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Elmo’s dad sent to Iraq?

January 2, 2007

Shouldn’t Sesame Street be the one place where kids can be kids, without dealing with adult-level worries?  Elmo stunned

I can’t believe I missed this story over the holiday break.  I’m usually all over Muppet-related news.  But Sesame Street aired an special episode Dec. 27 called When Parents are Deployed, in which Elmo (the non-tickle variety) sees his dad Louie have to leave suddenly, leaving the red-furred one to deal with the departure.

This is a Muppet-land version of what many children around the country are dealing with as their parents are called up for tours of duty in Iraq.   An extended preview of the episode is available here.

More from TV Squad’s Julia Ward:

On tonight’s PBS special When Parents are Deployed, Elmo gets some sad news – his father Louie is leaving for parts unknown. While no specific branch of the military is mentioned, it’s clear that Louie is being shipped off to either Iraq or another war-torn country.

Elmo, the army brat, is in for some heartbreak. And, from the sound of the New York Times’ review of the special, so are we. Elmo’s segments are played between interviews with actual soldiers and their often traumatized children.  

There’s a father who writes a note to his children on a slip of paper for every day he’s gone. Another charges his preschool age son to take care of his younger brother. It sounds like a tear-jerker – especially when Elmo and his father Louie part ways with a song called “Proud.”

This isn’t the first time Sesame Street has tackled a tough subject. We learned about death from Mr. Hooper’s passing and South African audiences learned about AIDS from Kami, a HIV-positive character. Now, Sesame Street takes on war.

What are we ever going to do if this show goes off the air? Who will be left to tackle the big issues for small children and their families? Barney?

Besides, wouldn’t we be better off if we used flaming Elmos as weapons?  Just think, the terrorists would be running scared if an flaming army of Tickle-Me-Elmos were coming after them.

Here’s a clip to fuel those nightmares… (more here with hokey pokey Elmo)

Elmo’s dad is shipped overseas – TV Squad

One Comment
  1. January 2, 2007 12:47 pm

    I’ve got to agree with Julia. It is an excellent vehicle for dealing with talking to children about real issues. You don’t need to beat them over the head with growing up quickly, but it is excellent when you can have a tool available to help talk about things that most likely are on the minds of children. Just because they don’t say anything doesn’t mean they are not thinking about it.

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