"Baby Monster" is a descriptive name used as both official and unofficial designations for various Muppet characters.

Caroll Spinney

  • According to Caroll Spinney, he played a character he refers to as "Baby Monster" in a series of "monster family" skits in the early seasons of Sesame Street. In a repeated anecdote, Spinney recalls the character as being the same puppet that would become Elmo.[1][2] During a Q&A at a 2004 Brooklyn Academy of Music event, Spinney stated that he performed what would become the Elmo puppet in 1970 or 1971.[3] More recently, in 2015, Spinney stated that it would have been "the second or third" seasons.[4] However, according to Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal, the first design for Elmo was sketched by Caroly Wilcox in 1979, ten years after Sesame Street’s debut. Given Spinney's 1970/1971 recollection in 2004, he may have been thinking of a monster character later named Billy — a small, pink-red monster — who was referred to as Baby Monster in the script for Episode 0186. Relatedly, Spinney played Big Bird in early scenes with Elmo where the character refers to him as "Baby Elmo", such as in Episode 1851.

Fred's son


Caroll Spinney performs Fred's son (far left).

  • An unnamed small purple monster debuted on The Ed Sullivan Show as Fred's son, who has sometimes been referred to by fans as Baby Monster. None of his known appearances address him by name, or specifically as a baby. The character was often performed by Spinney, but bears no resemblance to any early version of an Elmo puppet.


  • While Spinney's recollection of the dates don't correlate with that first sketch of Elmo, Kevin Clash mentions in his 2006 memoir[5] that the puppet "got that name early on, though he was more commonly referred to on the set as 'baby monster'." The designation, presented lowercase and in quotes, provides a description of the puppet rather than a name.

Cookie Monster


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'Baby Monster' concept art by Michael Frith for Little Muppet Monsters.

See also

  • "Fuzzyface", another instance of a mistakenly-identified early Sesame Street Muppet


  1. The Wisdom of Big Bird, page 123
  2. Interview with Caroll Spinney on Street Gang audiobook at 12 min.
  3. BAM! Nov 20-21, 2004 : NYC" Tough Pigs
  4. "Big Bird Caroll Spinney Reveals 7 Things You Never Knew About 'Sesame Street'" by Michael Rothman, Good Morning America, May 6, 2015
  5. My Life as a Furry Red Monster, p.45-46

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