FERG BLURBS -- That One Time R.E.M. Was On Sesame Street

Let's Remember That Time R.E.M. Sang The Song They Hate On Sesame Street

April 24, 2018

(Image Courtesy USA Today Images)

I've been on a bit of an R.E.M. kick lately, and I'm not sure how I got down the rabbit hole, but I've discovered video of R.E.M. singing on Sesame Street, and felt I needed to share it.

The episode in question, according to the Muppets Wiki, was episode 3829, which aired in February of 1999. According to the Wiki, the plot was that Stinky the Stinkweed wanted to grow taller...well, sure!

Anyone familiar with Sesame Street can tell you about the musical segments with special guest bands and artists. They've included appearances from Katy Perry, Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, and many, many more over the years. I had no idea that R.E.M. was one of those bands.

R.E.M. turned their 1991 hit, "Shiny Happy People," into "Furry Happy Monsters" as the muppet monsters danced around them being alternatively happy and sad. They even had a Kate Pierson muppet to harmonize with! It's hard to beat Mike Mills joining in with "Furry Happy Monsters Feeling Glad" as the second chorus kicks in, and Peter Buck playing the banjo along with the song is a pretty nice touch. My favorite thing to think about while it's happening is to remember how much Michael Stipe downplays the song. In interview, after interview, after interview, he consistently dresses the song down for what it is: Unabashed bubblegum pop music for children. So, naturally, putting it on Sesame Street was the next logical step. Not like it was going to hurt the song's reputation. 

But, enough talk. Let's get to the good stuff.

-- Ferg