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What If Elmo Had Originally Been on Sesame St.?

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by SSLFan, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. SSLFan

    SSLFan Well-Known Member

    Well, Elmo has been on Sesame Street since the late 70's, and even became a major supporting muppet in the late 80's, but what if the Elmo we had all known today was one of the first muppets to appear on the show alongside Oscar, Big Bird, Ernie and Bert? Do you think he would have been one of your favorites? Or do you think your feelings for him would have been the same you have of him today? And how would it have played out further down the road; would their have been an EW back then and Tickle Me Elmo dolls?

  2. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    I think I would have felt the same about him, even when I was little I did not really like how he seemed to talk down to me and was not quite as loveable as Cookie Monster to make up for how he talked. I was glad he was only a side character, and I had the same pov about him as Big Bird and Snuffy ;). But then, I was a very serious little girl and I liked Grover (and still do) because he seemed very smart and sometimes used 'big words' :3
    I do not think we would have had Tickle Me anything back then, remember, even in the 80's toys were not that detailed yet (as far as the electric ones).
    I think if he had been a first SS muppet they would have made up a different monster around the same time as Elmo was made and that character would have gotten the spotlight and the toys and everything...Elmo really isn't that amazing as a character he was just the one that got pushed the most I think :)
  3. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I have to agree with Redsonga here. Elmo wasn't around when I was an intended viewer of the Street so I can't understand how the producers would let him take over so much of it. The show had an ensemble cast of characters while Jim Henson was around. In the 90s the producers and Clash seemed to thin down the show and focus too much on Elmo and that's still happening today. Elmo is entertaining like a very rich dessert in that one bite is more than enough for me. If he'd been around and working in 69 the furry red monster would have the same status as Herry, maybe he would have been a Grover or could have even gone the way of many other characters like Sherlock Hemlock. Elmo would have been one of a group rather than the current red diva he has become. I miss the Bird.

    Make a “Live” doll of any of the classic characters and I’ll put down money on it, but not Elmo. Not ever. He’s not from the Sesame I remember. The one about sharing with a street of other colorful characters.
  4. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    Yeah, I don't think he would have gotten as pushed to the forefront as he is not with Jim running things. If he had gotten popular, it would not be on the account of over exposure.
  5. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Well, if Elmo HAD been on original Sesame Street, he wouldn't have been a Kevin Clash character...he would have been Caroll Spinney, Frank Oz, or Jim Henson ... or if you want to stretch and include season 2 (when SS really kind of found its footing and expanded the cast of characters), Jerry Nelson or (really stretching) Fran Brill. The character would have had a whole different tone not only because of the mentality/style of those performers but also of the writing staff of that time and most notably the lack of so many PC filters that the show goes through these days...all the characters from original brand SS had more of an edge. So organically, Elmo would be pretty much almost a totally different character.

    But let's take it out of the hypothetical. Fact is Elmo has been around (under Kevin's interpretation) since mid-80's - and even then Elmo was really a very different character than he is in 2008. And i LOVED original Elmo! Quite honestly, if Kevin still played Elmo as the kind of shy, have-a-sense-of-wonder-about-the-world-as-is-he's-seeing-everything-for-the-first-time, had that little bit of a baby talk element in his voice ("Big Biwd") - i probably wouldn't even mind as much that he's on the show so much (including his holding the last 1/3 of the show hostage). But slightly before Tickle Me Elmo, Kevin lost a lot of that and made him less shy/childlike and more dominating/hyper...then after Tickle Me Elmo, all the best parts of Original Elmo were forever buried. Every now and then Elmo has his moments, but i never delight seeing him on the screen like i did during 85-circa 92. Check out his classic scene with Whoopi Goldberg talking about skin, hair, and fur or some of the clips on sesamestreet's official youtube page with him and Jim's Kermit for examples of enduring Elmo. That was a classic character. But where most characters evolve over time, Elmo devolved and just is a show-killer rather than an enhancement.
  6. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    That is hands down the best analysis I've ever read on the character. :super:
  7. The Shoe Fairy

