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{{performer|Kevin Clash}}
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{{character|image=Elmo-elmo-elmo.jpg|performer=[[Kevin Clash]]|note=1984-2012|performer2=[[Ryan Dillon]]|note2=2013-present|more=Casting history|debut=1980|design=[[Caroly Wilcox]]|designnote=designer/builder|design2=[[Leslee Asch]]|designnote2=designer/builder}}
[[Image:Elmo-elmo-elmo.jpg|right|316px]]
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[[Image:Elmoearlyportrait.jpg|thumb|300px]]
'''Elmo''' is a 3½ year old<ref>[http://www.sesameworkshop.org/aboutus/pressroom/presskits/season38/the_muppets_of_sesame_street.php Sesame Workshop profile]</ref> furry red Muppet monster with an orange nose. He currently hosts the last full segment on ''[[Sesame Street]]'', called "[[Elmo's World]]," which is aimed at toddlers. On "Elmo's World," Elmo is accompanied by his goldfish, [[Dorothy]], and the [[Noodle Family]]—[[Mr. Noodle]], his brother (known as [[Mr. Noodle's brother, Mr. Noodle]]), and his sister (known as [[Mr. Noodle's sister, Ms. Noodle]]).
 
   
The character is self-described as 3-and-a-half years old, and refers to himself almost entirely in the third person.<ref>On a few occasions, Elmo's dialogue has broken this rule such as [[Sing After Me|in song]] or via [[Sesame_Street_Pageants#food|indirect comments]].</ref> As with many children of his age, he is seen somewhat infrequently with a favorite toy of his: an orange monster-like doll named [[Baby David|David]]. Elmo lives in [[Elmo's apartment|an apartment]] with [[Mae|his mommy]], [[Louie|his daddy]], and, in some storybooks, a sister named [[Daisy (sister)|Daisy]].In 6 contries They have Their own elmo puppet.
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'''Elmo''' is a furry red Muppet monster with an orange nose who lives on [[Sesame Street (location)|Sesame Street]]. He is self-described as three-and-a-half years old, and almost always refers to himself in the third person. The character's popularity led to his own segments on ''[[Sesame Street]]'' including "[[Elmo's World]]" and "[[Elmo the Musical]]".
   
