This article is brought to you by the letters W, T, and F. So what gives? For years youngsters have made their way to where the air is sweet, but lately, the kiddie destination otherwise known as Sesame Street has been experiencing an atmosphere polluted by four-letter words.
Well, one, actually. And that one was uttered by that amiable Muppet known as Grover, who allegedly let out one slang that rhymes with truck. And even though Frank Oz, who does the voice for Grover, denies that he dropped an f-bomb, try explaining that to the shocked and indignant minions who took to social media to express their displeasure on Friday. One participant even had the telltale take looped to emphasize the evidence via repeated exposure.
There's no telling where that clip came from since the source of the video was a YouTube link posted on Reddit, with some Sesame Street supporters believing that some prankster decided to have some fun with a few online video editing tools to splice in the obscenity. Others thought it might have been an outtake from the set, when even the puppeteers need to let their hair, or in this case fur, down.
Also surfacing in the debate was the notion that this was yet another Yanny/Laurel hearing test, raising yet another question: What two-syllable word would be added in Grover's line "Yes, that sounds like an excellent idea" that would be mistaken for the obvious? One hardly doubts that the powers that be at the Children's Television Workshop, Sesame Street's production company, would be so liberal as to allow the use of the word "frickin'".
But with nearly 20 million people hearing that contentious insertion, Oz has been playing down the incident claiming that it was unimaginable for anyone working on the set to even let that swear escape from their lips. He also chastised the naysayers in the Twittersphere that they'd be nuts to claim such a debacle ever taking place.
"I’ve never understood why some people love imagining that, between takes, we screw around with the characters by having them swear or having them use sexual innuendos or putting cigarettes in their mouths and laughing," tweeted Oz. "We don’t. It would be a betrayal of the character’s purity."
When it comes to purity, keep in mind where some of those puppeteers have their hands to animate a few of those Muppet characters. For instance, you can't manipulate the mouths of some of those delightful beings without having at least one arm taking advantage of an anatomical throughway. That alone is a potential source for potty-mouthed dialogue.
But then, if Oz is to be believed, it's also likely his way to introduce a sponsorship of his own to the doubters out there. Namely, the letters S, T, F, and U.