We're in the very early stages of the series, and I'm already inspired by this exchange about Cookie Monster.
Is he a stand-in for an American glutton, or simply one of those beloved Sesame Street characters who have endured for generations, with no sign of going stale?
You could apply Christina R.'s comment about Jim Henson's creations "as much as they change, the cores of the characters remain the same" to our nonfiction selves. Seems to me there's a famous quote about how the lines on our faces might change but we're pretty much stuck with our characters for life.
But Steve P. may have a point, too. The (non-American) writer Stendhal could've been commenting on Cookie Monster when he wrote in his essay "de l'Amour" that "Strong characters need strong nourishment." And as the folks at Sesame Street have clearly realized, cookies alone won't do the trick.