If you thought you spotted Sesame Street’s Elmo bopping around the Lion City over the weekend, you weren’t seeing things.
The philanthropic muppet was in town to promote his latest project ― the “Spread Kindness, #ShareTheLaughter” campaign. A topic that’s very close to Elmo’s heart, this Sesame Workshop global initiative aims to promote kindness across the world.
The lovable 3½-year-old red monster has also kicked off a tell-a-joke challenge that encourages everyone to post a YouTube video telling their favourite joke. As with other viral challenges, it must be passed from person to person and has even seen celebs like singer John Legend and Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) jumping on the joke-telling bandwagon. This is to instil valuable qualities such as sharing, empathy and altruism in kids from a young age in their young audience. SmartParents catches up with the charming cutie to learn more.
Hi Elmo, welcome to Singapore! How have you enjoyed your stay so far?
Elmo loves Singapore! I went on the night safari at the Singapore Zoo with my Mommy and Daddy. Also, I love the puff pastries here.
Tell us more about the Spread Kindness, #ShareTheLaughter campaign
Elmo is spreading kindness through laughter by telling jokes. If people can make each other laugh, then they will be happy and kind. Elmo’s friends on Sesame Street and around the world have been helping him!
“If people can make each other laugh, then they will be happy and kind.”
What have you been doing in Singapore as part of this campaign?
Elmo has been making a lot of new friends and telling jokes to everyone he meets. Do you want to hear a joke? What did the toast wear to bed? Pa-JAM-as. Haha!
Do you think Singaporeans are kind?
Everyone has been so nice to Elmo! Everyone says hello, is kind, and Elmo has gotten a lot of hugs!
How important is kindness and laughter to you ― how do you incorporate these qualities in your daily life at Sesame Street?
They are so important! We have to be kind to people, animals and the environment! Elmo tries to be kind in all sorts of ways, by sharing his toys with his friends, giving doggies treats, and cleaning up after himself! Laughter is so important because it’s fun… Haha…and makes Elmo feel good.
“Elmo tries to be kind in all sorts of ways, by sharing his toys with his friends, giving doggies treats, and cleaning up after himself!”
Who would you say is the kindest person on Sesame Street?
Abby, no Big Bird, no Ernie… Everyone on Sesame Street is kind, even Oscar! Sure he’s a grouch, but deep down he’s a softie.
Who would you say is the funniest person on Sesame Street?
Wow! No one told Elmo he would be answering such hard questions. Hmm… It would have to be Cookie Monster, because he makes Elmo laugh when he eats cookies. Om nom nom!
Do you love to laugh? What is the one thing that never fails to crack you up?
Elmo loves laughing! Being tickled always makes Elmo laugh… Hahaha, that tickles! Elmo also likes jokes like this one: What do cows do for fun? They go to the “moovies!”
Why do you think it’s important for kids to be kind to one another?
Because we should all be friends. No one should feel sad, or left out. That’s why Elmo wants to share the laughter and spread kindness. So everyone can feel good!
“If parents are kind, then kids will be kind, too.”
Please share some tips with parents on how to teach their kids to be kinder?
Parents should lead by example and show kids how to be kind. Elmo’s mommy and daddy showed Elmo how to share, and take care of animals. If parents are kind, then kids will be kind, too. Want to know an easy way to be kind? With a hug! Here’s a hug for everyone!
*This interview has been edited for clarity
Catch Elmo on Sesame Street every weekend at 8am, on okto!
Photos: Richard Termine & Zach Hyman
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