Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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What did the cookie monster eat before he ate cookies? Um .. for some odd reason, this video reminds me of my parrots .. not sure why.

Anyway, here’s a little about the film; This funny computer video, titled “Coffee Break Machine”, was created by Jim Henson in 1967 as an IBM training video. At the time, the monster was named “Arnold the Munching Monster”.


  1. #1 Bob O'H
    April 28, 2007

    “…maximum data existentialisation…”

    Nope, I don’t know what it means either. But it won’t stop me trying to get this phrase into a paper…


  2. #2 Chris' Wills
    April 28, 2007

    The perfect waste disposal machine :o)

    I wonder what the other Sesame Street stars did to get their starts in acting?

  3. #3 Library Diva
    April 28, 2007

    Kermit also did not survive his first appearance! I forget what it was for — it was in some ad — but he got eaten by a monster.

    Thank you for digging this up, Hedwig. Jim Henson is one of my favorite people ever. As far as innovation in entertainment goes, I think he’s right up there with Walt Disney and D.W. Griffith. I still watch his stuff all the time. And over 15 years later, I’m still saddened that there will never be new stuff from him.

  4. #4 E. Gingras
    April 30, 2007

    I found a bit more information from

    “Jim Henson’s Designs and Doodles explains Cookie Monster’s early life: “In 1966, Henson drew three monsters who appeared in a General Foods commercial that featured three crunchy snack foods: Wheels, Crowns and Flutes. Each snack was represented by a different monster. The Wheel-Stealer was a short, fuzzy monster with wonky eyes and sharply pointed teeth. The Flute-Snatcher was a speed demon with a long, sharp nose and windblown hair. The Crown-Grabber was a hulk of a monster with a Boris Karloff accent and teeth that resembled giant knitting needles.

    As it turns out, these commercials were never aired — but all three monsters had a future in the Muppet cast. The “Crown-Grabber” was used in an Ed Sullivan Show sketch, in which he ruins a girl’s beautiful day. Known from then on as the Beautiful Day Monster, he made a number of appearances on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. The “Flute-Snatcher” turned into Snake Frackle, a background monster from The Great Santa Claus Switch and The Muppet Show.

    And then there’s the “Wheel-Stealer,” who was destined for greater things.

    In 1967, Henson used the “Wheel-Stealer” puppet for an IBM training film called “The Coffee Break Machine.” In the sketch, the monster (with pointed fangs) devoured a complex machine as the machine described its purpose and construction. His greed gets the better of him, however, as the machine’s recording continues (within his stomach), announcing that it is wired to self-destruct. The monster promptly explodes. This sketch was also performed in October 1967 on The Ed Sullivan Show.

    Two years later, Henson pulled the puppet out of the box again for three commercials selling Munchos, a Frito-Lay potato chip. This time, the puppet was called Arnold the Munching Monster. After the three ads were produced, Henson had the opportunity to renew the contract. He chose not to, because at that point he was working on Sesame Street — and that monster puppet was moving on to the next stage in his career.”

    Given the audience laughter, I’d guess the above clip is from the Sullivan performance.

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