Despite being a well-known band in the music industry, the Red Hot Chili Peppers was deemed “too racy,” with inappropriate songs that were not suitable for the youthful audience that watches Sesame Street.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary tomorrow, Sesame Street has had a wealth of musical guests on the show over the years. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, however, was never on that list. According to several interviews over the years, however, the band did make an effort to try to get onto the show.
According to Yahoo Entertainment News, their drummer, Chad Smith, said the band was rejected because it was “too racy” for the show.
It was back in 1994 that news of the Red Hot Chili Peppers appearing on Sesame Street first surfaced. It was the band’s frontman, Anthony Kiedis, who told Rolling Stones they were gearing up for an appearance on the show.
“For a long time, we’ve wanted to play Sesame Street, and they weren’t too sure about it. But they finally said yes. So as soon as we finish this record, we’re gonna do a spot on Sesame Street. That could be the pinnacle of our career… I think it just took ’em a while to realize that we have an understanding with kids and that kids dig what we do.”
As excited as the bandmates were, the appearance never happened. Carolyn Miller, a Children’s Television Workshop publicist, told a British magazine called Melody Maker that the producers concluded that the band’s music was not appropriate for the audience of Sesame Street.
During an interview with Vulture back in 2010, it was the head writer of Sesame Street, Joseph Mazzarino, who explained what caused the producers to decide against letting the band appear on the show.
“I remember years ago, when the Red Hot Chili Peppers were on the cover of Rolling Stone [in the nude] and they wanted to do the show,” Joseph recalled.
He claimed because the producers weren’t able to see past the band’s willingness to pose nude they decided they weren’t appropriate for Sesame Street.
It was just last year that Chad Smith, who was known to be a fan of the Muppets, spoke to Yahoo Entertainment about how disappointed the band was with the decision.
According to Smith, the band attempted to fight the decision noting that they do not engage in that type of behavior anymore. He said that while they agreed to run it up the totem pole, they were ultimately shut down.
Yahoo Entertainment News notes Elmo, in particular, must have been extremely disappointed in the decision. After all, his official biography, which was released as part of the digital press kit for the 40th Season of the series, revealed Red Hot Chili Peppers was his favorite band.