There’s a really naughty puppet movie coming round the corner when it comes, and it is called The Happytime Murders - here is its trailer, should you be in the mood for moving images:
Quite funny, you will most likely agree. Unless of course you are literally Sesame Street, in which case you will have spectacularly failed to see the funny side. They have done the opposite of a laugh to such an extreme that they are suing. They have not got the joke so much that they are ‘doing a lawsuit’.
But why? There have been naughty Muppets before - they didn’t sue Avenue Q, so why this? Well, you know in the trailer when it says “No Sesame, All Street?” That.
Here’s an excerpt from the statement being issued by Sesame Workshop:
“Sesame seeks to enjoin Defendants’ deliberate effort to appropriate its SESAME STREET mark, and its trusted brand and goodwill, to promote their R-rated movie, The Happytime Murders, by way of a violent and sexually-explicit trailer. SESAME STREET is a registered trademark of Sesame, an organization with a long and storied history of ‘helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. Defendants’ widely-distributed marketing campaign features a just-released trailer with explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating, and even ejaculating puppets, along with the tagline ‘NO SESAME. ALL STREET.’ Defendants do not own, control or have any right to use the SESAME STREET mark. Instead, they are distributing a trailer that deliberately confuses consumers into mistakenly believing that Sesame is associated with, has allowed, or has even endorsed or produced the movie and tarnishes Sesame’s brand.”
Not every day you get to read the line ‘even ejaculating puppets’ in a statement is it?
Essentially, they’ve got an issue with the trailer using the words “Sesame” and “Street”, worrying that this is creating an association between the film and the brand, and therefore tarnishing the famous name. It’s absolutely not, of course, but hey, this is America and if there’s the chance to make a bit of money somewhere, you better know somebody is going to take the punt.
This will probably all be resolved fairly quickly - presumably all the filmmakers need to do is remove the wording from the trailer, and everything will be hunky dory. There, we sorted it for you. No need for a court case.
The film will hit cinemas 17 August, the same day that Sesame Street is on television somewhere. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.