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Elmo Went On The Radio After The Hurricane To Calm Frightened Children, Is A National Treasure

By / 10.31.12

Here is my hurricane story, briefly. I live in Eastern Pennsylvania. We didn’t get hit quite the way New York or the Jersey Shore did, but we definitely took some body blows, as evidenced by the handful of trees laying on the ground outside my apartment, and the whole area’s sporadic-at-best access to electricity over the past 36 hours. After the power went out on Monday night I huddled under some blankets in my bedroom and listened for hours as the wind whipped around the corner of my building with enough force that it sounded like a low-flying 747 was circling the immediate area, shaking the windows with every gust. It’s not a particularly unique story, and I know plenty of people dealt with far, far worse, but the point of it is this: I am a fully-grown adult male who got off relatively easy in the whole thing, and it was still some really disquieting sh-t. I can’t even imagine how terrifying it must have been for young children, especially those in areas that took a more direct hit.

That is why this story is awesome. Tuesday morning, Kevin Clash (the voice of Elmo) went on Brian Lehrer’s WNYC radio show in character and tried to comfort his young audience by talking about the time a hurricane hit Sesame Street:

“Well, the wind started blowing really bad, and we had to put tape on windows and stuff,” he explained of the episode. He even had to help his pal Big Bird put his nest back together after the storm destroyed it.

Joining Elmo and host Lehrer was Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, the vice president of education and research for Sesame Workshop. She explained that the episode was created long before Sandy or even Hurricane Katrina. It was meant to help parents if their kids should ever face a similar storm. [...]

As for Elmo, he took a question from a fan who wanted to know if he was scared on Monday night, as Hurricane Sandy hit his hometown.

“Yeah, but Elmo was with his mommy and daddy, so Elmo asked a lot of questions and learned a lot about what was happening,” he assured.[The Clicker]

The full audio is below. Elmo is a national treasure.


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