|PERFORMER||Bill Barretta 2006-2010|
|Tyler Bunch 2007-present|
Louie first appeared on-screen in the Sesame Beginnings direct-to-video series, as a stay-at-home dad and the primary caregiver to his infant son. (Sesame Beginnings takes place in a fictional "past" when the characters were babies, which we can assume in Elmo's case is about three years earlier than the Sesame Street "present".) Louie plays the saxophone, and fills Baby Elmo's daily routine with rhythm. He organizes a baby band with Elmo's play group.
Flash-forward to the present for Sesame Workshop's direct-to-video special for military families, Talk, Listen, Connect. In this 2006 special, Louie has joined the military, and is deployed far away. The special doesn't explicitly state that Louie is in the military; instead, it's explained that Louie is away "working" and "helping people". Elmo's mom Mae helps Elmo to understand why his father is away, and uses a daily routine to help Elmo cope with the separation. In the 2010 video When Families Grieve, which occurs after the passing of Louie's brother Jack, Louie explains Jack's death to Elmo, and he forges a connection with his niece Jesse.
Louie's appearance was changed after the initial Sesame Beginnings releases, starting with Talk, Listen, Connect and continuing in the later Beginnings DVDs (such as Exploring Together). Louie's new look included a different hair style, facial hair changes (a goatee rather than a mustache), and a new wardrobe. However the older, mustached, Louie design was seen in Elmo's Potty Time.
While originally limited to these video and outreach projects, Louie began making recurring appearances on Sesame Street itself starting in season 47.
Louie is the only major Sesame Street character to have been performed by Bill Barretta, who based his voice on Louis Prima. Barretta played Louie for most of his appearances from 2006 through 2010's When Families Grieve. Barretta was not always available to perform, being based on the West Coast and busy with other projects, so Tyler Bunch filled in as Louie on at least three occasions during the former's tenure; the videos Learning is Everywhere, Bedtime with Elmo, and in two short scenes for Talk, Listen, Connect: Homecomings. Barretta eventually relinquished the role to Bunch, who assumed performing Louie full-time starting with 2011's Elmo's Travel Songs and Games.
- Sesame Beginnings: Beginning Together (2006)
- Sesame Beginnings: Make Music Together (2006)
- Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments (2006)
- Elmo's Potty Time (2006)
- Sesame Beginnings: Exploring Together (2006)
- Sesame Beginnings: Moving Together (2007)
- Learning is Everywhere (2007)
- Talk, Listen, Connect: Homecomings (2008)
- Talk, Listen, Connect: Changes (2008)
- Bedtime with Elmo (2009)
- Sesamestreet.org "Daddy Day" welcome video (week of June 21, 2009)
- Families Stand Together (2009)
- When Families Grieve (2010)
- Elmo's Travel Songs and Games (2011)
- Little Children, Big Challenges (2013)
- Here for Each Other (2014)
- Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas (2016)
- Sesame Street
- Chrysler web videos
- "Happy Halloween? Count on It!"
- "On the Go Game Show: I Spy"
- I Heart Elmo (2018)
- Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration (2019)
- Caring for Each Other videos (2020)
- "A Moment to Yourself"
- Elmo's Playdate (2020)
- The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo (2020)
- Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism (2020)
- Elmo's Playdate: Scavenger Hunt (2020)
- The Power of We (2020)
- Furry Friends Forever: Elmo Gets a Puppy (2021)
- When Is My Birthday? (1988)
- Elmo Gets Homesick (1990)
- Sleep Tight! (1991)
- Friends & Family Lace-Ups (1992)
- Zip! Pop! Hop! (1996)
- Elmo's Apartment (2001)
- Elmo's First Babysitter (2001)
- Fun with Friends (2004)
- Elmo's Easy As ABC (2005)
- Red or Blue, I Like You! (2005)
- Be a Friend (2006)
- Elmo & Friends Picture Stories (2007)
- Elmo 'n' Daddy (2007)
- Elmo's Favorite Places (2007)
- Have Yourself a Furry Little Christmas (2007)
- What Makes You Giggle? (2007)
- I'm a Helper (2007)
- Let's Help the Earth (2008)
- What Makes Elmo Happy? (2008)
- What's the Word on the Street? (2008)
- Love, Elmo (2009)
- Out & About (2010)
- