| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

E is for Elmo

Talking to a puppet might sound like an easy task, but Ele Cooper got more than she bargained for when she caught up with the Sesame Street legend

© ITP Images

When Time Out Kids was offered a phone interview with Elmo, we jumped at the chance. The prospect of chatting with the reddest, hairiest monster in showbiz sounded like fun. Of course, discussing the alphabet for half an hour held little appeal; but, unfortunately, even though Elmo was getting US$500 (his minimum interview fee) to talk to us, we were still issued with no-go areas.

Our proposal of quizzing him on such subjects as house prices on the Street and the inauguration of America’s new president was met with a stern reply: ‘Elmo will not be discussing the recession or Obama. Please bear in mind he is only three-and-a-half.’ Thus it was with some trepidation that we approached our interview with the biggest diva in puppetry…

Hi Elmo, how are you today?
Elmo’s great. It’s really snowing here so Elmo can’t wait to go out and play. Do you have snow there too?

No – we live in a desert.
Oh great! Elmo wishes he was there [laughs]. Elmo would love to come to Dubai. I’ve heard it’s so wonderful there!

How are things on Sesame Street, has the recession hit the area?
On Sesame Street? No! Because it’s a wonderful place where everything is always cool. Everyone wants to live on Sesame Street. [Ironically, it was revealed just nine days later that 20 per cent of Sesame Street’s production company was to be made redundant as a result of the economic downturn.]

You’ve met a lot of famous people – who’s been your favourite?
Elmo has a lot of favourite friends, like Whoopi Goldberg. She’s so cool! She’s all about really loving what you look like and who you are. Elmo wanted to have dreads like Whoopi Goldberg and Elmo wanted to have her skin, but she said, ‘Elmo, do you like your fur?’ and Elmo said, ‘Yes.’ ‘Elmo, do you like your colour?’ And Elmo said, ‘Yes,’ and then she said, ‘Well you should be proud of what you look like!’

If you had to be stranded on a desert island with someone, who would it be and why?
Hmm, let’s see, that’s a good question. Um… probably, um, let’s see. Hmm. Boy that’s a hard question! Who hosted the Oscars?

I don’t know.
[Talking to PR, who’s also on the line] Who was it Mr Phil? [PR says it was Hugh Jackman.] If Elmo was on a desert island with anyone, he would want it to be Hugh Jackman!


Because he’s so cool!

You can’t think he’s that cool if you don’t know his name.
Elmo just couldn’t remember his name. But he’s so cool! He’s from Australia and there’s a lot of stuff to do in Australia that’s really physical. Hugh and me would be able to take care of each other. [Laughs]

The mind boggles. What do you like about Australia?
Elmo loves everything about Australia! Especially the kangaroos. Elmo loves them because they’re really funny [laughs].

I heard that you went inside a kangaroo’s pouch once.
Yes it was fun! What a way to travel.

By Ele Cooper
Time Out Dubai,

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