Elmo the Musical is a Sesame Street segment that began airing in the 43rd season. The segment was featured in every episode until Season 46, where it alternated with "Elmo's World." Although the segment stopped production after that season in favor of a revamped version of "Elmo's World," the segment is occasionally featured in new episodes of the show.
In each eleven-minute segment, Elmo teaches math skills while imagining himself in different musical situations, such as "Sea Captain the Musical," "Mountain Climber the Musical" and "President the Musical." Joining Elmo in his adventures is Velvet, a talking set of curtains, and a series of animal and Anything Muppet friends (see Elmo the Musical Characters).
The segment's theme song was composed by Adam Schlesinger, while the legal registration ascribes lyrics to six of the Elmo the Musical staff writers: Molly Boylan, Annie Evans, Belinda Ward, Joey Mazzarino, Luis Santeiro, and Christine Ferraro. The song was nominated for the 2013 Daytime Emmy Awards in the "Outstanding Original Song - Children's and Animation" category, along with "I'm the Queen of Nacho Picchu" from the "Guacamole the Musical" segment.
For a time, interactive games based on three of the segments ("Pizza," "Prince Elmo," and "Cowboy") were found on Sesamestreet.org, featuring some unique video footage not used in the aired pieces. A version of the segment was in incorporated into in the Sesame Street Live show Can't Stop Singing. A stage show version of the segment was added to Sesame Place in 2014. An illustrated segment, "Elmo's Dinosaur the Musical," appears in the Sesame Street comic book Blast from the Past.
|Guacamole the Musical (First: Episode 4301)
Chef Explorer Elmo travels to Nacho Picchu and meets the Queen. The Queen is looking for a big dip for her big tortilla chip and Elmo must deliver or else!
|Athlete the Musical (First: Episode 4302)
Elmo imagines himself as an athlete competing against a large monster, Enormous Athlete, to win a pair of golden shoes.
|Sea Captain the Musical (First: Episode 4303)
Sea Captain Elmo and his chicken crew try to find the elusive whale, Moby Pink.
|Pizza the Musical (First: Episode 4305)
|Airplane the Musical (First: Episode 4307)
A penguin bride-to-be needs airplane-pilot Elmo to take her to the South Pole by 11 o'clock for her wedding, constantly making pit stops for things she needs for the wedding.
|Circus the Musical (First: Episode 4308)
Elmo tries to find the perfect act he can do for the circus, replacing the various performers who fall out. Elmo becomes discouraged and nearly gives up his dream of joining the circus until a chicken urges him to "Keep on Clucking." (Audra McDonald provides the singing voice of the chicken.)
|President the Musical (First: Episode 4311)
Elected President of the United States, Elmo become the first monster to command the White House. He must solve a problem facing the country - all the "firsts" (the First Lady, the First President photo, first base, etc.) are going missing!
|Cowboy the Musical (First: Episode 4313)
Elmo becomes a cowboy, nick-named the Count By Two Kid, and must escort six kitty-cows to the Double Double Dude Dude Ranch Ranch.
|Prince Elmo the Musical (First: Episode 4315)
|Detective the Musical (First: Episode 4318)
Detective Elmo is searching for a cube who has been causing people to sneeze.
|Bird the Musical (First: Episode 4401)
Elmo imagines himself as a bird and follows Mama Bird's egg to bring it back to the nest.
|Repair Monster the Musical (First: Episode 4410)
Repair Monster Elmo must fix things broken in half by the accidental magic of The Great Halfini.
|Mountain Climber the Musical (First: Episode 4418)
Elmo and his sheep sherpa scale Mount Biggest Everest, though everyone tries to warn him about the Yeti at the top.
|Karate Master the Musical (First: Episode 4503)
Elmo must use his karate-chopping abilities to stop a being known as the Ooze from destroying all the shapes in the town.
|Tomato the Musical (First: Episode 4506)
Farmer Elmo helps his tomato become the biggest and win a prize at the county fair.
|Superhero the Musical (First: Episode 4612)
Mighty Elmo saves the city from the dastardly deeds of Baddy McBad.
|Iguana the Musical (First: Episode 4628)
Iguana Elmo helps another iguana find her grandmother's house to celebrate her birthday.
|Beach the Musical (First: Episode 4632)
Elmo visits Happy Crab Beach, where everyone is happy, except for a tiny shrimp who thinks she's too small to do anything.
