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  • Robert Farago

Elmo Was Cruising For A Bruisin'

You’ve got to feel sorry for Elmo. Someone took his “I” out. It’s not easy to do. Feel sorry for Elmo, I mean. Removing one of the ping pong balls that constitutes Elmo’s eyes seems simple enough. No…

I’m saying a lot of people find the muppet’s habit of referring to himself in the third person deeply annoying. Maybe not as maddening as individuals who claim a collective pronoun, but close.

Hang on. Did Elmo’s thirdpersonitis lure “they/them” practitioners into “their” dissociative identity disorder? If so, Robert thinks that’s wrong. Hahahahaha. Speaking of which…

Elmo’s laugh is a double-edged sword

The muppets trademark high-pitched laugh is easily imitated, never forgotten, always endearing. Well it is if you love Elmo. If not, not so much.

Again, poor Elmo. Imagine the irritation the muppet’s laugh must inspire in those who find the sound grating. Imagine how Elmo – ostensibly a three-year-old – wouldn’t see their annoyance until it was too late.

Even so, it would take a deeply cynical man to attack a cloth toddler who teaches children kindness, friendship, sharing and empathy; albeit in broken English constantly interrupted by that laugh.

Someone like… comedian Larry David

Larry David is a bad, bad man!

Larry David’s comedy is based on saying things nobody’s supposed to even think, never mind say out loud. Mr. David grabbing Elmo’s face and taking a swing at the muppet live on national TV? Totally on-brand.

Are there adults who found Mr. David’s assault on Elmo funny, perhaps having felt a secret urge to throttle or smack the Sesame Street star, or worse? (Tickle this you smarmy little bastard.)

D’uh! Check out the anchors’ reaction to Mr. David’s assault. Outraged and uncomfortable laughter is still laughter. Schadenfreude FTW baby!

Outrageous outrage!

Not only did the Today Show hosts feel compelled to browbeat David into apologizing to a puppet - lest anyone think they were supportive or God forbid complicit - the PC world went mental.

Has-been actor Richard William Wheaton III (a.k.a, Star Trek’s Wesley Crusher) took to Facebook to label Mr. David’s attack “appalling, unforgivable and despicable.”

“What the fuck is wrong with that guy?“ Wheaton wrote, before playing the “my father used to beat me” sympathy card. “Elmo is, like, the best friend to multiple generations of children.”

The Best of All Possible Worlds!

Hey Wes! We’d all like our children to have a friend like Elmo. To live in a world of diversity, equity and inclusion. (Red muppets are people too!) To know how to deal with feelings and play nice with peers. But…

The world is full of assholes, not a small percentage of which are murderous fanatics. In case you hadn’t noticed, that’s particularly germane if you’re Jewish. Like grouchy old Larry David.

The discrepancy between how we want the world to be and how it really is is Jewish humor.

It’s the disconnect between Elmo teaching Americans to be there for people suffering from mental illness and people ignoring or hating on the legions of less-than-sane or sober homeless people inhabiting our cities.

Larry David explained

Jews are raised with a profound sense of irony, built on a shaky foundation of fatalism. An almost Buddhist belief that life is suffering. A perspective born from, uh, suffering.

Jewish fatalism/cynicism doesn’t normally manifest itself as puppet abuse, but trust me, eyebrow raises, sighs, shrugs and eye rolls are never far away.

Truth telling is another symptom of our cultural gestalt. Goring sacred cows/muppets if you will. Why? Again, because it’s funny.

In my business you don’t cut funny

As someone who plans to write a fake Barney the Dinosaur “tell-all,” I’m down with David’s “sickness.”

If you’re wondering why – other than a strong desire to offend my long-dead Mother – I refer you to one my favorite movies.

In My Favorite Year, a comedy writer tells the head writer he’s moving to California. “You can’t write comedy there! They’re not miserable enough!”

In a nasty, brutish world where there are Jewish comedians – and an angry Catholic cartoonist – Elmo was cruising for a bruisin’. Cancel his antagonists for bringing that into the open. I dare you.


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