==Early years==
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==Character background==
[[Image:elmo.jpg|300px|thumb|Elmo sings along in ''Elmopalooza''.]]
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[[Image:Elmo_Family.JPG|thumb|300px|Elmo with his mom and dad.]]
[[Image:Elmo_Family.JPG|thumb|300px|Elmo with his Mom and Dad.]]
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Elmo lives in [[Elmo's apartment|an apartment]] on [[Sesame Street (location)|Sesame Street]] with his mother [[Mae]], his father [[Louie]], and, in some storybooks, a sister named [[Daisy]]. He has a pet goldfish named [[Dorothy]].
[[Image:Elmo_Loves_You.jpg|thumb|300px]]
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[[Image:Elmowave.jpg|thumb|300px]]
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Other relatives in [[Elmo's family]] include [[Elmo's grandparents|his grandma and grandpa]]; [[Elmo's Great Grandmother|his great-grandmother]] (featured in [[Episode 2598|a 1989 episode]]) and [[Selmo|his great-grandfather]] (named Selmo); his [[Uncle Jack]], [[Aunt Jill]], and cousin [[Jesse (Muppet)|Jesse]] (featured in ''[[When Families Grieve]]''); plus additional cousins [[Elmer]] (featured in ''[[Kids' Favorite Country Songs]]''), [[Chester (monster)|Chester]] (featured in ''[[Here For You]]''), and [[Mimsy]]. Additionally, the television special ''[[Sesame Street Stays Up Late]]'' shows Elmo's "international" cousins — [[Cousin Pepe|Pepé]] from [[Mexico]] and [[Elmonosuke]] from [[Japan]]. As seen in ''[[The Furchester Hotel]]'', he also has an aunt [[Funella Furchester]], an uncle [[Furgus Fuzz]], and a cousin [[Phoebe Furchester-Fuzz]].
The puppet that would eventually become Elmo has been around since the early 1970s. During this time, he was referred to as Baby Monster, and had a number of performers ranging from [[Caroll Spinney]]<ref>[[Brooklyn Academy of Music]] discussion panel—[http://www.toughpigs.com/forumbam01.htm BAM! Nov 20-21, 2004: NYC]</ref> to [[Jerry Nelson]]<ref>"[[We Are All Monsters]]" and the [[Monsterpiece Theater]] sketch "[[Monsterpiece_Theater#meclaudius|Me Claudius]]"</ref> for background scenes. Elmo first appeared on ''Sesame Street'' specifically as "Elmo" in [[Season 12 (1980-1981)|Season 12]]<ref>Season 12 Press Kit, [[CTW Archives]]</ref> where he was performed by [[Brian Muehl]]. After Muehl's departure in 1984, the character was re-cast to [[Richard Hunt]]. After performing Elmo for a couple of episodes,<ref>''[[Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street]]''</ref> Hunt literally tossed him over to [[Kevin Clash]], since Clash was the only other person in the Muppeteer lounge at the time.<ref name="WPT">[http://www.wpt.org/blog/podcasts/kevinclashwpt.mp3 Wisconsin Public Television podcast]</ref> Around that time, writer [[David Korr]] took a liking to the character, and backed up with the positive research, started using it regularly.<ref name="WPT" />
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Elmo's early childhood has been shown with [[Baby Elmo|Elmo as a 13-month-old infant]] in the ''[[Sesame Beginnings]]'' video series and in flashbacks shown in ''[[Elmo's Potty Time]]'' and "[[Bye Bye Binky]]."
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According to [[Ask Elmo|a Q&amp;A video]], his favorite food is wasabi; that's why he has no eyelids. This has been reaffirmed on ''[[Rove Live]]'' and in other interviews,<ref name="beingelmo" /> along with the Muppet bios published in several Sesame Workshop press kits.<ref>[http://www.sesameworkshop.org/press-kits/season41/muppet-bios.php#elmo Season 41], [http://www.sesameworkshop.org/press-kits/season42/muppet-bios.html#elmo Season 42], [http://www.sesameworkshop.org/season43/behind-the-scenes/monsterbook/elmo/ Season 43], [http://www.sesameworkshop.org/season44/behind-the-scenes/muppet-bios/elmo/ Season 44]</ref> In 2000, Elmo [[Donny & Marie (1998 series)|told Donnie and Marie Osmond]] that his mother and father tell him to never "hate" any food, but he makes an exception for Brussels sprouts, Marie decided to taunt him with a bowl of them. Brussels sprouts have often been listed among Elmo's pet peeves in press kit bios.<ref>Press Kits: [http://www.sesameworkshop.org/press-kits/season40/muppetbio.php#elmo Season 40], [http://www.sesameworkshop.org/press-kits/season41/muppet-bios.php#elmo Season 41], [http://www.sesameworkshop.org/press-kits/season42/muppet-bios.html#elmo Season 42]</ref>
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As with many children of his age, Elmo is seen somewhat infrequently with a favorite toy of his: an orange monster-like doll named [[Baby David]]. In the film ''[[The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland]]'', Elmo is devoted to his blue blanket, [[Blanket]].
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Elmo's [[Character birthdays|birthday]] is February 3rd.
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Sesame Workshop description of Elmo:
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{{quote|Elmo is a 3½-year-old red monster with a high pitched voice and a contagious giggle. Enthusiastic, friendly and cheerful, he always wants to be part of everything that goes on. However, like most preschoolers, he sometimes doesn't have the skills or knowledge to do what he wants. But that never stops him because he has a very positive, optimistic view of himself and life. Elmo's best friends are [[Zoe]] and [[Abby Cadabby|Abby]], and also his pet goldfish Dorothy. Elmo loves eating his favorite food, wasabi. He also loves riding on his tricycle and being tickled.<ref>[http://www.sesameworkshop.org/season44/behind-the-scenes/muppet-bios/elmo/ Sesameworkshop.org: Season 44 Press Kit]</ref>}}
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==Origins==
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[[Image:FirstElmoSketch.jpg|thumb|300px|The first sketches of Elmo by Caroly Wilcox (cited in ''[[Imagination Illustrated]]'' as 1979), reveal that he was initially intended to have a wider face.]]
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[[Image:Song.WeAreAllMonsters.jpg|thumb|300px|Elmo used as a generic monster character in the 1980 song, "[[We Are All Monsters]]."]]
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The puppet that would eventually become Elmo was designed in 1979 by [[Caroly Wilcox]].<ref>Falk, Karen. ''[[Imagination Illustrated]]''. p. 180</ref><ref>Borgenicht, David. ''[[Sesame Street Unpaved (book)|Sesame Street Unpaved]]''. p. 85</ref> Intended as a generic [[AM Monsters|Anything Muppet monster]], labels used for the puppet included "[[Baby Monster|baby monster]]", "short red" (in Wilcox's sketch), and "little red" (on exhibit at [[Center_for_Puppetry_Arts#Worlds_of_Puppetry|Center for Puppetry Arts, Worlds of Puppetry, Jim Henson Collection]]).
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Elmo made his earliest named appearance in [[Season 11 (1979-1980)|Season 11]] ([[Episode 1439]]), where he was first performed by [[Brian Muehl]]. In this early appearance, Elmo communicates with [[Maria]] only in mumbles. After he was established on the show, press releases for [[Season 12 (1980-1981)|Season 12]] described him as a character who communicates with sounds rather than words.<ref>Season 12 Press Kit, [[CTW Archives]]</ref><ref>Adrian Slifka, The Youngstown Vindicator: [http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=yUJJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=54MMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1285,3102853&dq=sesame+street+season&hl=en=New "New Muppets' Gang to Brighten 12th Season of 'Sesame Street'" - November 23, 1980]</ref> His appearances that season continue with the mumble talk, as in [[Episode 1475]] where he learns the Spanish word "casa" and writes it all over the wall of [[123 Sesame Street]].
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Elmo was considered such a minor character, that the puppet was still used as an AM monster in inserts, and in these instances, as with most background Muppets, had rotating performers.<ref group="note">[[Jerry Nelson]] was one such performer in "[[We Are All Monsters]]" as evidenced by {{medialink|filename=We_Are_All_Monsters_behind_the_scenes.jpg|text=this behind-the-scenes photo}}, but probably not [[Caroll Spinney]] who has told a story about performing an early version of the character on several occasions. See [[Baby Monster]] for more.</ref> However, writer [[David Korr]] had taken a liking to Elmo and continued writing him into Street scenes.<ref name="WPT">[https://web.archive.org/web/20080416053206/http://www.wpt.org/blog/podcasts/kevinclashwpt.mp3 Wisconsin Public Television podcast]</ref><ref>{{40book|100}}</ref> In [[Season 16 (1984-1985)|Season 16]] (1984), after Brian Muehl's departure, the character was briefly taken over by [[Richard Hunt]], who performed Elmo with a gruff voice and often had him yelling his lines.
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Hunt disliked playing Elmo and couldn't make the character work. On November 26, 1984, after the taping of [[Episode 2037]] that morning,<ref name="script">Script documents provided by a [[Thread:253692|trusted source]]</ref> Hunt came into the studio's Muppet green room and literally tossed the puppet to [[Kevin Clash]], asking him what he could get out of it.<ref name="WPT" /> Clash first performed Elmo in [[Episode 2026]], taped on the same day.<ref name="script" />
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Clash performed Elmo in remaining material for the season, and in the interim between seasons, he thought about what he could bring to the role.<ref>[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz9np_gxN6E Kevin Clash on developing Elmo's character], video interview for [[the Archive of American Television]], conducted on July 20, 2004.</ref> While trying to find a "hook," he decided that Elmo should embody love. Clash said, "I knew that Elmo should represent love - just kissing and hugging."<ref>[[Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey]]</ref> Clash cites a moment in [[Season 17 (1985-1986)|season 17]] (from [[Episode 2215]] where Elmo packs for an imaginary vacation) as the moment when he "found his voice" as Elmo.<ref>''[[40 Years of Sunny Days]]'' disc 1 "Behind the Street" featurette</ref> Clash's first indicator that his performance was working was when he heard the camera crew laughing during taping. Soon after, Elmo started to build in popularity, as research showed that viewers were not only entertained by the character, but they were learning from him.<ref name="WPT" /><ref> Time.com, [http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1937077,00.html Kevin Clash: The Man Behind Elmo] Nov. 10, 2009</ref>
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''See also [[Proto-Elmo]].''
   
