This sketch from Sesame Street demonstrates a theory of comedy

What’s in the box? Not a cookie

Friend of the blog and devoted father Peter Franke drew my attention to this Sesame Street sketch, in which Kermit has a mystery box. If anyone can guess what’s in the box, they can have it. “Is it cookie?” Cookie Monster asks, appearing from beneath the frame. “Bye-bye,” he says upon learning it is not. In addition to adding tension by giving Kermit something to want from him—i.e. cooperation in the Mystery Box game—Cookie Monster’s rapid entrance-exit cleanly establishes the premise of the sketch. He wants cookies. That’s all he wants, and he wants them very much. The first half of this sketch demonstrates the theory that comedy happens when a character acts like himself to the point of absurdity. Behold:

Close analysis of puppet show for children after the jump.

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