Elmo, after spending a day harrassing innocent tourists for tips on Hollywood Boulevard, was hauled off to hoosegow at gunpoint.
Elmo and his comrades in cuffs, Mr. Incredible and the oft-stolen screamer from Munch's Scream, were booked for aggressive begging. Los Angeles Police Officer Michael Shea said the impersonators were warned. At a meeting last month, the department announced they would start enforcing solicitation and harassment laws. Officers conducted a sting operation by posing as French tourists who didn't understand English or the American tipping culture.
"Make no mistake about it -- I wanted the characters to know what we're doing," Shea said.
In further Muppet News, ABC will continue to debase my happy childhood memories of the Muppets by creating a show called America's Next Muppet. The blame lies firmly with those bastards at Disney who acquired the Muppets for $90 million last year. After witnessing the overwhelming badness that was the Muppet Wizard of Oz, it seems the best we can hope for are flashes of so-so humor.
Disney is milking Kermit's 50th anniversary with a world tour that saw Muppets stop at the Statue of Liberty, run with the Bulls in Pamplona, trade smooches at a kissing booth at the Eiffel Tower, attend a frog-leg festival, climb the Great Wall of China and, naturally, receive a key to Kermit, Texas, where the road show touched down last week.
And now back to our regularly scheduled insanity.