Big Bird blew some minds on Friday afternoon, but his cousin from Brazil was the day’s unexpected star.
It all started when the Sesame Street star launched into a Twitter thread running through some of his international relatives. See, the educational kid’s series is an international phenomenon. But because the show covers the basics — our ABCs and 123s — a version written for U.S. children won’t really be helpful in other parts of the world.
So there are multiple versions of the show, each with their own title and cast of characters. Big Bird, being such a central figure, has a ton of counterparts in other nations. They all have different names and looks, and are canonically cousins.
Just peep some examples real quick.
It’s delightful, right? Just a wholesome thread of gigantic, talking canary bird-muppets. Very in keeping with Sesame Street‘s whole approach. Mostly.
One of Big Bird’s tweets introduces followers to his Brazilian cousin, Garibaldo. Now Garibaldo hasn’t been around in some time. He was Big Bird’s counterpart on Vila Sésamo for five years in the mid-’70s, voiced by Laerte Morrone. He then made a comeback a few decades later, when Vila Sésamo returned in 2007. That Garibaldo, voiced by Fernando Gomes, stuck around until 2014. (He’s had some other appearances too.)
Big Bird’s post about Garibaldo created a bit of a ruckus. The photo he uses is maybe not Garibaldo’s best moment. He looks a little… creepy? Haunted? Threatening? Definitely one of those (or all of those). Big Bird even seems to acknowledge this in his caption, writing “[h]e may look scary but he’s one of the nicest birds I know!”
You… you OK, Garibaldo? He really does look like he’s seen some shit, right? The people of Twitter immediately picked up on this too — and probably would have even without Big Bird’s prompting. That led to some truly hilarious and/or loving responses, as these things often do.
The international Sesame Street cast is an entire rabbit hole unto itself. My favorite discovery is unquestionably Günni, a talking muppet toilet (you read that right) from the German spin-off series, Eine Möhre für Zwei. The comedy series follows a muppet sheep and a muppet horse who live together in a giant carrot house in Hamburg. Günni is a recurring character who the Muppets Wiki describes thusly:
He’s a little cocky, tells endless stories about his adventurous life, his famous ancestors, and the many jobs he’s had throughout the years, but he has a good heart.
You know, with Sesame Street being a big piece of HBO and HBO Max, bringing some of these fascinating international takes on the series to the streaming service sure could bring it a lot of added value.