 
==Popularity==
 
==Popularity==
A popular doll called the [[Tickle Me Elmo]] was manufactured in his likeness, and became the must-have toy during the 1996 Christmas season. A tenth anniversary edition, T.M.X. Elmo, was released in 2006. Other Elmo toys include [[Hokey Pokey Elmo]] ("Hokey Cokey Elmo" in the U.K.), [[Limbo Elmo]], [[Chicken Dance Elmo]], [[Let's Pretend Elmo]], and [[Elmo Live]].
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[[Image:Rosie.elmo.jpg|300px|thumb|Elmo with [[Rosie O'Donnell]] in ''Elmopalooza''.]]
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[[File:NotTooLate01.jpg|thumb|300px|Elmo at his desk on ''The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo''.]]
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Elmo appeared in an episode of ''[[The Torkelsons]] ''in 1991 and had occasional guest spots on ''[[The Frugal Gourmet]]''. In the mid-1990s, Elmo became a regular guest on ''[[The Rosie O'Donnell Show]]'', appearing more than a dozen times between 1996 and 2002. The [[Tickle Me Elmo]] doll was manufactured in his likeness, and became the must-have toy during the 1996 Christmas season; and subsequent variations and other Elmo dolls (such as [[Chicken Dance Elmo]], [[Let's Rock! Elmo]], [[Elmo Live]], and [[Big Hugs Elmo]]) have also been successful.
   
Elmo was the star of the full-length, theatrically released motion picture ''[[The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland]]''. He also made minor appearances in ''[[Follow That Bird]]'', the wedding scene in ''[[The Muppets Take Manhattan]]'', and ''[[A Muppet Family Christmas]]''.
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Elmo has also been prominently featured in many home videos including ''[[Elmo's Sing-Along Guessing Game]]'', ''[[Elmo Says BOO! (video)|Elmo Says BOO!]]'', ''[[Elmo's Magic Cookbook]]'', and ''[[Elmo's Potty Time]]'', and has starred in many television specials such as ''[[Elmopalooza]]'', ''[[Elmo Saves Christmas (special)|Elmo Saves Christmas]]'', ''[[The Street We Live On]]'' and ''[[Elmo's Christmas Countdown]]''. Additionally, Elmo was the star of the 1999 full-length, theatrically released motion picture ''[[The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland]]''.
   
Elmo can be seen in the home videos ''[[Elmo's Sing-Along Guessing Game]]'', ''[[The Best of Elmo]]'', ''[[Elmocize]]'', and ''[[Elmo Visits the Doctor]]'', and has also appeared in many other videos, including ''[[Play-Along Games and Songs]]'', ''[[We All Sing Together]]'' and ''[[A Celebration of Me, Grover]]''. Elmo has also starred in specials such as ''[[Elmopalooza]]'' and ''[[The Street We Live On]]''. For a whole list of appearances of Elmo in videos, click [[Elmo#Video appearances|here]].
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Elmo is also the host of ''[[The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo]]'', his own late-night talk show that takes place just before his bedtime.
   
==Behind the scenes==
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In 1994, Elmo had a [[The Best of Elmo (video)|"Best of" video]] released; a sequel, ''[[The Best of Elmo 2]]'', was released in 2010, and a third installment, ''[[The Best of Elmo 3]]'', followed in 2015. A [[The Best of Elmo (album)|"Best of" album]] was also released in 1997.
There are either eight or nine Elmo puppets currently available. Kevin Clash told Channel Newsasia that "this one [on my lap] is rodded. There's a full radio-controlled Elmo, there's one for the blue screen, etc. They do different things."<ref>Elisa Chia, [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/entertainment/view/222188/1/.html "Meet the grown-up behind Elmo"], 31 July 2006.</ref> In later years, there has been a live-hand variant of Elmo, used in episodes like [[episode 4206]] and specials like [[Elmo's World: Happy Holidays!]]
 
