Jim Henson drew some monsters eating various snacks for a General Foods commercial in 1966. The commercial was never used, but Henson recycled one of the monsters (the “Wheel-Stealer”) for an IBM training video in 1967 and again for a Fritos commercial in 1969. By this time, he started working on Sesame Street and decided this monster would have a home there.
Cookie Monster's character Alistair Cookie, the host of Monsterpiece Theatre, made Mental Floss' list of discontinued Muppets. If you remember, Alistair Cookie hosted holding a pipe, which he ate at the end of the episode. Parents were concerned this might somehow lead to kids wanting to smoke, so all the segments with footage of Cookie and the pipe were re-shot in the 90's, often using Frank Oz's original voice recordings.
In Africa, Sesame Street doesn’t shy away from the big issues. The Nigerian adaptation of the show stars Kami, the world’s first HIV-positive Muppet (introduced by South Africa’s Takalani Sesame), and Zobi, a fluffy, blue cab driver who educates children about malaria. The production has its lighter side, too. Zobi is also the Nigerian version of Cookie Monster, though he’s more of a Yam Monster. Since not many Nigerian children have access to cookies, the producers decided to give Zobi an insatiable craving for one of the country’s staple foods. He often shouts out, “Me eat yam!”