Beautiful Day Monster
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The Beautiful Day Monster is a Muppet that debuted on The Ed Sullivan Show. Caroll Spinney, Dan Redican (1989), Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Jim Henson, Kevin Clash, and Richard Hunt have all performed the character.
Originally conceived by Henson as one of three monsters for a series of never-aired ads for a General Foods snack product called "Wheels, Crowns and Flutes" in 1966, the characters were aptly named the Wheel-Stealer, Crown-Grabber and Flute-Snatcher.
Although the commercials were never shown, the characters were kept by Henson. The Flute-Snatcher became Snake Frackle, a background monster from The Great Santa Claus Switch and The Muppet Show. Wheel-Stealer eventually evolved into Cookie Monster, and Crown-Grabber became Beautiful Day Monster.
The Beautiful Day Monster was so named because of his very first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The sketch featured a little girl walking along and enjoying a beautiful day. The monster slowly appears behind her and goes to extreme lengths to ruin the girl's fun. He causes it to rain, but stops when the girl says that rain can be refreshing. When the little girl tries to look at a flower, the monster eats it, along with the flowerpot. Trying to keep her spirits up, the girl comments that sounds can be beautiful, too-like those of a nearby singing bird. The monster takes out a gun and shoots the bird. Finally acknowledging the monster's existence, the girl begins to compliment him on his "perfect awfulness." This kindess causes the monster to shrink to a much smaller size, whereupon the girl destroys it with a flyswatter, saying, "You've gotta talk your troubles down to a size where you can handle 'em!" In this first appearance he was performed by Jim Henson himself.
Beautiful Day Monster then appeared numerous times during Season 1 of Sesame Street. His appearance changed slightly over the episodes, but he was always rather frightening looking, and not just in terms of a kid's show. First having small, narrow eyes (as he did on the original Sullivan sketch) he was soon given large, bulging eyes and hairy eyelashes, then articulated eyelids. In one early appearance with Ernie & Bert he was even shown having four eyes. For his Sesame Street appearances, he was performed by Frank Oz.
The Beautiful Day Monster made one last appearance on The Muppet Show. By this time, he had been rebuilt to look slightly less scary. He appeared in a sketch with guest host Paul Williams. Williams played a travel agent, and the Beautiful Day Monster was a customer who wanted to go to Pittsburgh. He asked for a first-class ticket; upon hearing of the price, he asked, "Ya got anything cheaper?" Though Williams kept lowering the price (along with the quality of transportation), the Beautiful Day Monster would not stop repeating his question. In the end Williams pulled a lever which dropped a 5000 pound weight, squishing the monster flat. Williams picks him up and says, "Mail this to Pittsburgh". For this appearance he was performed by Richard Hunt. Since then he has only had minor appearances, including a cameo in the 2011 film The Muppets.
- Beautiful Day Monster on Muppet Wiki, an external wiki
- Beautiful Day Monster at the Internet Movie Database