   
Additionally, dozens of [[Elmo Variants|Elmo variants]] have been created by the [[Muppet Workshop]] (now, Jim Henson's Puppet Workshop) almost exclusively for use in [[Tickle Me Land]] as figments of [[Dorothy|Dorothy's]] imagination. These creations build on the basic premise of the Elmo puppet, to create a unique design which displays a variation of Elmo as anything from a rock to an elephant, to even a [[Elmo Doctor and Nurse|male doctor and female nurse]].
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He stars in the recurring ''Sesame Street'' segments [[Elmo's World]] and [[Elmo the Musical]]. Additionally, he has performed such songs as "[[Elmo's Song]]," "[[Happy Tappin' with Elmo]]," "[[In Your Imagination]]," "[[Elmo's Rap Alphabet]]," "[[Elmo's Ducks]]," and "[[The Elmo Slide]]."
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Elmo has appeared as a main character in several [[:Category:International Sesame Street Shows|international co-productions]], including ''[[5, Rue Sésame]]'' in [[France]], ''[[Sesamgade]]'' in [[Denmark]], ''[[Sesamstrasse]]'' in [[Germany]], ''[[Sesamstraat]]'' in the [[Netherlands]] and in the [[United Kingdom|British]] co-production ''[[The Furchester Hotel]]''.
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[[Kermit Love]] felt he knew part of the character's reason for success: "Elmo is popular because Elmo is red."<ref>Annie Evans, "[https://web.archive.org/web/20140715063930/http://www.sesamestreet.org/parents/blog/-/blogs/the-elmo-phenomenon The Elmo Phenomenon]", ''[[Sesame Family Robinson]]'', 27 February 2011. (archive)</ref>
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Elmo's ''[[CinderElmo]]'' co-star [[French Stewart]] lists the three-year-old monster's acting talents behind only Pacino, [[Marlon Brando|Brando]] and [[Meryl Streep|Streep]], while [[Oliver Platt]] says he is a "giving actor."<ref>''CinderElmo'' bonus features</ref>
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==Third-person speech==
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[[Image:TSWLO-12.jpg|300px|thumb|''Elmo's World'']]
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Elmo characteristically avoids pronouns, referring to himself in the third person (e.g. "Elmo has a question" rather than, "I have a question"). In its FAQ on [[sesameworkshop.org|its website]], [[Sesame Workshop]] responded to the allegation that Elmo referring to himself in the third person will teach children improper English, stating that:
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{{quote|Elmo mimics the behavior of many preschoolers. Like 3-year-olds, he doesn’t always have the skills or knowledge to speak proper English. Cast members and many of the other Muppets, however, do demonstrate proper usage of the English language.<ref>[http://www.sesameworkshop.org/faqs/?p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_id=faq_WAR_sesameportlets4369&_faq_WAR_sesameportlets4369_action=addquestion&_faq_WAR_sesameportlets4369_category=About%2520the%2520Television%2520Program&_faq_WAR_sesameportlets4369_faqtype=faq&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_id=browsefaq_WAR_sesameportlets4369&_browsefaq_WAR_sesameportlets4369_category=About%2520the%2520Television%2520Program# Sesame Workshop FAQ]</ref>}}
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While Elmo almost always speaks in third-person, his dialogue [[Elmo speaking in the first person|has broken this rule on occasion]], such as in song or via indirect comments. In a May 2011 appearance on ''[[Late Night with Jimmy Fallon]]'', Elmo sang a few lines of a [[Jennifer Hudson]] song, only after realizing he sang the word "me".
   
 
At the [[Muppets, Music & Magic]] event at [[The Cinema Arts Centre]] in August 2007, Elmo joked that the reason he speaks in the third person is that he gets paid for each time he says "Elmo."
 
At the [[Muppets, Music & Magic]] event at [[The Cinema Arts Centre]] in August 2007, Elmo joked that the reason he speaks in the third person is that he gets paid for each time he says "Elmo."
   
Elmo tweeted about his third person speaking in March 2010; "Someone just told Elmo yesterday was Talk in Third Person Day. Elmo doesn't know what that is but it sounds fun. Can Elmo play?"
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Elmo tweeted about his third-person speaking in March 2010; "Someone just told Elmo yesterday was Talk in Third Person Day. Elmo doesn't know what that is but it sounds fun. Can Elmo play?"
   
Elmo's ''[[CinderElmo]]'' co-star [[French Stewart]] lists the three year old monster's acting talents behind only Pacino, [[Marlon Brando|Brando]] and [[Meryl Streep|Streep]], while [[Oliver Platt]] says he is a "giving actor."
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At [[The Paley Center for Media]] screening of ''[[Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey]]'', a member of the audience asked him why he spoke in third person. Elmo (after jokingly threatening the audience member) replied that "it's just the way Elmo talks."
   
==Video appearances==
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==Behind the scenes==
'''Sesame Street''':
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[[File:Kevin-Clash-Elmo.jpg|thumb|300px|Kevin Clash with Elmo]]
*[[:Category:Elmo's World Video|''Elmo's World'' videos]]
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In 2011, there were either eight or nine different Elmo puppets.<ref>''[[Being Elmo]]'' Q&A session feature on DVD</ref> Kevin Clash told Channel Newsasia that "this one [on my lap] is rodded. There's a full radio-controlled Elmo, there's one for the blue screen, etc. They do different things."<ref>Elisa Chia, [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/entertainment/view/222188/1/.html "Meet the grown-up behind Elmo"], 31 July 2006.</ref> In later years, there has been a live-hand variant of Elmo, used in episodes like [[episode 4206]] and specials like ''[[Elmo's World: Happy Holidays!]]''
*''[[Elmo's Sing-Along Guessing Game]]''
 
*''[[The Best of Elmo]]''
 
*''[[Elmocize]]''
 
*''[[Elmo Visits the Doctor]]''
 
*''[[Elmo Visits the Firehouse]]''
 
*''[[Play-Along Games and Songs]]''
 
*''[[We All Sing Together]]''
 
*''[[A Celebration of Me, Grover]]''
 
*''[[Elmopalooza]]''
 
*''[[The Street We Live On]]''
 
*''[[Let's Make Music]]''
 
*''[[Zoe's Dance Moves]]''
 
*''[[The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland]]''
 
*''[[Follow That Bird]]''
 
*''[[Guess That Shape and Color]]''
 
*''[[Friends to the Rescue]]''
 
*''[[Dinosaurs!]]''
 
*''[[The Great Numbers Game]]''
 
*''[[Kids' Favorite Country Songs]]''
 
*''[[The Alphabet Jungle Game]]''
 
*''[[Sesame Sings Karaoke]]''
 
*''[[Ready for School!]]''
 
