A large, presumably flightless man wearing a bird costume has been capturing children’s hearts since 1969, and now he’s entering politics.
Well, sort of.
On the back of controversy over a light-hearted attempt by Sesame Street to allay children’s fear about the jab, a parody account has appeared.
Under the Twitter handle @SenatorBigBird, a campaign has been launched to replace Senator Ted Cruz with a candidate who promises never to fly south for the winter: Big Bird.
On Tuesday morning (Australian time), the parody account issued a press release informing constituents of new campaign hires.
“We are ready to move Ted Cruz out of Texas and are just getting started on our efforts,” the statement said.
The Cookie Monster is looking forward to “providing cookies to every Texan,” in his new role as campaign manager, it said.
With an estimated population in Texas of more than 29 million people, this indicates a significant campaign budget.
That budget will be managed by team Big Bird’s new finance director, Elmo, who is a self-confessed knowledge junkie.
“Elmo loves to learn, learn about it all. The things that are big and the things that are small,” the red monster frequently says.
The appointment of Elmo in this official capacity is yet to come under scrutiny, though he has reportedly been known to ask for “tickles” in the workplace.
Some have questioned whether The Count would have been a better fit.
The satirical Senate bid highlights the absurd state of politics in the United States.
It comes after the verified Big Bird, of beloved children’s educational program Sesame Street, sparked backlash on Sunday (Australian time) when he tweeted about getting the COVID vaccine.
“I got the COVID-19 vaccine today! My wing is feeling a little sore, but it’ll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy,” Big Bird tweeted.
As reported by The New Daily, the tweet outraged conservatives, wth Republican Senator Ted Cruz among the loudest critics.
While US President Joe Biden congratulated Big Bird on his vaccine, Mr Cruz slammed the tweet as “government propaganda … for your five year old.”
Mr Cruz focused more social media attention on Big Bird’s fictional jab than he did on a Houston music festival where eight people died at the weekend, according to the Washington Post.
The 50-year-old has been pilloried for his reaction, with talk show host Jimmy Kimmel lambasting the senator on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
“It’s interesting because not only is Ted Cruz vaccinated himself – Ted Cruz was born with an immunity that protects him from contracting any friends,” Kimmel joked.
The parody account Big Bird for Senate has quickly gathered momentum, gaining more than 43,000 followers in under 24 hours.
It had passed 45,000 followers and growing at time of publication.
The parody Big Bird team has invested time and comedy resources into trolling Senator Cruz, with various retweets from associated accounts.
The team has called out Senator Cruz on his trip to Cancun during the Texas blizzard, as well as his role in the January 6 insurrection on the Capitol.
A poll measuring the campaign’s “energy” asked the public to vote on their preferred Senator for the state of Texas, offering either Big Bird or Mr Cruz.
Within six hours, 4078 votes had been cast, with 98.5 per cent in favour of Big Bird.
Please Note: The Big Bird for Senate parody account has no affiliation with Sesame Street or the real Big Bird.