Monday, April 04, 2005

Elmo in the Morning

Our local radio station, KFOG, has an amiable group of people running the morning and midday shows, which I hear a good deal of; the guy who does the evening show I like less, but I listen to less radio in the evening, so that works out well. Dave Morey, the head guy on the morning show, has a variety of call-ins, games, interviews, and goofy banter on the show--Gavin Newsome, our mayor (and one of my current political heros) comes on once a month, you get the usual star-here-to-plug-the-new-movie/book/TV show/album. And today they had Elmo.

Okay. I miss Sesame Street. Sarcasm Girl was a serious SS fan from a tiny age; YG not so much (she prefered Big Comfy Couch, which was all right in its way, but was no Sesame Street. When I was working at Tor and Claire Eddy's son Ben was a baby, Claire and I would meet in the mornings to synchronize the Sesame Street earworm of the day: which song we'd heard while getting the kid ready for preschool that would stubbornly refuse to leave our heads. I had been a snob about Sesame Street until I actually found myself watching it, and then I fell in love. I mean, a Billy Idol-blonde capital letter singing "Rebel L?" A Twin Peaks send up with Cookie Monster intoning "Darn fine cookie, darn fine!" "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" can still make me teary (yes, I know. I'm a joke. Never mind.) And I loved Elmo, the perpetual three-year-old monster with the manic laugh, not least for knowing that Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who has animated and voiced the little red muppet for twenty odd years, is a big, former-football-playing African American guy whose normal speaking voice (and laugh) are...well, normal. Since the girls have reached the ages of reason, so called, we have become a Sesame Street-free household, although "Carribbean Amphibean" and "Put Down the Duckie" do come up in conversation from time to time.

So this morning KFOG had a phone interview with Elmo, there to plug a new series of songs and spots on Sesame Street (and perhaps elsewhere) aimed at getting kids to eat healthily. Elmo gets to sing with Alicia Keyes and the GooGoo Dolls, and sings a song with the Cookie Monster (which I can only assume is based on the song from Porgy and Bess) called "A Cookie is a Sometime Food." They played the GooGoo Dolls song, which was just fine, and Elmo sat for a few questions. His favorite food is Wasabi. Who knew? And when asked about the "Tickle Me Elmo" dolls he said, with a touch of asperity, "Elmo doesn't know anything about those dolls." But maybe he's just hoping for a cut of the gross.


Blogger gethky said...

Hope you don't mind that I copied (part of) your post in my "Sampler" blog.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Fine by me. Drop by any time...

12:47 PM  
Blogger Janni said...

But what I really need to know is--is it true that these days Cookie Monster sometimes eats things other than, well, cookies? Like celery and carrots?

Because that's Just So Wrong.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

We had a book around here called "Cookie Soup," a variation on the old Stone Soup story, in which Cookie Monster shows up at Ernie's house and announces he's going to make him dinner. Cookie Soup! Which includes many vegetables, some leftover roast beef, and of course, one big oatmeal cookie. I've never tried adding oatmeal (or oatmeal cookies) to my soup.

One of my favorite Jim Henson bits on Sesame Street was Captain Vegetable, a psychotic looking bunny in a superhero suit, who came on singing

"It is I! Captain Vegetable!
With my carrots and my celery.
Eating crunchy vegetables is good for me,
and they're good for you so eat some too,
for teeth so strong your whole life long
eat celery and carrots by the bunch!
Hooray for me, Captain Vegetable!
Crunch crunch crunch!"

I told you I was very steeped in this stuff, didn't I?

2:51 PM  

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