New York - Sesame Street resident Elmo has checked into a mental health facility after reportedly breaking down in Oscar The Grouch's bin.
Elmo, 56, had been behaving strangely at a recent Toys R Us instore appearance, refusing to talk to or make eye contact with his young fans as he signed copies of his latest DVD 'Elmo's Reign In Blood.'
A week earlier he had entered the famed CBGB bar dressed as Jesus, complete in robe and beard, demanding they stock his merchandise.
Toys R Us event coordinator Julie Staviros: "This was worse than the drunk Batman we had a couple of years back. Elmo was vague and incoherent. It was one of the biggest turn outs we've had for an instore appearance and he blew it. He really blew it."
Long time fan Maxine Pendergrast: "He looked old and uninterested. He kept on disappearing to the bathroom and refused to sign his own dolls. Apparently he has something against ebay. I was in the queue for five hours and all I got was a crappy signed photo. It's not even a photo, it's off a lousy home printer. I had made a scrapbook to give to him but his minders wouldn't let us get anywhere near him. None of this happend at the Hasselhoff meet and greet"
Oscar The Grouch, who could not be contacted for comment is reputed to have connections to the drug world and has been known to lure fellow muppets to get on the 'junk.' Sesame Street resident Big Bird:"A lot of crazy stuff goes on in this street and I think it was really starting to wear Elmo down. Elmo started to change, I mean really change. Stuff went missing, weird people would visit his house at night. I haven't seen the real Elmo for a long time, hopefully the treament he's receiving will bring the real Elmo back."
Elmo was scheduled to make an appearance today on the Howard Stern show to clear up rumours of his involvment with Vivid 'actress' Janine.
Elmo's people are not returning calls and at time of writing his official web site was shut down.