Something extra (and more traditionally) "magical" happens on Sesame Street this week when Abby Cadabby, the PBS series' first new female Muppet in over 13 years, arrives in the neighborhood. As the father of twin 3-year-olds, this TVGuide.com reporter was more than happy to talk to the new kid on the block.
Abby Cadabby: Hello there, Mr. Matt!
TVGuide.com: Hi, Abby! How are you?
Abby: Well, I'm very excited and overwhelmed. [Giggles
TVGuide.com: Now, you're not an animal or a monster but a...?
Abby: I'm a fairy.
TVGuide.com: A full-fledged fairy, or a fairy in training?
Abby: No... well... boy... [Forlorn] I'm a fairy in training, and I've got a long way to go. Fairies have a lot to do!
TVGuide.com: Still, I hear you're somewhat handy with your magic wand!
Abby: [Giggles] I like to use it, but I definitely need help. It's a training wand, you see. You don't get a full-fledged wand until you know a lot about people and their hearts and their dreams. With my wand, I only do one trick.
TVGuide.com: And what's that trick?
Abby: Turning things into pumpkins.
TVGuide.com: And then you turn them right back?
Abby: Well, see, there's the problem. [Giggles] You have to memorize certain words that rhyme, and if you're just a little bit off, there could be problems. Like the time I accidentally turned Oscar the Grouch's sloppy jalopy into a giant pumpkin.
TVGuide.com: Hmm. I sense Sesame Street is soon going to be overrun with pumpkins.
Abby: Yeah. But you know what, for the fall, what could be better?
TVGuide.com: I understand you also can float?
Abby: Only when I'm really happy. It's kind of like when dogs wag their tails. My wings wag.
TVGuide.com: Who's the first person you meet on Sesame Street?
Abby: I meet Oscar the Grouch and, boy, he needs to be a little more positive! He doesn't like to play.
TVGuide.com: What's your connection to the woman who looks like The Partridge Family's mom?
Abby: Oh, that's my teacher at Storybook School, Mrs. Goose [played by Shirley Jones]. She's so nice and so pretty!
TVGuide.com: Who have you become pals with?
Abby: Well, so far Baby Bear is like having a big brother. He walked me to school and told me where I was supposed to sit and everything. He's teaching me how to use his magic wand, which he calls a "crayon." And Elmo [Squeals], he makes me laugh. He and I like to collect things. Like, I gave him my magic rock and he gave me a refrigerator magnet. Magnets are magic, did you know that? They stick to metal it's amazing! Zoe's supposed to teach me how to dance, because she likes the fact that I can float a little. And I like Rosita a lot; she speaks Spanish, and I can speak Dragonfly. You can only speak Dragonfly if you have wings.
Abby: It's like Morse code, only it's flap-flap, flutter-flutter-flap.... I'm trying to teach that to Rosita, but she'll need to make herself some wings first or something.
TVGuide.com: How does speaking Dragonfly come in handy?
Abby: Where I'm from, Fairyside, Queens, we have to know how to relate with the animals and plants, and like how to decorate spider webs in the morning with dewdrops, things like that. My mommy told me that to be a good fairy and to grant wishes, you have to get to know the people around you, how they think and where their hearts are, and how to speak different languages.
TVGuide.com: How did Fairyside fare during the recent Queens blackout?
Abby: It wasn't a problem because we have fireflies. I speak Firefly as well as Dragonfly, so we always have natural light.
TVGuide.com: I was reading an article in that big newspaper, the New York Times, and it said that you're here to fill a void between mean Miss Piggy and ditsy Zoe. Are you up to the task?
Abby: I didn't understand that article, to be honest. [Giggles] I'm not here to do anything except to learn, and to show kids that if they are in a new place and have a lot to learn, that it's OK to make mistakes, that there will be people to help you. I'm just supposed to be myself and look at the world around me with an open mind. Typical fairy stuff!
TVGuide.com: As someone who works magic, who's your idol, Doug Henning or David Blaine?
Abby: [Squeals] I don't even know who those are!
TVGuide.com: What about Harry Potter?
Abby: My mommy read me that book and I think he's really courageous. What's important about Harry Potter is that he wanted to make a difference. When you're a fairy, no matter how big or how little you are, the things you do can make a difference. My mommy is a fairy godmother so she's very important because she helps people with their wishes and dreams. She says that not all magic should come from your wand, that you should see what you can do without it. Matt, can I ask you a question? Do you have any favorite fairies? Other than me! [Giggles]
TVGuide.com: Um... Jack from Will & Grace?
Abby: Can he speak Dragonfly?
TVGuide.com: Quite possibly. Well, it was a pleasure talking to you, Abby!
Abby: OK! Oh, and instead of saying goodbye, I say, "Twinkle out!"
TVGuide.com: I expect to see that on lunchboxes this fall!
Abby: I guess so. I don't know!
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