Do you use Waze, the alternative to Google Maps that’s known for its crowdsourced traffic reports and cute emoji-style icons? If so, and if you’re in the U.S., you’ve got a new voice option that will tell you how to get to Sesame Street. You can now get turn-by-turn driving directions from Cookie Monster himself!
To get Cookie Monster’s distinctive voice on your Waze app, open the app and go to the magnifying glass icon that’s at the bottom left of your Waze screen. You’ll see the Settings icon, which looks like a gear, on the top left side. Once you click that, you’ll get a menu. Under “Voice & sound,” go to “Waze voice.” It’ll probably be set to the default, which is “English (US) – Jane.” To change it, click the selection and then look under the menu “Waze voices.” You should find it as “English (US) – Cookie Monster.” Then hop in your car, and away you go!
Waze announced the new voice, along with new “moods” on the app, in early June on its social media:
(Perhaps this joyous addition was meant to coincide with National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, which happened on Aug. 4?)
And yes, we can confirm that Cookie Monster makes cookie-munching sounds while he’s helping you find your location. Because of course he does.
Cookie Monster is just one of the options that Waze has made available for driving instructions through its history. Right now, you can also choose the “Boy Band” option, but in the past, the app (which Google bought from Israeli-based Waze Mobile in 2013) has also offered the voices of Liam Neeson and Mr. T, along with Colonel Sanders. So it is possible that Cookie Monster is only available for a limited time.
If you just love Cookie Monster, though, you might want to follow his Twitter account, which is pretty hilarious. Check out a recent tweet from the furry blue cookie-lover, playing off a recent popular meme:
Therapist: And what do we say when we feel like this?
— Cookie Monster (@MeCookieMonster) July 23, 2019
He’s also pretty active on Sesame Street’s Instagram account:
A 50th Birthday Celebration
“Sesame Street” debuted on Nov. 10, 1969. The show’s creators, Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrissett, sought to make a show that would help disadvantaged children through television. The first episode featured the character Gordon showing a new child around the neighborhood. In just a few years, “Sesame Street” became so popular that versions debuted in Germany, Mexico and Brazil. Today it airs in 150 countries and 70 languages!
Last month, in celebration of the TV show’s storied history, the United Postal Service released a commemorative set of Forever stamps with everyone’s favorite muppet characters from the show — including Cookie Monster, of course, but also Snuffleupagus, Bert and Ernie, the Count, Harry Monster, Grover and Elmo.
These can be purchased at your local post office or online at USPS.com.
Additionally, there’s a 50th anniversary tour taking place around the country, but it’s almost completed. The “Sesame Street Road Trip’s” last stop is this Saturday in Los Angeles. Here’s Big Bird hanging out by the Hollywood sign:
The 10-city festival tour included filming segments in each city that will air on “Sesame Street” when the 50th anniversary season begins this November on HBO (the series has been part of the lineup there since January 2016; episodes still air on public television months later).
Steve Youngwood, Sesame Workshops CEO and president of media and education, said, “As we celebrate our decades of impact and look ahead to the next 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’s’ timeless lessons remain the same: Everyone, no matter who they are or where they came from, is equally deserving of respect, opportunity and joy.”
And thanks to Waze, Cookie Monster can also help you figure out where you’re going. If he doesn’t get distracted by too many cookies, that is.
Have fun with that new voice option!