    The Shoe Fairy Active Member

    One thing I do notice about Elmo (And the other characters in his Relative age range, eg. Zoe, Abby and Rosita) is that they all seem more calm and self controlled, and a great degree more intelligent than most 3 or 4 year olds in real life. Even though these characters are written for a psychological age, they seem very much smarter than real life kids, not only with a bigger vocab, but with some more adult characteristics, such as their humour. If Elmo had been there at the start, he wouldn't be nearly as absorbed into pop culture as he is today, and you wouldn't have people going 'Elmo' the second they heard the words SS. I don't hate him but I don't love him like I do some other Muppets, He is like beer. A little bit might be fun, or even a larger portion, but too much and you will get very sick very quickly.
  8. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    Yeah, I was going to mention that Kevin was only about ten yeas of age when the show began. But anyway, he also used to have that Muppet edge about him where he would pull long, drawn out out pranks on the human cast as well as Oscar in true Muppet fashion.
  9. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Actually the whole vocabulary thing is another thing i loved about Kevin's orginal interpretation of Elmo that again has been totally lost. Original Elmo always was so thrilled whenever he either learned or was able to use a big word (three syllables or more) - there was an insert song where Elmo learned about the word "important" and some street stories where he learned what he meant as well and then for the rest of the season and the others following, you always saw that Elmo would be really proud of himself whenever he used the word himself.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Hypothectically, I'd see him as a completely different character. Either closer to Farley, or closer to the Baby Monster he was intended to be (I wish I could think of an example, Frazzle's the best I can come up with... only Elmo talks). And probably a Jerry Nelson character. And I would tend to see him go the way of Leo the Party Monster and a bunch of other generic monsters that had names for a while in the late 70's and 80's, and he'd wind up being in random crowd sequences.

    I think quite a bit of the Elmo problem is due in part to the state of the show in the 90's... Jim, Raposo, and Richard all passed away, Frank wasn't with the show as much... they needed characters like Elmo, Zoe, and Rosita to fill out the cast. And unlike the unfortunate removal of everyone around the corner (Sherry, Benny, Monty, and the slow withdrawl of Humphry and Ingrid) those characters stuck, allong with a bigger role for Telly and Baby Bear. The Tickle Me stuff didn't help either (I blame Rosie for that one :insatiable: )

    But I totally agree with DW, here.... I do like Elmo, but I really think he was much better when he first appeared... where he was a toddler monster... A good example of what I'm thinking of is his scenes in "Monster Hits" where he's extremely anxious to open the award, and acts like a 3 year old, trying to take it and shouting "Mine." A lot of that was lost as the years went on, and I don't think Elmo's World does anything for the character. Other than the time Rocko the rock infiltrated the sanctity of Elmo's World, you never got to see him as a character. There was no emotion, and you didn't explore what really made up Elmo's World (his life from his point of view).

    Even in the street segments, you get a sense of his character. I really like the childhood pre-romance style thing he clearly has with Zoe (I can't help it... I've fallen into the internet community trap of pairing random toons together... I can see the bad AMV's of still frames now). And I REALLY love his intense annoyance and hatred of Rocko. Even in "Telly the Tie Breaker" Kevin got Elmo to make a very sly Obama reference (mocking the "Together we Can" slogan- and a clear ad lib). Why we don't see the best of Elmo outside of the random TV appearance and occasional ad lib is depressing, but chalk it up to overexposure. Overexposure can ruin ANYTHING... look at Winnie the Pooh. Those great stories and short films and TV shows burried under a sea of bean bags...
  11. ISNorden

    ISNorden Active Member

    If Elmo had originally been on Sesame Street, I'm betting that his personality would not have changed so drastically. There'd be more street stories like his first reactions to Rocco, his attempts at imitating the Count's thunder with noisy objects, and his struggle to change the letter of the day (before you ask, all three of those are real episode plots). The "Elmo's World" segments, if they still existed, would each take only as long as "Global Grover"; any character who dominated the show for 15 minutes would still be a new creation. (Sad, but probably realistic!)
  12. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    It would have been cute if Snuffy's little sister had learned to talk and she got her own show, it could be called 'Alice's Wonderland' :3 *heehee* I would watch it :3
  13. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    There is the recent episode where is jealous of Marco and Gina paying more attention to him because he is younger.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Way off topic, but I really wish they continued with Baby Natasha's dead on satire of late night talk shows. That was one of the coolest things on Sesame I've seen in years.

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