Cartoon-takeawayfood
Written by Christopher Cerf
Date 1991
Publisher Splotched Animal Music Co.
First Episode 3003

"Zero Song" is an animated Sesame Street song produced by Jane Aaron.

Ivy Austin sings about filling her cup with various foods, but animals come by and eat them all, leaving 0. She finally puts her sneakers in it, thinking no one will eat them, until a goat comes by and gobbles them down (then takes her cup).

After initial airings of the segment, the show received letters from the Dairy Goats Association of America for their portrayal of goats in the segment. They insisted diary goats don't eat sneakers and such an image would harm their reputation. Producers ignored the letters until they received one from a US Senator threatening the show's funding unless CTW "stopped slandering dairy goats".[1] The creative team began considering removing the segment until Cerf could prove that a goat would eat sneakers. While at a trip to Florida, Cerf and head writer Norman Stiles visited a petting zoo, where a goat began nibbling on Cerf's own sneaker. The two got photographic evidence, allowing the segment to remain on air.[2] In response to the controversy, Stiles and Cerf developed a bit that would often air following in the song, in which an enraged goat would express her feelings on the portrayal of goats in the segment.[3] (First: Episode 3354)

Sources

  1. The Atlantic "The Songsmiths of Sesame Street" by Julie Beck, March 29, 2019
  2. Christopher Cerf at "Sing: The Music of Sesame Street" panel at the Museum of the Moving Image, August 18, 2019.
  3. Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street, page 188
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