Behind the Scenes
Replacing Elmo's World
Production on the "Elmo's World" segments had ceased in the late 2000s, the last new segment airing as part of the 2009 season. The segment was meant to appeal to kids younger than the target age of the show (two years and younger). Executive producer Carol-Lynn Parente was not too pleased with the success it received, as it was targeting an age the show's curriculum was not designed for. The "block format" experiment of season 40 proved to be a ratings hit, attracting more children between the ages of 3-4, leaving the "Elmo's World" segment as the youngest-skewing portion of the program, something Parente wished to change even before production halted.
In June 2011, Joey Mazzarino and the other writers began developing new ideas for the new segment. One idea was to have Elmo go on road trips using his tricycle. Mazzarino stated Elmo's character was all about his excited view of the world and large imagination and they decided to go with an idea based on those characteristics. The idea of a musical segment came around and with the success of musical programs like High School Musical and Glee, the writers decided it was a good idea to move forward with.
Each episode took a day to film; the initial segments were filmed between January and February 2012. All the material was filmed in front of a bluescreen, with the performers dressed in blue to allow characters like Elmo to appear full-bodied. Magnetic Dreams, known for producing other animated segments for the show, provides the CGI elements of the segment, including the backgrounds and animated characters. Each episode costs approximately $275,000 to produce.
In late 2013, the segments began airing on ABC Kids in Australia and well as in Germany on KI.KA as a separate mini-series. In 2014, the segments began airing in Dutch as part of the Sesamstraat mini-series, 10 voor.
- Executive Producer: Carol-Lynn Parente
- Co-Executive Producer: Kevin Clash
- Coordinating Producer: April Chadderdon
- Supervising Producer: Nadine Zylstra
- Senior Producer: Tim Carter
- Line Producer: Stephanie Longardo
- Producer: Benjamin Lehmann
- Directors: Kevin Clash, Ken Diego, Joey Mazzarino, Scott Preston, Matt Vogel
- Head Writer: Joey Mazzarino
- Writers/Lyricists: Molly Boylan, Annie Evans, Christine Ferraro, Emily Perl Kingsley, Joey Mazzarino, Luis Santeiro, Belinda Ward, John Weidman
- Jim Henson’s Creature Shop: Mary Brehmer, Matthew Brennan, Andrea Detwiler, Muriel Grabe, Elizabeth Hara, Michelle Hickey, Doug James, Ulysses Jones, Rollie Krewson, Lara MacLean, Colette Nickola, Anney Ozar, Connie Peterson, Jane Pien, Joey Roddy, Jason Seck, Rebecca Sloane, Polly P. Smith, Jason Weber, Stacey Weingarten
- Music Director: Bill Sherman
- Music Director - Arrangements and Orchestrations: Joe Fiedler
- Music Director – Vocals: Paul Rudolph
- Composers: Michael Aarons, Eli Bolin, Jason Robert Brown, Chris Jackson, Tom Kitt, Alex Lacamoire, Chris Miller, Justin Paul, Kathryn Raio, JP Rende, Nathan Tysen, Bill Sherman
- Lighting Designer: Dan Kelley
- Production Designer: Bob Phillips
- Prop Coordinator: Keith Olsen
- Creative Director: Rickey Boyd
- Art Direction/Graphics: Michael Lapinski
- Compositor: Rhea Borzak
- 3D Animator: Andrew Atteberry
- VFX Supervisor: Julian Herrera
- Editing Supervisors: Tim Carter, Todd E. James
- Associate Directors: Tim Carter, Emily Cohen, Ken Diego, Benjamin Lehmann
- Sound Effects: Dick Maitland, C.A.C.
- Technical Director: Tom Guadarrama
- Cameras: Frank Biondo, Jerry Cancel, Saun Harkins, Anthony Lenzo
- Scenic Artist: Margaret Ryan
- Vice President of Education and Research: Rosemarie T. Truglio, Ph.D.
- Taped at Kaufman Astoria Studios