   
'''The Muppets''':
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Additionally, dozens of [[Elmo Variants|Elmo variants]] have been created by the [[The Muppet Workshop|Muppet Workshop]] (now, Jim Henson's Creature Shop) almost exclusively for use in the [[Tickle Me Land]] segments of ''Elmo's World'' as figments of [[Dorothy|Dorothy's]] imagination. These creations build on the basic premise of the Elmo puppet, to create a unique design which displays a variation of Elmo as anything from a rock to an elephant, to even a [[Elmo Doctor and Nurse|male doctor and female nurse]].
*''[[The Muppets Take Manhattan]]''
 
*''[[A Muppet Family Christmas]]''
 
*''[[The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson]]''
 
   
==Trivia==
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==After Clash's departure==
* On ''[[Big Bag]]'', he made a guest appearance in one episode, as [[Chelli]]'s pen-pal.
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[[File:Ryandillonelmo.jpg|thumb|300px|Ryan Dillon with Elmo]]
* Elmo's earliest illustrated appearance was in ''[[The Sesame Street Circus of Opposites]]''.
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Kevin Clash's tenure as the character ended in 2012 following his resignation from [[Sesame Workshop]]. Portions of [[Season 44 (2013-2014)|season 44]] had already been filmed prior to Clash's departure, leaving some of his performances as Elmo featured throughout the 2013-2014 season of ''Sesame Street''.
* For the 2005/2006 season, [[Sesamstraat]] moved into new scenery. The scenery was introduced with a TV special. [[Bert]], [[Ernie]], [[Cookie Monster]] and Elmo flew over to Holland for this special occasion. It was the first time the American characters visited the Dutch street.
 
* According to ''[[Ask Elmo]]'', his favorite food is wasabi; that's why he has no eyelids.
 
* The meaning of life, to Elmo? "Um, the meaning of life for Elmo is respecting your elders by saying Mr. And Ms. and saying thank you and also giving lots of loves and kisses. That's the meaning of life for Elmo."<ref>''[[Ask Elmo]]''.</ref>
 
   
==References==
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Clash also filmed an Elmo appearance for the special ''[[Michael Bublé: Home for the Holidays]]'', recorded Elmo's vocals for the 2012 [[Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade|Macy's Parade]] and for the [[Big Hugs Elmo]] doll released in 2013. His last known public performance of Elmo was during a radio interview with [[WNYC]] on October 30, 2012 (twenty days before his official resignation from Sesame Workshop).
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Sesame Workshop released a statement regarding Clash's departure on November 12, 2012, a portion of which read: "Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of ''Sesame Street'' to engage, educate and inspire children around the world, as it has for 40 years."<ref>[http://www.sesameworkshop.org/our-blog/2012/11/12/sesame-workshops-statement-regarding-kevin-clash/ Sesame Workshop's Statement Regarding Kevin Clash]</ref>
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[[Ryan Dillon]] has since taken over the character. Dillon first appeared publicly as Elmo at [[the White House Easter Egg Roll]] in April 2013 and has continued to perform the character in new appearances and productions; including in multiple segments for season 44, and into [[Season 45 (2014-2015)|season 45]].
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Immediately following Clash's departure, [[Peter Linz]] voiced the character for a recording commissioned for the grand opening ceremony of the [[Spaghetti Space Chase]] dark ride at [[Universal Studios Singapore]], synced by [[Elmo walk-arounds|an Elmo walk-around]]. However, Linz stated the recording was a one-time performance.<ref>{{youtube|VeYalE19uno}}</ref><ref>[https://www.facebook.com/peterlinzpuppeteer/posts/220621584749087 Peter Linz's Facebook page]</ref>
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==Casting history==
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;Primary Performers
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* [[Brian Muehl]] - [[Season 11 (1979-1980)|Season 11]] to [[Season 15 (1983-1984)|Season 15]]
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* [[Richard Hunt]] - [[Season 16 (1984-1985)|Season 16]] (see [[proto-Elmo]] for more)
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* [[Kevin Clash]] - [[Season 16 (1984-1985)|Season 16]] {{first|2025}} to [[Season 44 (2013-2014)|Season 44]]
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* [[Ryan Dillon]] - [[Season 44 (2013-2014)|Season 44]] to present
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;Other Performers
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* [[Peter Linz]] - ''[[Spaghetti Space Chase]]'' opening event at [[Universal Studios Singapore]] (2013, voice for walk-around character)
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==Notes==
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[[File:Tickle_me_elmo_box.jpg|thumb|300px]]
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[[File:Elmo smith.jpg|thumb|300px|An original Elmo puppet, donated to [[the Smithsonian Institution]] in 2013.]]
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* On ''[[Big Bag]]'', he made a guest appearance in one episode as [[Chelli]]'s pen-pal.
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* Elmo's earliest illustrated appearance was in the 1981 book ''[[The Sesame Street Circus of Opposites]]''.
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* For the 2005/2006 season, [[Sesamstraat]] (the Dutch version of Sesame Street) moved into new scenery. The scenery was introduced with a TV special. [[Bert]], [[Ernie]], [[Cookie Monster]] and Elmo flew over to The Netherlands for this special occasion. It was the first time the American characters visited the Dutch street. Apparently, during that visit, Kevin Clash (who had come along as puppeteer for the characters) had told Elmo's Dutch voice actor Hein Boele, that he did the best Elmo impression of all the Elmo voices he had met before.<ref>[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbzQi8Oz57g The Dutch voice actor of 'Elmo']</ref>
  +
* The meaning of life to Elmo? He stated that: "Um, the meaning of life for Elmo is respecting your elders by saying Mr. and Ms. and saying thank you and also giving lots of loves and kisses. That's the meaning of life for Elmo."<ref>''[[Ask Elmo]]''.</ref>
  +
* He is 24 inches tall, when measured in 2011 by guest [[Drew Brees]].<ref>Measure, Word of the Day segment, ''Sesame Street''.</ref>
  +
* At a screening of ''Being Elmo'' at the [[Museum of the Moving Image]], Elmo was asked what it was like to work with Richard Hunt, to a huge response from the audience. He recollected, "It was TORTURE! ...Elmo doesn't like opera! Elmo doesn't like tuna fish sandwiches and Schweppes Ginger Ale. Elmo doesn't like any of those things! But for some reason, when he was working Elmo, Elmo was motivated to love those things."<ref name="beingelmo">[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZiPHhYoIYY Clip from the Q&A after the Being Elmo screening in NY 9/25/11]</ref>
  +
* An Elmo cameo was written for ''[[The Muppets (2011)|The Muppets]]'', but both [[Jason Segel]] and [[Nick Stoller]] explained that it would've been too expensive.<ref>[http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2076566,00.html#ixzz1PSk8o55v Exclusive: On the Set of the New Muppets Movie], Stein, Joel, ''Time''</ref><ref>[http://ryanseacrest.com/2011/11/09/walter-of-the-muppets-is-already-sold-out-photo/ Jason Segel Says New Muppet Character Walter 'Was Born In My Brain'], Ryan Seacrest.com</ref>
  +
*In [[1981]], [[David Rudman]] used the Elmo puppet in his audition video for [[Jim Henson]], lip-syncing to "[[I Can Do That]]" from ''[[A Chorus Line]]''.<ref>{{40book|103}}</ref><ref>David Rudman on [http://joeyandamanda.libsyn.com/david-rudman?fbclid=IwAR1ORNRsIGt3h6GF37lEn71U4j3AzB5DPVEJsaz6WR932mGh9yTyitunIt8 ''The Joey and Amanda Podcast'' (35:30)]</ref>
  +
*In ''The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo'' [[Episode 106: Miles Brown / Joyous String Quartet|episode 106]], Elmo says his favorite letter is [[U]], because "Elmo loves you."
  +
  +
==Sources==
 
