Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Stinky the Stinkweed

WMW Stinky

Today’s article was written by our frequent contributor Maxwell Jessop. To submit your own Weekly Muppet Wednesday article, email Ryan at muppetmindset@gmail.com!

Performed by…Stinky
Joey Mazzarino
First appearance…
Sesame Street Season 24: Episode 3133 (1993)
Most recent appearance…
Sesame Street Season 44 (2013)
Best known role…
Sesame Street’s stinky, self-conscious plant resident
Stinky is the living, talking stinkweed resident of Sesame Street, owned by Gordon. Though he has an obvious smelly odor, Stinky is a friend to all on the street. Stinky can become quite self-conscious at times over his awful smell, making him a truly flawed character. He is also quite shy, but is not hesitant to ask for a favor, “If it’s not too much of a bother.”
Like real stinkweeds, Stinky has occasionally been known to bloom flowers out of his head. Flower colors often vary, with blooms of of blue, pink, yellow, and just plain green sprouting from Stinky’s head on various occasions.
Stinky was first featured in a story on Sesame Street in “The Stinkweed and the Sun” when Lillian read to the grouch Blecka. In the story, Stinky lived in the desert with a malicious sun that kept shining down on him. The Sun then left temporarily, only to be replaced by a storm cloud that rains on him. By the time the Sun returns, Stinky has grown a few buds and decides that he doesn’t mind when the Sun leaves from now on.
Following this episode he became a minor recurring character, appearing every few seasons; mostly in Elmo’s World segments. His biggest role came, however, in Season 40 (2009) when he starred in Episode 4194. The episode shows Stinky growing his annual birthday flower and receiving useless gifts from Elmo and friends once they figure out that it is his birthday.
In addition to his Season 40 starring role, Stinky has had many fun times on Sesame Street. One of his finest works came with his role in the “Desperate Houseplants” sketch parodying the ABC drama Desperate Housewives. The sketch stars a whining female garden plant craving water, while Stinky craved sunlight, but Stinky did not want to be a bother by complaining. In the end, they both got what they wanted. This sketch is pretty funny and is a favorite Stinky moments.
Another great Stinky moment occurred when he invented “Bubble Blecch,” a bubble bath for grouches made from his stinky flowers’ stench and gave a bottle to Oscar and his niece Irvine. Another Stinky moment worth mentioning would be in Episode 3971 where Stinky, tired of being used as “little” when people demonstrate big and little, decides he wants to be bigger. This wish is granted by the Fairy Godplant (as played by the talented Ruth Buzzi). Stinky soon regrets his wish upon learning he’ll no longer be able to live on Gordon’s windowsill. The Fairy Godplant then shrinks him back to his normal stinkweed size.
Sesame Street needs Stinky because not only is he a funny character, he kind of adds that diversity to the cast of characters. Y’know, because he’s a plant! You really have to hand it to Joey Mazzarino for creating this character who is a really great addition to the Sesame gang!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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