Tough Pigs Soapbox

August 24, 2003


Muppet Book Club

"The Great Twiddlebug Mystery"


Book  :   Part 1  --  Part 2  --  Part 3

Commentary :   Part 4  --  Part 5  --  Part 6



The Trouble With Herry


Jes Evans:



This very book is hanging on the wall at my local Applebee's!


I have coveted it there many, MANY times!


I want that freaking book. I want to snatch it off the wall and run willy nilly into the parking lot.


You are bringing up a long running obsession my friend.




Quinn Rollins:

I love the picture of Herry throwing the candles at the Twiddlebugs on page 14. Terrifying, very Godzillaesque, ultimately out of character for Herry, but very exciting if you're a little Twiddlebug yourself.  



I don't like that they used Herry as the big scary monster. Doesn't that send a mixed message to kids who've only seen Herry on Sesame as a nice friendly monster? 


All of the sudden we see him crashing Roosevelt Franklin's birthday party, freaking out on the Twiddlebugs and scaring little children. That's pretty out of character for him. 


Danny Horn:

Well, this was 1972, so it might have been before Herry was really established as a friendly monster on the street. Is anybody up on their Herry history?


Jes Evans:

Correct me if I am wrong, but Herry was sort of scary in the beginning days of Sesame Street. He was always going on about how strong he was, and he liked to prove it by picking up cars and other heavy objects. I definitely didn't want to mess with him as a kid... He seemed like a monster on the edge.


However, I'm not convinced that this monster is actually Herry. That looks more like Herry's cousin who is either a) experiencing a psychotic break, b) has taken some bad LSD, or c) has just gotten out of prison after serving most of his term. 


He was obviously framed by the Twiddlebugs. People, check your window boxes. We'd hate to have this happen to you. 


Nate Downs:

The Twiddlebugs were just having their version of Twiddlebug Pride. Herry Monster, the big scary monster -- obviously a stand-in for the GOP -- won't have it in his neighborhood, and chases them away with one of the thousand points of light (the candles).


Or maybe this explains why Roosevelt Franklin doesn't live on Sesame Street anymore. His family were slobs, never took care of the house, property values dropped, and he and his family were forced to move out of the neighborhood once the house became inhabitable.


All this occurred after the "Felt Flight" began, and we started to lose many of our favorite residents of Sesame Street -- all uptight felt folk like Don Music and Granny Fanny Nesselrode, who couldn't deal with the mess of the neighborhood and fled before more slobs moved in. Now that the neighborhood has been cleaned up again, it's attracting nice quiet respectable people like the Bear Family, who are prospering and glad to bring up their children in the rejuvenated neighborhood.


Either way you look at it, it's Republican propaganda.


John Hamilton:

This would have been Early Herry. Feral Herry. WILD Herry. I think his nude state perfectly represents this untamed period of his life.


This Herry smashed up cars ("Beat the Time") and threatened to beat up Grover after a magic act went awry. He was rather uncouth! Eventually he learned to share and wear pants, so let's let him put the unfortunate candle-throwing incident behind him. No one was hurt, after all (except for the Twiddlebugs, who were most likely caught and killed), and everything turned out reasonably okay. He's now fully evolved.


As a matter of fact, some might say that current Herry is a little too domesticated. I say don't count him out of the crazy games just yet. After a decade plus of helping Alan fold napkins (or whatever Herry's role is these days), he must be ripe and ready to go completely ape-shit again, and soon. You watch.


Note: When I was a child, I loved having this story read to me! So much so that I tore out all the pages and taped them to the toybox one day. Innate need to redecorate, you say? No, I just always did that with my favorite, rare, never-seen-'em-again Sesame books. And that, dear Jes, is the reason enough to take the one from Applebee's.


Jes Evans:

Yeah, the Herry of today is a little too Alan Alda for my taste. I say, bring back a little of Wild Herry, at least just for fun at parties.


(And John, whenever you finally make it to NJ, we'll go to Applebee's. It'll be you and me against the establishment, baby!) 


Ryan Roe:

I would definitely say this is Proto-Herry, and not the Herry we know and love and hardly ever see anymore. 


I recall a piece in one of the Sesame Street Library books on the letter M, which ends in a giant Herry Monster climbing a mountain. So, he was fearsome in those days. 


Alaina Breeden:

Re: Herry's pants. 


They say that's wrapping paper on the ground, but my friends, that is pink and white striped pants. That's why he's so angry, those damn Twiddlebugs must have tried to steal them... 


So what I learned from this book was: If I get pissed because bugs took my ugly pants, I should throw candles at them.


Book  :   Part 1  --  Part 2  --  Part 3

Commentary :   Part 4  --  Part 5  --  Part 6




Soapbox Contents

Muppet Book Club: "The Case of the Missing Mother"

Muppet Book Club: "Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree"