by Guest Contributor Lisa, originally published at Sociological Images
Nikki L. sent us a link to this fascinating Tickle Me Elmo commercial. In introduces a new Tickle Me Elmo product, “Tickle Hands.”
The ad takes place on what appears to be an urban street (reminiscent of Sesame Street). Two of the kids appear white, while the other two look (probably deliberately vaguely) “racial,” maybe Asian and Latino (perhaps biracial). At the very end of the commercial the kids pose in front of a brick wall with a picture of Elmo graffiti-style. Two of them look like they’re flashing gang signs and Elmo, no joke, says “Yeahhhhhh Booooy.” Here’s a screen shot of the moment:
And here’s the commercial:
So let’s trace the evolution of the gangster meme.