Larry David is walking back the on-air apology he issued to Sesame Street’s Elmo Monster after the comic actor throttled and beat the Muppet on NBC’s Today earlier Thursday.
Appearing on Late Night With Seth Meyers, the Curb Your Enthusiasm star explained what motivated his attack on the beloved furry little monster, who was appearing before David on the morning show, alongside his father, Louie, to discuss well-being resources offered by Sesame Street. But in a shocking and — given the camera cuts and surprised looks of hosts Craig Melvin, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb — seemingly unplanned moment, the high-pitched, 3 1/2-year-old Muppet’s segment was interrupted by David, who had apparently had enough of Elmo’s disquisition.
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“Elmo was talking. I was waiting to be interviewed,” David explained to Meyers. “And Elmo was (in Elmo voice) going on about mental health. And I had to listen to every word. And I was going, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God! I don’t think I can take another second of this!’ (In normal voice) And I got off my chair and I approached him. And I throttled him. There you go. I couldn’t take it.
“And you know what, I would do it again,” he added.
On Today, just after the incident took place, Kotb, Guthrie and David appeared in another part of the studio, where the comic was asked to speak to Elmo “from your heart.”
“From where?” a smirking David replied. “What organ are you talking about?” The Seinfeld co-creator then apologized to Elmo; the Muppet quickly accepted his seemingly sincere expression of regret.
Given David’s about-face, The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to a rep for Elmo for a response.
Elmo’s rough week started when thousands across the internet used an innocent tweet, in which the Muppet simply asked how everyone was doing, to unload some of the trauma and mental despair they are feeling. Elmo rocketed to the top trending topic on X (née Twitter) and the post garnered nearly 150 million impressions.
This all got so dark so fast, that the official Sesame Street account decided to direct users toward mental health resources and send Elmo and Louie onto Today — and unknowingly, directly into the path of David, who was there to promote what is being billed as Curb’s final season.
For what it’s worth, David expressed excitement about being able to drop his TV persona and be the “thoughtful, kind, caring, considerate human being I was until I got derailed by portraying this malignant character,” when announcing that the HBO darling was ending with season 12, which launches Sunday.
As of this morning, Elmo still seems to be unfazed by the incident, as the Muppet is carrying on with his campaign to promote mental health. He appeared Friday in Sesame Workshop’s new Mindful Moments video in conversation with musician and author YolanDa Brown, where he encourages young people to celebrate themselves and others while focusing on what makes them happy.
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