Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Elmo, one of the most popular Sesame Street characters in the past decade, is at the center of yet another marketing nightmare. Last fall, the Elmo Knows Your Name doll made some news when people realized you could program Elmo to say anything you want. But this week, Elmo reached a new low: A woman in Dallas bought a copy of Potty Time With Elmo, a talking book with buttons that play audio clips of Elmo giving encouraging advice to toddlers. But one of the buttons in her copy of the book makes Elmo laugh, and then say “Who wants to die?” like some sort of 1960s BatMan villan.
There are at least two seperate videos of the woman and her copy of the book available…
- KUTV: Sesame Street Kids’ Book Contains Threat Message
- local6.com – News – Toddler’s Talking Elmo Book Asks ‘Who Wants To Die?’
Some people online have speculated that the word “die” is the where the recording cuts out of something else (lie “try to go potty”) but other sources indicate the phrase played when the same button is clicked on other copies of the book is “Uh-oh! Who has to go?” — So I don’t see how it can be a glitch, someone did this on purpose. News reports all agree that the company that makes the book has recieved “several complaints” so presumably this isn’t the only copy with this behavior.
As you would expect, dozens of ebay auctions have poped up for RARE Potty Time With Elmo Book ” Who Wants To Die ” NEW.
(Thanks to the Colbert Report for bringing this to my attention)