Monday, November 10, 2008

Elmo's Christmas Countdown

To an adult's ears, there is probably no more irritating noise than the one which emanates from Elmo's plush lips. To babies, however, Elmo is Elvis. Their worship of the little red annoying one is legendary.

So, when the 16-month-old I was babysitting this past Saturday wanted to watch her favorite video, I had to put my own wants aside to please the enthusiastic tot.

In Elmo's Christmas Countdown Ben Stiller-- or should I say Ben Stiller's voice-- stars as an inept elf who needs Elmo's help to save the holiday. Elmo, inexplicably, has many A-lister friends who are willing to help him in his quest. Sheryl Crow, Jamie Foxx, Charles Gibson, Brad Paisley, Alisha Keys and others sing songs, act in sketches and occasionally give inspirational speeches to Elmo and his stuffed posse. Mercifully, it's only 47 minutes long. Unfortunately, we had to watch it twice.

The best part about hanging out with a boddler (not quite a baby, not yet a toddler) is that you can say whatever you want without fear of them actually understanding what it is you're saying. So when you exclaim during Jennifer Hudson's over-the-top rendition of Carol of the Bells, "This is an abomination!" the wee one will squeal with delight if you say it with the same excitement as, "Look at the cute puppy!"

The tot-ling was seemingly unimpressed when I told her that my husband had once played poker with Santa Claus aka Kevin James aka The King of Queens. She was similarly disinterested when I bragged that Steve Schirippa, who played Ernie, runs the Riviera Comedy Club in Las Vegas and books me once a year. What good is name dropping when your audience can only respond with "Ball?"

But it was weird for me to have had real-life contact with folks who are appearing in a Sesame Street video. I was four when Sesame Street first hit the public broadcasting airwaves, so I've grown up with the show. Who knew that the little girl sitting in front of a black and white television would someday turn into a middle-aged woman with a tangential connection to show business?

I suppose my real goal should be to eventually appear in a Sesame Street video. (At least I know I can sing better than Anne Hathaway.) My fear is that I'd go mental and strangle Elmo on camera. Sure it would make the kids cry but I bet the parents would watch it again and again.

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