<references />
 
<references />
  +
;Notes
  +
<references group="note"/>
   
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
* [[Elmo Songs]]
+
* [[Elmo songs]]
 
* [[:Category:Elmo Sketches|Elmo Sketches]]
 
* [[:Category:Elmo Sketches|Elmo Sketches]]
* [[:Category:Elmo Books|Elmo books]]
+
* [[Elmo filmography]]
  +
* [[Elmo guest appearances]]
  +
* [[:Category:Elmo Books|Elmo Books]]
  +
* [[Elmo Variants]]
  +
* [[International Elmo]]
 
* [[Elmo Mondiporg]], also known as Maurice Monster
 
* [[Elmo Mondiporg]], also known as Maurice Monster
* [[Sesame Street Monsters]]
+
  +
__NOWYSIWYG__
 
[[Category:Muppet Characters]]
 
[[Category:Muppet Characters]]
 
[[Category:Sesame Street Characters]]
 
[[Category:Sesame Street Characters]]
 
[[Category:Sesame Street Monsters]]
 
[[Category:Sesame Street Monsters]]
  +
[[Category:Furchester Hotel Characters]]

Latest revision as of 23:50, July 12, 2020

Elmo-elmo-elmo
PERFORMER Kevin Clash 1984-2012
  Ryan Dillon 2013-present
  more...
DEBUT 1980
DESIGN Caroly Wilcox designer/builder
  Leslee Asch designer/builder
Elmoearlyportrait

Elmo is a furry red Muppet monster with an orange nose who lives on Sesame Street. He is self-described as three-and-a-half years old, and almost always refers to himself in the third person. The character's popularity led to his own segments on Sesame Street including "Elmo's World" and "Elmo the Musical".

Character backgroundEdit

Elmo Family

Elmo with his mom and dad.

Elmo lives in an apartment on Sesame Street with his mother Mae, his father Louie, and, in some storybooks, a sister named Daisy. He has a pet goldfish named Dorothy.

Other relatives in Elmo's family include his grandma and grandpa; his great-grandmother (featured in a 1989 episode) and his great-grandfather (named Selmo); his Uncle Jack, Aunt Jill, and cousin Jesse (featured in When Families Grieve); plus additional cousins Elmer (featured in Kids' Favorite Country Songs), Chester (featured in Here For You), and Mimsy. Additionally, the television special Sesame Street Stays Up Late shows Elmo's "international" cousins — Pepé from Mexico and Elmonosuke from Japan. As seen in The Furchester Hotel, he also has an aunt Funella Furchester, an uncle Furgus Fuzz, and a cousin Phoebe Furchester-Fuzz.

Elmo's early childhood has been shown with Elmo as a 13-month-old infant in the Sesame Beginnings video series and in flashbacks shown in Elmo's Potty Time and "Bye Bye Binky."

According to a Q&A video, his favorite food is wasabi; that's why he has no eyelids. This has been reaffirmed on Rove Live and in other interviews,[1] along with the Muppet bios published in several Sesame Workshop press kits.[2] In 2000, Elmo told Donnie and Marie Osmond that his mother and father tell him to never "hate" any food, but he makes an exception for Brussels sprouts, Marie decided to taunt him with a bowl of them. Brussels sprouts have often been listed among Elmo's pet peeves in press kit bios.[3]

As with many children of his age, Elmo is seen somewhat infrequently with a favorite toy of his: an orange monster-like doll named Baby David. In the film The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Elmo is devoted to his blue blanket, Blanket.

Elmo's birthday is February 3rd.

Sesame Workshop description of Elmo:

Elmo is a 3½-year-old red monster with a high pitched voice and a contagious giggle. Enthusiastic, friendly and cheerful, he always wants to be part of everything that goes on. However, like most preschoolers, he sometimes doesn't have the skills or knowledge to do what he wants. But that never stops him because he has a very positive, optimistic view of himself and life. Elmo's best friends are Zoe and Abby, and also his pet goldfish Dorothy. Elmo loves eating his favorite food, wasabi. He also loves riding on his tricycle and being tickled.[4]

OriginsEdit

FirstElmoSketch

The first sketches of Elmo by Caroly Wilcox (cited in Imagination Illustrated as 1979), reveal that he was initially intended to have a wider face.

Song.WeAreAllMonsters

Elmo used as a generic monster character in the 1980 song, "We Are All Monsters."

