Sure, they’re getting “South Park”, “Friends” and “The West Wing”. DC films, Hayao Miyazaki movies and new Conan O’Brien stand-up comedy specials as well. But of all the shows and projects recently announced by the folks at upcoming streaming service HBO MAX, one stood out above the rest.
“Sesame Street”’s Elmo is getting his own talk show. “The Not Too Late Show with Elmo” will debut sometime next year (HBO MAX launches in May). The cuddly, colorful character will interview A-list celebrities.
When HBO acquired the airing rights for “Sesame Street”, many wondered how much influence the cable giant would have on a beloved, family-friendly institution. I think this is a great idea and has the potential to be must-watch TV.
A number of non-human characters have had their own talk shows in recent years. Remember ALF’s on TV Land? Phineas and Ferb had five-minute talk segments on Disney Channel. And Miss Piggy hosted one on ABC’s underwhelming, scripted “Muppets” series.
But Elmo’s talker may be the most successful of them all. Elmo is so positive, and that laugh is so infectious. Plus, he’s had plenty of experience interacting with celebs over the past 50 years.
Still, much of “Sesame Street” is scripted… to a tee. Will Elmo’s conversations be completely written out – or entirely ad-libbed? Will Elmo deliver a monologue, have a house band, and do crazy skits and games? There are so many possibilities for memorable moments on each episode.
I wrote on Twitter, on a sort of kidding/sort of not kidding way, that Elmo is out to take down John Oliver’s Emmy winning streak. Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” is also in the HBO family. Once Elmo’s show premieres, it won’t be long before everyone on Daytime and Late Night TV tries taking some shots at Elmo.
Or they could do the right thing and just play nice.
(Photo Courtesy: Variety)