1. Kermit the frog can be a real jerk.

    Watch all of the Sesame Street clips mentioned in the podcast.

    Subscribe and listen to all of The Week’s mini-podcasts here.

     

  2. Happy National Curmudgeon Day (actually, it was Tuesday), ya jerk. Now get off my lawn.

    The word curmudgeon is an old one, originating in the1570s, but where it comes from is unknown. The most famous suggestion, says World Wide Words, “is that of Dr. Samuel Johnson in his Dictionary of 1755 [in which] he quoted an unknown correspondent as suggesting that it came from the French coeur méchant (evil or malicious heart).” However, this is now considered unlikely. 

    The Online Etymology Dictionary says "the first syllable may be cur ‘dog,’" or that the word may “have been borrowed from Gaelic” — muigean means “disagreeable person” — “with variant spelling of intensive prefix ker-,” a slang term “echoic of the sound of the fall of some heavy body.”

    An older grouchy word is crab, which comes not from the crustacean but the sour crab apple, which in turn may come from Swedish dialect word skrabba, “fruit of the wild apple-tree,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Crab came to refer to a sour person in the 1570s. 

    Here, a long list of very grumpy words

    PHOTO: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

     

  3. The man behind one of Sesame Street's most famous puppets has been accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with an underage boy. Kevin Clash, 52, the voice of Elmo since 1984, has taken a leave of absence from the show to handle the allegations, which he vehemently denies; Clash does admit to having had a relationship with his accuser, but says that it did not begin until the accuser was an adult and that the affair “was between two consenting adults.” 

    More…

     

  4. "Mitt Romney. Taking on our enemies, no matter where they nest."

    A new Obama ad mocks Romney for his focus on Sesame Street instead of Wall Street. 

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  5. newsweek:

    nervemedia:

    breakfastsafari:

    Occupy Sesame Street! Breaking photos from Tauntr.com

    YES!

    Awesome.

     

  6. Meet Lily, Sesame Street’s “poverty-stricken” Muppet who will star in a one-hour prime-time special (airing Oct. 9) that aims to teach kids about poverty and hunger. In the special, Lily reveals that “sometimes I go with my family to the food pantry.” That really affects fellow-Muppet Elmo. “Elmo never has to think about where his next meal is coming from.”

     

  7. A group of gay-rights activists is petitioning PBS to have popular Sesame Street roommates Bert and Ernie get married! They say the marriage would teach young viewers tolerance and acceptance.

     

  8. Anything is possible when you smell like a monster…”

    Grover on “Sesame Street” spoofs the Old Spice Guy. The clip has already garnered 1.4 million YouTube views and is being praised as "the pinnacle of human creation."  Agreed.

    "We’re glad that ‘Sesame Street’ is educating kids not just on subjects like reading and writing, but ‘Internet Memes 101’ as well," says The Huffington Post.

     

  9. Bert and Ernie, in a cozy, nighttime scene, discover the annoyances of eating cookies in bed. Despite “Sesame Street” producers’ assurances that they’re not promoting a same-sex agenda, critics have complained for years about Bert and Ernie, and their sexual ambiguity.

    In 2002, one of the muppets on “Sesame Street” had AIDS, and in 2005, Cookie Monster’s unhealthy diet came under fire for promoting childhood obesity.

    More “Sesame Street” controversies…