The puppet that would eventually become Elmo was designed in 1979 by Caroly Wilcox.[5][6] Intended as a generic Anything Muppet monster, labels used for the puppet included "baby monster", "short red" (in Wilcox's sketch), and "little red" (on exhibit at Center for Puppetry Arts, Worlds of Puppetry, Jim Henson Collection).

Elmo made his earliest named appearance in Season 11 (Episode 1439), where he was first performed by Brian Muehl. In this early appearance, Elmo communicates with Maria only in mumbles. After he was established on the show, press releases for Season 12 described him as a character who communicates with sounds rather than words.[7][8] His appearances that season continue with the mumble talk, as in Episode 1475 where he learns the Spanish word "casa" and writes it all over the wall of 123 Sesame Street.

Elmo was considered such a minor character, that the puppet was still used as an AM monster in inserts, and in these instances, as with most background Muppets, had rotating performers.[note 1] However, writer David Korr had taken a liking to Elmo and continued writing him into Street scenes.[9][10] In Season 16 (1984), after Brian Muehl's departure, the character was briefly taken over by Richard Hunt, who performed Elmo with a gruff voice and often had him yelling his lines.

Hunt disliked playing Elmo and couldn't make the character work. On November 26, 1984, after the taping of Episode 2037 that morning,[11] Hunt came into the studio's Muppet green room and literally tossed the puppet to Kevin Clash, asking him what he could get out of it.[9] Clash first performed Elmo in Episode 2026, taped on the same day.[11]

Clash performed Elmo in remaining material for the season, and in the interim between seasons, he thought about what he could bring to the role.[12] While trying to find a "hook," he decided that Elmo should embody love. Clash said, "I knew that Elmo should represent love - just kissing and hugging."[13] Clash cites a moment in season 17 (from Episode 2215 where Elmo packs for an imaginary vacation) as the moment when he "found his voice" as Elmo.[14] Clash's first indicator that his performance was working was when he heard the camera crew laughing during taping. Soon after, Elmo started to build in popularity, as research showed that viewers were not only entertained by the character, but they were learning from him.[9][15]

See also Proto-Elmo.

PopularityEdit

Rosie.elmo

Elmo with Rosie O'Donnell in Elmopalooza.

NotTooLate01

Elmo at his desk on The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo.

Elmo appeared in an episode of The Torkelsons in 1991 and had occasional guest spots on The Frugal Gourmet. In the mid-1990s, Elmo became a regular guest on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, appearing more than a dozen times between 1996 and 2002. The Tickle Me Elmo doll was manufactured in his likeness, and became the must-have toy during the 1996 Christmas season; and subsequent variations and other Elmo dolls (such as Chicken Dance Elmo, Let's Rock! Elmo, Elmo Live, and Big Hugs Elmo) have also been successful.

Elmo has also been prominently featured in many home videos including Elmo's Sing-Along Guessing Game, Elmo Says BOO!, Elmo's Magic Cookbook, and Elmo's Potty Time, and has starred in many television specials such as Elmopalooza, Elmo Saves Christmas, The Street We Live On and Elmo's Christmas Countdown. Additionally, Elmo was the star of the 1999 full-length, theatrically released motion picture The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland.

Elmo is also the host of The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, his own late-night talk show that takes place just before his bedtime.

In 1994, Elmo had a "Best of" video released; a sequel, The Best of Elmo 2, was released in 2010, and a third installment, The Best of Elmo 3, followed in 2015. A "Best of" album was also released in 1997.

He stars in the recurring Sesame Street segments Elmo's World and Elmo the Musical. Additionally, he has performed such songs as "Elmo's Song," "Happy Tappin' with Elmo," "In Your Imagination," "Elmo's Rap Alphabet," "Elmo's Ducks," and "The Elmo Slide."

Elmo has appeared as a main character in several international co-productions, including 5, Rue Sésame in France, Sesamgade in Denmark, Sesamstrasse in Germany, Sesamstraat in the Netherlands and in the British co-production The Furchester Hotel.

Kermit Love felt he knew part of the character's reason for success: "Elmo is popular because Elmo is red."[16]

Elmo's CinderElmo co-star French Stewart lists the three-year-old monster's acting talents behind only Pacino, Brando and Streep, while Oliver Platt says he is a "giving actor."[17]

Third-person speechEdit

TSWLO-12

Elmo's World

Elmo characteristically avoids pronouns, referring to himself in the third person (e.g. "Elmo has a question" rather than, "I have a question"). In its FAQ on its website, Sesame Workshop responded to the allegation that Elmo referring to himself in the third person will teach children improper English, stating that:

Elmo mimics the behavior of many preschoolers. Like 3-year-olds, he doesn’t always have the skills or knowledge to speak proper English. Cast members and many of the other Muppets, however, do demonstrate proper usage of the English language.[18]

While Elmo almost always speaks in third-person, his dialogue has broken this rule on occasion, such as in song or via indirect comments. In a May 2011 appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Elmo sang a few lines of a Jennifer Hudson song, only after realizing he sang the word "me".

At the Muppets, Music & Magic event at The Cinema Arts Centre in August 2007, Elmo joked that the reason he speaks in the third person is that he gets paid for each time he says "Elmo."

Elmo tweeted about his third-person speaking in March 2010; "Someone just told Elmo yesterday was Talk in Third Person Day. Elmo doesn't know what that is but it sounds fun. Can Elmo play?"

At The Paley Center for Media screening of Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey, a member of the audience asked him why he spoke in third person. Elmo (after jokingly threatening the audience member) replied that "it's just the way Elmo talks."

Behind the scenesEdit

Kevin-Clash-Elmo

Kevin Clash with Elmo

In 2011, there were either eight or nine different Elmo puppets.[19] Kevin Clash told Channel Newsasia that "this one [on my lap] is rodded. There's a full radio-controlled Elmo, there's one for the blue screen, etc. They do different things."[20] In later years, there has been a live-hand variant of Elmo, used in episodes like episode 4206 and specials like Elmo's World: Happy Holidays!

