Did Larry David Owe Elmo An Apology?

Larry’s attack on Elmo was, pretty, pretty, pretty good, or pretty pretty bad, depending on who you ask.

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Larry David versus Elmo
The Today Show

For many parents, Larry David just did what we’ve wanted to do for years. During an appearance on The Today Show, promoting the upcoming final season of his brilliant comedy series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David — co-creator of Seinfeld — grabbed Elmo by the face, and briefly, took a swing at Elmo’s father, Louie. Afterward, the comedian and writer was made to apologize to Elmo on camera but, come on, most of us are on team Larry with this, right? Or, was this too far?

First of all, we all can agree that Larry hates the stop-and-chat, and Elmo loves the stop-and-chat. Nobody needs that. Second, yes, Elmo is cute, and great, and probably causes more good than harm to young minds, but for many tired parents, he’s really annoying. In fact, some might say that popularization of Elmo was the first sign that Sesame Street was in decline. Whether this is true or not isn’t the point. Parents everywhere have all wanted to take on Elmo. But should they?

To be clear, Larry David didn’t go on Sesame Street and attack Elmo. He grabbed Elmo — a non-living puppet — a grown-up talk show. This might be fine? And, for some of us, this was very, very funny.

David was asked to apologize to Elmo on camera, later in the segment. And after being told that the apology must “come from heart,” Larry David responded, “What organ are we talking about here?”

Elmo has no heart, and yet, Larry David is made to grovel before Elmo? Does this make sense?

In fairness, there’s certainly an argument to make here that Larry David’s attack on Elmo could trigger certain people and that this image is harmful on some level. Some have even pointed out that this image could remind people who have been abused of traumatic events. Obviously, that wasn’t Larry David’s intent, but again, the context here feels firmly in the adult space, and not aimed at children. Then again, maybe the line is a bit blurry here. Either way, we can expect people to be debating about this for years.

The final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm begins airing on HBO on Sunday, February 4, and we’re already sad to be saying goodbye. Children may need more creatures like Elmo in their lives, but, arguably, grown-ups need more Larry Davids.

Curb Your Enthausims streams on Max, ironically, the current streaming home of Sesame Street.

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