Alright, before I delve back into my Elmo problems, I want to say that I understand he is supposed to represent pure love. I don’t blame the puppeteer, subject of a recent documentary, for Elmo’s annoyingness. One of the reviewers said that “committed elmo-haters may be converted” by the film. I did find Kevin Clash’s story moving. It is not the puppeteer’s fault that Elmo (and Elmo products!) have taken over the toddler world* and are constantly in my face, on my daughter’s butt, and in her hand (it isn’t all my fault either, the majority of my daughter’s Elmo products were not purchased by me, she is really lucky that I have sisters). The classic 1970s Monster at the End of this Book features Grover who is freaking out about the monster at the end of his book (that ends up being him). It is adorable and fun. Then they wrote a sequel, in which Elmo harasses poor Grover, pushes him to do things he doesn’t want to do (like Elmo does with his mime, he is a bizarre control freak sometimes). What is Elmo doing on the cover? Making Grover carry him and adding in that he is just as cute as Grover! Elmo you don’t have to compare your cuteness level, it isn’t a competition! Heaven help Elmo if Grover is in the spotlight for two seconds, have you not realized it is Elmo’s world Grover? If I had a friend who had a friend like Elmo, I’d tell her to drop her Elmo-friend and find someone more supportive who cares about more than being the center of attention ALL THE TIME. Do you think Elmo is a good friend? Is being controlling, needy, and narcissistic part of pure love?
*Tellingly in the documentary Kevin Clash (Elmo’s puppeteer) mentions that tickle me Elmo (Elmo’s most famous product) didn’t sound like Elmo.