Additionally, dozens of Elmo variants have been created by the Muppet Workshop (now, Jim Henson's Creature Shop) almost exclusively for use in the Tickle Me Land segments of Elmo's World as figments of Dorothy's imagination. These creations build on the basic premise of the Elmo puppet, to create a unique design which displays a variation of Elmo as anything from a rock to an elephant, to even a male doctor and female nurse.

After Clash's departureEdit

Ryandillonelmo

Ryan Dillon with Elmo

Kevin Clash's tenure as the character ended in 2012 following his resignation from Sesame Workshop. Portions of season 44 had already been filmed prior to Clash's departure, leaving some of his performances as Elmo featured throughout the 2013-2014 season of Sesame Street.

Clash also filmed an Elmo appearance for the special Michael Bublé: Home for the Holidays, recorded Elmo's vocals for the 2012 Macy's Parade and for the Big Hugs Elmo doll released in 2013. His last known public performance of Elmo was during a radio interview with WNYC on October 30, 2012 (twenty days before his official resignation from Sesame Workshop).

Sesame Workshop released a statement regarding Clash's departure on November 12, 2012, a portion of which read: "Elmo is bigger than any one person and will continue to be an integral part of Sesame Street to engage, educate and inspire children around the world, as it has for 40 years."[21]

Ryan Dillon has since taken over the character. Dillon first appeared publicly as Elmo at the White House Easter Egg Roll in April 2013 and has continued to perform the character in new appearances and productions; including in multiple segments for season 44, and into season 45.

Immediately following Clash's departure, Peter Linz voiced the character for a recording commissioned for the grand opening ceremony of the Spaghetti Space Chase dark ride at Universal Studios Singapore, synced by an Elmo walk-around. However, Linz stated the recording was a one-time performance.[22][23]

Casting historyEdit

Primary Performers
Other Performers

NotesEdit

Tickle me elmo box
Elmo smith

An original Elmo puppet, donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 2013.

  • On Big Bag, he made a guest appearance in one episode as Chelli's pen-pal.
  • Elmo's earliest illustrated appearance was in the 1981 book The Sesame Street Circus of Opposites.
  • For the 2005/2006 season, Sesamstraat (the Dutch version of Sesame Street) moved into new scenery. The scenery was introduced with a TV special. Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster and Elmo flew over to The Netherlands for this special occasion. It was the first time the American characters visited the Dutch street. Apparently, during that visit, Kevin Clash (who had come along as puppeteer for the characters) had told Elmo's Dutch voice actor Hein Boele, that he did the best Elmo impression of all the Elmo voices he had met before.[24]
  • The meaning of life to Elmo? He stated that: "Um, the meaning of life for Elmo is respecting your elders by saying Mr. and Ms. and saying thank you and also giving lots of loves and kisses. That's the meaning of life for Elmo."[25]
  • He is 24 inches tall, when measured in 2011 by guest Drew Brees.[26]
  • At a screening of Being Elmo at the Museum of the Moving Image, Elmo was asked what it was like to work with Richard Hunt, to a huge response from the audience. He recollected, "It was TORTURE! ...Elmo doesn't like opera! Elmo doesn't like tuna fish sandwiches and Schweppes Ginger Ale. Elmo doesn't like any of those things! But for some reason, when he was working Elmo, Elmo was motivated to love those things."[1]
  • An Elmo cameo was written for The Muppets, but both Jason Segel and Nick Stoller explained that it would've been too expensive.[27][28]
  • In 1981, David Rudman used the Elmo puppet in his audition video for Jim Henson, lip-syncing to "I Can Do That" from A Chorus Line.[29][30]
  • In The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo episode 106, Elmo says his favorite letter is U, because "Elmo loves you."

SourcesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Clip from the Q&A after the Being Elmo screening in NY 9/25/11
  2. Season 41, Season 42, Season 43, Season 44
  3. Press Kits: Season 40, Season 41, Season 42
  4. Sesameworkshop.org: Season 44 Press Kit
  5. Falk, Karen. Imagination Illustrated. p. 180
  6. Borgenicht, David. Sesame Street Unpaved. p. 85
  7. Season 12 Press Kit, CTW Archives
  8. Adrian Slifka, The Youngstown Vindicator: "New Muppets' Gang to Brighten 12th Season of 'Sesame Street'" - November 23, 1980
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Wisconsin Public Television podcast
  10. Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street, page 100
  11. 11.0 11.1 Script documents provided by a trusted source
  12. Kevin Clash on developing Elmo's character, video interview for the Archive of American Television, conducted on July 20, 2004.
  13. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey
  14. 40 Years of Sunny Days disc 1 "Behind the Street" featurette
  15. Time.com, Kevin Clash: The Man Behind Elmo Nov. 10, 2009
  16. Annie Evans, "The Elmo Phenomenon", Sesame Family Robinson, 27 February 2011. (archive)
  17. CinderElmo bonus features
  18. Sesame Workshop FAQ
  19. Being Elmo Q&A session feature on DVD
  20. Elisa Chia, "Meet the grown-up behind Elmo", 31 July 2006.
  21. Sesame Workshop's Statement Regarding Kevin Clash
  22. (YouTube)
  23. Peter Linz's Facebook page
  24. The Dutch voice actor of 'Elmo'
  25. Ask Elmo.
  26. Measure, Word of the Day segment, Sesame Street.
  27. Exclusive: On the Set of the New Muppets Movie, Stein, Joel, Time
  28. Jason Segel Says New Muppet Character Walter 'Was Born In My Brain', Ryan Seacrest.com
  29. Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street, page 103
  30. David Rudman on The Joey and Amanda Podcast (35:30)
Notes
  1. Jerry Nelson was one such performer in "We Are All Monsters" as evidenced by this behind-the-scenes photo, but probably not Caroll Spinney who has told a story about performing an early version of the character on several occasions. See Baby Monster for more.

See alsoEdit

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