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In Jan. 1999, Sesame finished taping its 30th season, and like every year, there was a big wrap party at the studio. Every year, there's a dinner, a reel of outtakes from the season is shown, people are given prizes, and live skits are performed spoofing Sesame. This year, one of the major bits in the live performance was a very funny parody of the new "Elmo's World" segment on Sesame.
In part of the skit, I played Mr. Noodle, the silent character that is played on Elmo's World by the brilliant clown/mime Bill Irwin. On Elmo's World, Mr. Noodle is always asked to demonstrate some simple action -- putting on your shoes, catching a ball -- and naturally, he always starts off badly and messes up humorously a few times before getting it right. Every movement Mr. Noodle makes is accompanied by a silly sound effect, and the voices of Elmo and kids are heard laughing and urging Mr. Noodle on throughout each bit. So here's how the Mr. Noodle part of the parody went:
Elmo calls for Mr. Noodle. Mr. Noodle
walks in, accompanied by silly sound
effects. He happily waves to Elmo.
Elmo asks Mr. Noodle to show him his
underpants. Mr. Noodle is shocked, and
shakes his head "no". Elmo laughs.
Elmo keeps asking Mr. Noodle to show
how he puts on underpants, and each time
Mr. Noodle shakes his head, Elmo laughs.
Finally, Mr. Noodle abruptly breaks his
silence and screams at Elmo to stop
laughing at him.
Mr. Noodle shouts he won't be Elmo's
patsy anymore, and swears he will get a
new job where he can act with dignity.
He starts to go, but when he walks he still
makes silly sounds. Crushed, he runs off.
Yes, that is the real Elmo, performed by Kevin Clash. But I'm not wearing the real Mr. Noodle costume from the show -- I made this one myself. Thanks to Yohanna Willheim for taking the pictures!
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[All photos from the private collection of Rick Lyon]
[Photos Copyright Rick Lyon. Unauthorized reproduction in any form strictly prohibited]
[Muppet character names and likenesses copyright The Jim Henson Company]