Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Highly enjoyable festive adventure, in which Elmo once again has to save Christmas. This time he's joined by Stiller the Elf, voiced by Ben Stiller. (the casting director really lucked-out there) It must be said, the puppeteer does a fine job of syncing to Stiller's voice.

Really of course it's just a big excuse for a series of self-contained Christmas sketches featuring a heap of guest-stars, and I think it's fair to say that everyone does well here. Sheryl Crow performs an enthusiastic opening number, and Anne Hathaway is so graceful that you realise just what a fine act she must have been putting on as klutzy Mia in The Princess Diaries. Wow, imagine having to unlearn your trade like that.

Giving the best performance though is Ty Pennington, who in his I Saw Three Ships sketch with the Count, manages to be hilarious in such an exacting and different way with every one of his many entrances. This one was a finely-crafted piece of comedy, and it's great to see another performer giving the muppets their all.

However the most surreal segment has to be the one with Steve Schirripa and Tony Sirico as the live-action Ernie and Bert respectively. The sketch isn't bursting with quality gags, but the ridiculous idea behind it is value enough.

Long live Elmo and Christmas!

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