You wouldn't think an F-bomb would ever be heard on a children's show like Sesame Street. Still, some people are swearing they can audibly hear Grover spouting the infamous F-word. A clip of the scene in question has since gone viral, with some people feeling certain Grover is indeed swearing on the show. In the scene, Grover is asked by another puppet if they should move their camera. According to the folks at Sesame Street, Grover retorts by saying, "Yes, that sounds like an excellent idea!" Meanwhile, others are hearing the response as, "That's a f*cking excellent idea!" To get to the bottom of the matter, one fan asked Grover voice actor Frank Oz his opinion on the matter, and he's adamant that there's no way the character would ever drop an F-bomb.
"I didn't perform Grover there but I assure you, we take the purity of the characters very seriously. But people will hear what they want to hear. 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. We don't. It would be a betrayal of the character's purity."
A master puppeteer, Oz's work on puppetry began in the '60s. He has provided the voice for countless familiar puppets from The Muppets and Sesame Street, as well as Yoda from the Star Wars movies. For decades, Frank Oz voiced Grover himself, along with several other characters on the show. He has since semi-retired from voice acting, although he still comes back on occasion to voice his characters a few episodes per year. He may not have been the one speaking the Grover line that has gone viral for the wrong reasons, but his involvement in the show and familiarity with being behind the scenes at Sesame Street certainly makes his input very credible. No matter what you think you might hear, Oz definitely isn't buying that you'd ever hear a swear word on the program.
You may not see cute puppets legitimately dropping f-bombs on Sesame Street, but a movie released earlier this year might fill that gap. The Happytime Murders is an R-rated movie in the style of Sesame Street, set in a universe where humans and puppets co-exist. Full of raunchy and dark humor, the movie is as far removed from Sesame Street as you can get. In fact, Sesame Workshop even filed a lawsuit against the production company, unhappy with the movie's tagline, "All Sesame, No Street." Unfortunately for them, the lawsuit was tossed by a judge and didn't affect the movie's marketing or release in a negative way.
A while back, a clip from the '80s series Super Mario Bros. Super Show went viral for similar reasons. In the clip, Luigi removes a strand of spaghetti from Mario's overalls, prompting Mario to respond, "Well, thank you Luigi!" Some people hear it as "F*ck you Luigi" instead. Like Oz explains with Grover on Sesame Street, it seems people will hear what they want to hear sometimes, regardless of what is actually being said.
Sesame Workshop isn't about to let such a clear swear word make it to the screen. Even if something were to slip past them, it's clear from Oz's words that the puppeteers wouldn't try doing it in the first place, so as not to pollute the purity of the characters. It's okay to imagine and even find it funny, but just know that Grover isn't genuinely swearing on the popular children's program. You can look at Oz's tweets on the Grover F-bomb debacle below!
Really? I didn’t perform Grover there but I assure you, we take the purity of the characters very seriously. But people will hear what they want to hear.— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) December 28, 2018
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. We don’t. It would be a betrayal of the character’s purity.— Frank Oz (@TheFrankOzJam) December 29, 2018