Sesame Street vs. Yo Gabba Gabba! The Musical Battle for Your Kids' Coolness
Sesame Street

Sesame Street vs. Yo Gabba Gabba! The Musical Battle for Your Kids' Coolness

Sesame Street wants your kids to be cool. And not by learning the alphabet, easy addition or "good government bullshit" (sorry, it's the 20th anniversary of the release of GoodFellas).

No, they're doing it through pop music.

This week,

The Street

(I hear that's what the cool toddlers are calling it now)

teased its lineup of musical guests

--which include

Katy Perry


, Justin Timberlake, U2 and Usher--for its 41st season. This has lead

Entertainment Weekly to declare

that Sesame Street is "still the coolest show on TV," citing non-singing guests like Jason Bateman, Oprah and Chris O'Donnell (the actor, not the Tea Partying ex-witch) to support its claim.

Pardon my rubber ducky, EW, but I think you're forgetting about the new kid on the block, our locally bred show (created by the Aquabats) that is making Sesame Street step up its game: Yo Gabba Gabba!

There's no denying that Sesame Street has cultivated its musical cred over the years by featuring the likes of Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and others at the peaks of their powers. But we live in the world of "what have you done for me lately?" That's where you have to give YGG! (no toddler--cool or otherwise--calls it by that name) its due. The Nick Jr. has booked acts like the Ting TingsMates of StateMGMTLady Tigra and the Postmarks. Hell, the show even keeps Biz Markie and Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh in house to perform.

To try to get a handle on this debate that no one is discussing, I compared some of the Sesame Street's recent musical guests with those on Yo Gabba Gabba! to see who out-cools whom. 

John Legend vs. The Roots

Which show's cooler? On the surface, this looks like it would be close, but it's no contest. There is no musical act right now that is cooler than the Roots. Don't take my word for it; just ask Jimmy Fallon. He's gotten cooler just been hanging out with them on a nightly basis. Yo Gabba Gabba!

Feist vs. Of Montreal

Of Montreal on Yo Gabba Gabba! from NickPress on Vimeo.

Which show's cooler? It's the Tangle From the Tundra! The Uprising From Up North! The Clash of the Caroling Canucks! Well, it would be if Of Montreal was actually from Canada. And it's that type of artistic dishonesty that kids shouldn't be exposed to. Plus, what kid wouldn't want to spend a day hanging out with Feist? Sesame Street

Tom Higgenson of Plain White T's vs. Weezer

Weezer on Yo Gabba Gabba! from NickPress on Vimeo.

Which show's cooler? Perform your song as a Muppet or perform your song dressed in bug costumes? I'm sorry, but being immortalized as a Muppet will always out-cool ... well, anything short of having an orgy with Eva Green and Jon Hamm while reaching escape velocity on the last space shuttle mission, ripped to the tits on DMT. Sesame Street

Chris Brown vs. Jack Black

Which show's cooler? This is sort of the anti-cool face off as these guest spots really show which program made the least embarrassing booking. You really can't fault The Street for not knowing in 2007 that Chris Brown was going to go all Jake LaMotta on Rhianna. Whereas if you're an over-the-top, edge-of-surreal, flamboyant show like YGG! having Jack Black on is gilding the lilly. Still, it's Chris Brown, and it's a children's show. It still creeps me out. Yo Gabba Gabba!

NON-MUSICAL TIEBREAKER: Jason Mraz vs. Paul Williams
Sesame Street vs. Yo Gabba Gabba! The Musical Battle for Your Kids' Coolness

Which show's cooler? The only reason that this is non-musical is that I can't find the proper performance clips online. (The Horror!) This match-up is interesting in that both musicians perform the same song*: "Rainbow Connection." Now, you're probably thinking, "This is a no-brainer! Sesame Street wins because that's a Muppet song, and Yo Gabba Gabba! cribbed it!" Except that YGG! had the man who wrote the song perform it, which makes it a nice tip of the cap to the enduring legacy of Jim Henson's legacy. Plus, Paul Williams was in Smokey and the Bandit. All Jason Mraz has been in is someone called Tristan Prettyman. Yo Gabba Gabba!

The cool verdict By a half note, Yo Gabba Gabba! shows its a smidge cooler than Sesame Street. But The Street shouldn't feel bad. It's staying competitive, and it's nice to see it's stepping up its game and not resting on its well-pedigreed laurels.

Ultimately, though, the real winners are the kids. Who wants a generation raised only on kiddie icons like Hannah Montana, Justin Bieber and Insane Clown Posse?


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