'Being Elmo' on PBS, 'God is the Bigger Elvis' on HBO

Thursday, 05 April 2012 12:00 PM Written by 

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Two documentaries tell fantastic stories back-to-back tonight -- one on PBS, the other on HBO.

"Being Elmo" (9 p.m.) on WQED stars a furry Muppet; "God is the Bigger Elvis" (8 p.m.) on HBO stars a nun.

Read more after the jump. ...

godisthebiggerelvis03I first heard the story of Dolores Hart in an Entertainment Weekly article last year. She was a Hollywood starlet in the 1950s and early 1960s, acting opposite Anthony Quinn, Montgomery Cliff and even Elvis Presley. But in 1963 she chucked her Hollywood career and became a Bendictine nun.

"God is the Bigger Elvis" chronicles the story of the woman now known as Mother Prioress of the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut. The film was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary short (it runs 36 minutes).

"Being Elmo" played in a Pittsburgh movie theater a few months ago and chronicles the life of "Sesame Street" puppeteer Kevin Clash, who brings Elmo to life. The documentary, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, airs as a presentation of PBS's "Independent Lens." It includes some interesting moments from Elmo's history, including his early days with a very different, caveman-like voice.

At a press conference last summer in Beverly Hills, Calif., Clash said he's always liked shows that encourage co-viewing by children and their parents.

"I love the shows when the child can connect to what they are watching and also bring the parent to it, and that's what I always loved about 'Sesame Street,' adults can watch it because of the celebrities that are coming on, and the children can watch it because they love the Muppets and the music and stuff like that," he said. "And I love shows that work on different levels like that for children anyway."

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