HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Puppets Take Washington

Posted November 22, 2011 at 10:51am

The White House is rolling out the felt carpet for a very special guest today, Mr. Kermit T. Frog, who will be co-hosting a prerelease screening of his latest comeback bid, “The Muppets,” for military families.

The fuzzy green character has not had a hit film in years, but the Muppets are no strangers to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., having headlined every Easter egg roll since 2002. The hand-operated emissaries of early childhood learning were first welcomed to the White House by the Reagan administration — which, conversely, was hell-bent on dismantling the entire Department of Education.

Elmo, that tickly-giggly ginger resident of Sesame Street, remains the only nonhuman to ever testify before Congress. He did so at the behest of former Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.), who asked Mr. E. Monster to help educate his then-colleagues on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies about the importance of school music programs.

“Music helped Elmo learn the alphabet. If it wasn’t for the ‘ABC song,’ Elmo would be lost, people. Hello,” Elmo informed lawmakers in early 2002.

No word on when some of the more controversial characters — Kami (HIV-positive), Lily (food insecure), Bert and Ernie (BFFs), Oscar the Grouch (hygienically challenged) — will score an invite to the Capitol.