otrc logo

Katy Perry welcome back on 'Sesame Street' despite Elmo video ban

09/24/2010 by Corinne Heller

Katy Perry appears with Elmo in a 'Sesame Street' segment in September 2010. (Photo courtesy of youtube.com/user/KatyPerryMusic) Sesame Street puppet Elmo says singer Katy Perry is welcome back on the show even through its production company decided not to air a controversial segment that featured her in a cleavage-bearing dress after an online video of it drew viewer complaints.

"Elmo loves Ms. Katy and we had a good time," the puppet said on ABC's Good Morning America on Friday. "So well have another play date. Yes, Miss Katy! Come, come, come, come!"

Elmo is voiced by Kevin Clash, who has also provided the voices for puppets such as Baby Sinclair from the 1990s series Dinosaurs.

In the Sesame Street video, posted on Perry's website, the 25-year-old singer sings her pulsing dance hit "Hot N Cold" with different lyrics and tries to coax Elmo to play with her as the puppet runs away from her and around her legs, later explaining he thought they were playing "Tag".

Carol-Lynn Parente, executive producer of the educational children's series, said the decision not to air the segment during the 41st season of Sesame Street, which begins on September 27, was not unanimous.

"We would never produce anything we thought was inappropriate," she said. "We were surprised not only by the amount of feedback, but how fast it came in. It was a lot."

"We use celebrities and parodies on the show from the beginning as a way to draw parents in," she added. "We really are trying to go after those younger parents that may not have grown up with Sesame Street. We do book celebrity stars that will draw in that audience and she is a wonderful musical talent, and we had a great time."

Russell Brand, Perry's 35-year-old fiance and a controversial British comedian, actor and former MTV host, poked fun at the decision to pull the segment.

"Today's Sesame Street will NOT be brought to you by the number 34 or the letter D," Brand wrote on his Twitter page, parodying the show's famous educational catchphrases.

Sesame Street has often featured celebrities, even those more popular among adults, such as rock singers Alice Cooper and Gene Simmons of KISS, Sopranos actor James Gandolfini and rapper Ice-T, and parodied more mature shows such as Twin Peaks.  

Sesame Street's upcoming 41st season, which begins on September 27, features a segment that spoofs the adult-oriented vampire show True Blood (See a video of the "True Mud" segment).

Check out Good Morning America's interview with puppets Elmo and Grover and Sesame Street's executive producer Carol-Lynn Parente:

Check out the video of Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" video with Elmo of Sesame Street: