August 19, 2009

No, Elmo, I'm Your Father!


From Daily Finance, the money vertical/portal section of AOL's content strategy v8.0:

Elmo, Sesame Street's most giggly spokesmonster, is going through some tough economic times. His mommy has lost her job.

Elmo's daddy is still working. (Note: A Sesame spokeswoman tells me their names are Louie and Mae. I and many Internet sources called them George and Gladys.) But because money is tight, the family will have to cut back -- eating meals at home instead of at restaurants. A trip to the pirate amusement park is out, and movie night has become game night.

Wait, who what? Who cares about movie night when no one even knows who Elmo's real parents are?


See, George and Gladys were the names of Elmo's first/real/bio parents, who first appeared on "Elmo's World," during Dorothy the goldfish's flashback/memory of Elmo's birth. George and Gladys also happen to be the names of Elmo muppeteer Kevin Clash.


But in a canonical breach so egregious it'd get you fed to the sarlacc if it happened in the Star Wars universe, in the Sesame Beginnings DVD-for-babies, released in 2006, Elmo suddenly had entirely different, unexplained parents.

That "dad" is Louie, who was a hippie-dippie at-home dad at the time, and later joined the army in another 2006 DVD, Talk, Listen, Connect, which was created for military families dealing with a parent's deployment.


While Gladys is red like Elmo, his "mom" Mae in the DVDs is orange, which could make Elmo biracial.

When the name of Elmo's goldfish switched from Wiggles to Dorothy, there was apparently an episode explaining how Elmo was sad because his goldfish died. But it sounds like Sesame Workshop publicists are strongarming this "Louis & Mae" story, expecting everyone to just bend over and take it like a muppet.

Not on my watch, comrade. I demand to see Elmo's longform birth certificate.

Elmo so sad! Even happy, furry monsters can't escape economic downturn [ via dt reader ck]
Meanwhile, the birther scandal's setting the net ablaze: It's An Outrage! [abunchofblocks]
Talk: Elmo: Elmo's Parents [muppet wiki]


OK, I can't answer the George/Louie Gladys/Mae question, but I can shed some light on their appearance. In the Elmo's World sequence, Dorothy is imagining Elmo being born; when Dorothy imagines anything, all the characters in the scenario are variations on Elmo--he is her world. In real life, however, Elmo's parents look different than what Dorothy imagined.

On another level, perhaps the changes in Elmo's parents reflect not an inconsistency on the part of the creators, but an evolution of Elmo's own perspective. Given that the newer, less-Elmo-like father appears in the potty time video as well, perhaps the change in his name and appearance are symbolic manifestations of Elmo's differentiation from his parents. Elmo is becoming his own person, therefore the differences between him and his parents are more pronounced.

I think Elmo's dad was first portrayed by Dick York, but then replaced by Dick Sargent.

Love this, though I can't buy the "as Elmo grows up" theory, since he never shows any other signs of growing up. As for the "real" vs "imaginary" worlds, the Muppet wiki discussion goes deep into the differences between Dorothy's imaginary world, Elmo's World, and "real life." Cracks me up.

What's actually annoying, though, is that Dorothy's imaginary world is apparently called "Tickle Me Land," as in, "Tickle Me Elmo."

Amo A ELMO Me hacen llegar uno??? :C porfa
elmo es mi moustro favirito‚ô•

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