When a squeezable, and bankable, star named Elmo made a belated comeback in France this year, long after his Muppet birth in the United States, doubts emerged immediately about the puppet's proper French esprit.
Was Elmo too sweet? Did the google-eyed creature with a crimson shag and the whispery voice of a 3-year-old lack sufficient Gallic irony?
Frankly, I've always thought Elmo lacked the proper esprit period, the cloying little bastard, so I see no problem with giving him a two day old beard and having him deliver cynical epigrams between nervous sips of coffee and puffs on a bent cigarette.
Big Bird has also vanished, replaced by an enormous yellow character, Nac, whose trumpet nose, vivid colors and whimsical nature were tested with children and reviewed by a French psychologist.
Sounds like they've picked up the Capital City Goofball's contract.