Definitely a movie worth your time. Kevin Clash’s story is wonderful to witness, the way his obvious passion took him to exactly where he wanted to be. If you’re like me, the insight into the backstage part of how Muppet productions work is intensely interesting.
But none of that is really what stuck with me.
The idea that a large percentage of make-a-wish children want to meet Elmo makes perfect sense to me–if he’s so firmly associated as a source of gentle, physical, unconditional love, and you’re sick and in pain and everyone around you seems unhappy, of course that’s what you would wish for. And yet the idea of doing that even once would terrify me for reasons that I suspect many could understand: what if I couldn’t provide what a child needed? How could I stand knowing that this child will be gone before his or her time, and soon at that?
You know. Cowardice.
It reminds me of a piece Peter Sagal wrote a few months ago about visiting Walter Reed, and how, visiting the first soldier he was scheduled to see:
As I listened, I tried to focus, and control my own feelings of horror and dismay, and my growing urge to walk out of the room and tell the Sergeant, patiently waiting outside, that I could take no more and needed to leave now. (The sergeant told me later that this does happen.)
His story is a bit of a tough read, but it’s well worth it, too.