Larry David Attacks Elmo

Larry David grabbed Elmo on NBC’s Today — and quickly issued an on-camera apology to the lovable Sesame Street star and mental-health advocate.

The two were both guests on the morning talk show Tuesday: David to promote the final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Elmo to discuss mental health.

David saw a comic opportunity when he crashed Elmo’s interview, grabbed his face and gouged one of his eyes. Elmo’s father, Louie, helplessly looked on.

As David walked offstage, smiling, Elmo declared, “Mr. Larry! Elmo loved you before!”

Elmo classily added: “Let’s get back on the couch and talk about how you’re feeeeeeeling.”

Host Savannah Guthrie shook her head, and called to David: “Larry, you’ve gone too far this time.”

Larry David Apologizes to Elmo

Later, during his own interview, David tried to make amends with an on-camera apology.

“Elmo, I just want to apologize,” David said, breaking into laughter. “I’m really sorry.”

“Thank you, Larry,” Elmo replied. “Elmo accepts your apology.”

Was it staged? A publicity stunt? Judge for yourself:

Elmo, whose popularity has never flagged with kids, also became a viral star with adults (many of them former kids) who poured out their hearts to him after he asked how they were doing on X, formerly known as Twitter.

People responded by describing their struggles with depression, anxiety, and dread — as well as their troubles sleeping, and getting through life.

Elmo replied, “Wow! Elmo is glad he asked. Elmo learned that it is important to ask a friend how they are doing. Elmo will check in again soon, friends! Elmo loves you. #EmotionalWellBeing.”

He followed up: “Everybody on @SesameStreet is here to help, that is what friends are for!”

It was part of a lovely campaign reminding everyone to check on their friends, and make sure they’re doing OK. And offering to help when they aren’t.”

By the way: Has anyone checked on Larry David?

But seriously, folks: Elmo’s social media question has sparked renewed discussion of mental illness, and de-stigmatizing it. It has also inspired widespread media coverage about addressing mental health — which will no doubt only increase thanks to the Larry David drama, staged or not.

This seems like a good place to share a few resources, including for anyone dealing with insurance or financial troubles that keep them from getting help. Mental Health America is among the organizations that keep those concerns in mind.

And if think you or someone at risk oc suicide, trained counselors are available from the 24/7 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. You can call 988 or 800-273-8255 (TALK). The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide provide contact information for crisis centers worldwide.

And if you just need a laugh, Curb Your Enthusiasm returns this Sunday on HBO — which also has plenty of Sesame Street episodes available.

Main image: Larry David attacks Elmo as shocked Today hosts look on. NBC.

Editor’s Note: Corrects galleries.