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‘Fraggle Rock’ Puppeteers Weigh In on Larry David’s Attack on Elmo

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In February, the ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ star was seemingly so annoyed with the ‘Sesame Street’ puppet over his discussion around mental health that he went for the jugular.

Puppeteers working to bring Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock to life are speaking out about that moment when, on the Today show in February, comic actor Larry David physically attacked beloved Sesame Street favorite Elmo live on-air.

At a press event for the release of Apple TV’s Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock this week, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with puppeteers John Tartaglia (puppeteer for Gobo Fraggle) and Dan Garza (puppeteer for Junior Gorg), who said they were taken aback by David’s unplanned attack on the puppet, which they said could be potentially dangerous for puppeteers.

“You know, there was a person’s hand inside of there and that wasn’t a pretty planned thing. And so the puppeteer in me was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s super dangerous. Like, you just grabbed someone’s hand and twisted it,’” Tartaglia said, confirming that ultimately the puppeteer was OK. “People forget all the time, all the time that there is somebody inside of these characters when you don’t see us. And so, it’s a risk that we take.”

The unscripted moment between the 76-year-old Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld creator with the popular Muppet on Feb. 1 came as Elmo was touting well-being resources offered by Sesame Street and David watched on as the next Today show guest, preparing to promote the final season of his Emmy-winning HBO improv series.

But suddenly, in a jarring moment where the camera cut away and hosts Craig Melvin, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb seem genuinely surprised at the impromptu attack, the high-pitched, 3 1/2-year-old Muppet’s segment was interrupted by David, who had had enough of Elmo’s disquisition.

Just after the incident, Kotb, Guthrie and David appeared in another part of the studio, where the comic was asked to speak to Elmo “from your heart.” A smirking David replied, “From where? What organ are you talking about?” But the star of the 12-season running HBO show then apologized to Elmo; the Muppet quickly accepted his seemingly sincere expression of regret.

Then a walk-back of his apology came later that day in an appearance on Late Night With Seth Myers, where David told the host he’d “do it again” if given the chance.

While David may only see what’s before his eyes while working with a Muppet, puppeteer, cartoonist and writer Garz tells THR people can lose their sense of what they are interacting with while dialoguing with Muppets. 

“That’s the magic in our job, is that we bring these critters to life and you forget that there’s a person attached,” he said of watching people connect with the puppets. “And, if I’m doing my job, right, and I’m wearing a sparkling neon suit, and I’m puppeteering live in front of you, and you’re still making eye contact with the puppet? Then I’m doing my job. I’ve seen big-time executives turn into 8-year-old children and tear up when they all of a sudden [connect through this puppet.]”

Ryan Fish contributed to this story.

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American Idol: Katy Perry REACTS to Nearly LOSING HER TOP on Live TV (Exclusive)

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American Idol: Katy Perry REACTS to Nearly LOSING HER TOP on Live TV (Exclusive)



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Under $200 Spring Wedding Guest Dresses

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The products featured in this article are from brands that are available in the NBCUniversal Checkout Marketplace. If you purchase something through our links, we get a commission.

If you’re headed to a spring wedding, you’re going to need a great wedding guest dress. Sure, all eyes will be on the bride as they walk down the aisle, but what about dinner or the dance floor? Hey, miss best-dressed. That’s your time to shine!

We know your wedding guest attire can depend on the kind of wedding you’re invited to. Our shopping experts have rounded up the best wedding guest dresses for a casual wedding, a spring cocktail wedding, a black-tie wedding, a destination wedding, and beyond.

Before you head down the rabbit hole of florals and pastels from your regular rotation of retailers, know that our spring wedding guest dress selections go beyond run-of-the-mill floral print.

Shop bright spring hues, modern patterns, and unexpected silhouettes from a variety of must-see designers. We’ve found wedding guest dresses from Amanda Uprichard, Few Moda, Saltwater Luxe, Avec Les Filles, and so much more.

Worried about the weather? Spring is actually the perfect season to be a wedding guest. Depending on the wedding location, spring can be cool enough for a long-sleeve dress and satin dresses, or warm enough for a skin-baring mini-dress, a sleeveless maxi dress, or even a spaghetti-strap midi dress if you really wanted to.



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Tommy Lee Mocks Justin Bieber Over His ‘Not So Manly’ Fans

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In a new Instagram post, Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee made fun of Justin Bieber for not having tough fans.

The drummer shared a photo of a woman holding a man. The photo had the caption:

“When he listens to Justin Bieber, and she listens to Mötley Crüe.”

Fan Reactions To Tommy’s Post

While some found the post funny, some also saw it as a bad joke due to Bieber’s current depression problems. One user wrote:

“Funniest thing you ever posted.”

Another person said:

“Probably just means the guy is gay.”

One other individual also agreed with what the post suggests:

“She is the one that listens to real music then.”

Another user defended Bieber, writing:

“It’s mean. JB is currently fighting depression, he has experienced a lot of trauma that he has kept to himself for too long, the truth is just starting to come out. I wish him to be happy in his life. He is more mature than you.”

One commenter described Lee as immature:

“You guys were never that good, and you probably can’t dance for sh*t. Dude, you post sh*t like you’re 15 years old. You stopped evolving as a teenager. Go take your Lipitor and call it a night. So embarrassing.”

Lee Actually Listens To Bieber

Previously, Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx said Bieber wouldn’t come to their show, but his music still played at the venue. After one of their gigs, Tommy Lee played Bieber’s ‘Sorry’ in his dressing room and surprised witnesses.

Bieber has struggled with mental health issues like depression and anxiety throughout his career. He’s been honest about these struggles. In his American YouTube series ‘Seasons,’ he talked about battling addiction to lean, MDMA pills, and hallucinogenic mushrooms in the early days of his career.

You can see Lee’s post below.

Photo Credit: Tommy Lee – Instagram



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