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John Oliver And Cookie Monster, On The News Beat

Just in time for back-to-school season, funny newsman John Oliver and incorrigible consumer Cookie Monster are co-anchoring a news special on words, in a video that includes appearances by Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon and weatherman Al Roker.

Sharing the anchor desk of W-ORD News, Oliver and Cookie Monster banter about the silent "b" in crumb and puzzle over the length of the word "abbreviation." In another highlight, Roker adapts his forecast to warn of the arrival of the word "hangry" across most of the Midwest this week.

The segment is part of a series of collaborations between the makers of Sesame Street and the website Mashable.

"This project is in support of Sesame Street's Words Are Here, There and Everywhere, a fantastic digital resource that encourages families to explore the world of words all around them," Mashable's Matt Silverman writes.

As you might expect, things can go off the rails when Cookie Monster is on the set — a point driven home by a clip of outtakes.

"Thank you, Cookie," Oliver tells his partner. "You're a great hype man."

On a final note, we'll mention that the credits show the segment's two stars received equal treatment on the set:

"Production Assistance & Stand-In for Mr. Oliver: Eric Larson
"Production Assistance & Stand-In for Mr. Monster: Noah Sterling"

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

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