Henson Attack

The lovers, the dreamers and me…

Lou and I watched this documentary the other night about Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who plays Elmo.

Prior to watching, I wasn’t a huge Elmo fan. But after Clash talked about the development of the character, I started to get it.

“I knew that Elmo should represent love – just kissing and hugging,” Clash explained.

Then I realized what a jerk I had been about Elmo…the little guy just wants to love! There’s nothing wrong with that!

In fact, I think it’s perfectly fitting that the modern-day Muppet superstar is a gushy monster.

To me, Elmo embodies the overwhelming affection I have for all the Muppets. With three older brothers who grew up in the 1970s, the Muppets are a big deal in our family.

Last night, during family dinner (our weekly meal at my mother’s house), we talked about the Muppets for 45 minutes. As we discussed our favorite characters and remembered special Muppet moments, we were all laughing and in a great mood.

So we dug up an old VHS of The Muppet Movie (yes, VHS…we wanted some Muppet action that bad), nibbled on cookies, and watched the film together.

“I gotta admit,” Lou said on the drive home, “I got a little choked up during ‘The Rainbow Connection'”.


Lou’s not a crier. I think it just goes to show that I’m not the only 30-something out there with a soft spot for the Muppets.

When we arrived home, I finished watching Labyrinth, which I had started earlier in the day (I’m in a Henson phase, can you tell?).

It was my turn to cry. Tears were streaming down my face as the sad-faced Hoggle said to the young Jennifer Connelly, “Yes, should you need us,…”

Gah! I’m choking up about it now!

Want to go down the rabbit hole with me? Then watch this. I dare you. Ten bucks says you won’t make it to the end without getting a lump in your throat.

Now, couldn’t you use a hug from Elmo? I know I want one.

6 thoughts on “Henson Attack

  1. I used to watch Muppet Babies cartoon as a kid constantly, along with Sesame Street. But Jim had passed by then, and I didn’t see the Muppet Movies/TV show until my teen years. But Jim was a genius, and I gotta side with Lou. Rainbow connection can make many a grown man tear up. It’s ridiculous that a cloth frog sock puppet can do that to a person. RIP Jim.

    • Muppet Babies was crucial to my upbringing — and you can’t beat the intro song. I was born in 1981 but with the older siblings, I got my fair share of real-space muppet exposure. I guess that makes up for the decades of dead legs. Remember Fraggle Rock? Jim was a genius. I love him!

  2. I watched Labyrinth last week and i still LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Masquerade Party Scene! I wanted that dress and that mask and even that era of David Bowie following me around a party. The song is still so great.
    P.S. was reading Vice Magazine today and there online quote is…. ” I dare you to you tube the Jim Henson Funeral after a three day bender….. and see if you can last”
    Crazy. He is in the air.

  3. I feel exactly the same way about Elmo. I didn’t get it until I saw that documentary. I almost think that you have to know the guy behind Elmo in order to like Elmo.

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