching noises as he eats it. Cookie Monster's voice is deep and growl-like. He usually speaks a simplified ungrammatical form of English, one of his favorite phrases is "Me want cookie", but he is capable of using more sophisticated language, especially when he appears as his alter-ego Alistair Cookie the host of Monsterpiece Theater.
In 1966, Jim Henson designed the first Muppet that resembled Cookie Monster in behavior and appearance (although it had brown fur and two rows of pointy teeth) for a commercial for a range of General Mills snack foods. The commercial was filmed but never aired. The puppet was used again for a 1967 IBM training film. In the film, a talking machine explains how it works and what it can do but the greedy monster eats it. The machine continues to talk from inside the monster's stomach and explains that it is about to self-destruct, at which point the monster explodes. The machine-eating monster sketch was performed on The Ed Sullivan Show in October 1967.
A similar monster, without teeth, was used in three commercials for Munchos potato chips in 1969. Like Cookie Monster, the monster, named Arnold, spoke in very simple English and frequently shouted "Munchos!', just as Cookie Monster frequently shouts "Cookie!"
On Sesame Street
Cookie Monster has appeared on Sesame Street since its first season in 1969. In early episodes, he behaves very much like a toddler, disrupting what other characters are doing, becoming angry when he does not get his way and frequently being scolded by Kermit the Frog when he eats the frog's belongings.
In response to criticism that Cookie Monster promoted bad eating habits, from the 1970s onward he began to appear in segments that encouraged children to eat more healthily, notably performing the rap "Healthy Food" in 1987. Before the 2005 season of Sesame Street began, it was announced that Cookie Monster would be seen eating more fruit and vegetables and would accept that a cookie is a "sometimes food". This led to rumors that Cookie Monster would either be dropped from the show or he would be renamed Veggie Monster. The rumors were addressed within Sesame Street itself. In a segment from the August 24, 2006 episode, Cookie Monster is interviewed by Matt Lauer from The Today Show and asked why he has stopped eating cookies. Cookie Monster replies that he has not stopped eating cookies but he enjoys fruit too.
Cookie Monster is generally considered to be a lovable character and is not usually thought of as scary, at least not by adults. However, he has doubtlessly given thousands of children nightmares over the course of nearly five decades.