Last week, Katy Perry's cleavage got her appearance on Sesame Street canceled, due to a barrage of complaints from parents who saw the leaked clip on YouTube before it had a chance to air. We personally can't see what all the fuss is about, since Katy's breasticles looked pretty well contained to us. Ho hum. Here then is our list of the top six weirdest musical appearances on Sesame Street (we'd say the list was boob-free, but James Blunt is in here, so that's not strictly true...)
6. REM Singing To "Furry Happy Monsters"
Not that "Shiny Happy People" is a weird song to have on a kid's show, what with it being perky to the point of obnoxious and everything. What makes this clip special is the lady puppet in the massive red wig, employed to fill in for the B-52's Kate Pierson. Imagine how bummed you'd be if you weren't available to do your job one day and a muppet was brought in to replace you. Also note-worthy is the discomfort all over bassist Mike Mills' face. Awesome.
5. Sheryl Crow Makes "Soak up the Sun" Clunky as All Hell
Yes, the letter 'i' does start words like itch and ivy, but ivy doesn't rhyme with anything. Neither does iguana. And poor Sheryl is left with a song that barely makes sense, flows badly and comes off as, well, incredibly awkward. Yay! Beach party!
4. Johnny Cash Turns the Word "Gun" into "One"
Here we see the Man In Black, as earnest as ever, alongside Big Bird (sorry, "Birdie Big") and the Count, singing a heartfelt rendition of "Don't Take Your Guns To Town" where the word "Guns" is substituted with "Ones". It almost makes sense. Kind of. It's worth watching this all the way through to see Mr Cash looking lost and confused in the last moments, as he attempts to communicate with puppets. Awkward!
3. Norah Jones Bums out a Whole Generation
If you were stood up by a letter, you'd be depressed too. But as Norah scoffs at Elmo with some pretty acute disdain and announces "Now I can't spell anything," she seems genuinely pissed about the whole thing. Even the letter 'Y' in the picture looks bereft. Oh, and she can't even yodel. Uch. Somebody pass the Prozac. Like, now.
2. The Goo Goo Dolls and Elmo Do an Emotional Duet
The first (and probably only) appearance of emo hair on Sesame Street (thanks, John Rzeznik!), this is weird on a number of levels. Bassist Robby Takac and drummer Mike Malinin aren't given a great deal to do, for one (cue weird clapping from Robby). But we're mostly uncomfortable with the concept of Elmo being asked what "satisfied" him today. "Elmo, nothing is beyond you..." Rzezkik warbles, "You're furry, proud and red... So proud..." We feel unclean.
1. James Blunt Does a Ballad About Triangles
And here's ratty-faced James Blunt sighing deeply (we know the feeling James; we do that on reflex every time we see you) and whining his way through a version of "You're Beautiful" that's been reworked to be about a triangle (and it doesn't even end with the hugs and smiles redemption of Norah Jones' moment of misery either! For shame!). We have to give Blunt props for doing this with a straight face though, because the lyrics to this are hilarious to the point of genius. Oh, and we really wanna go to the triangle disco. You'll see...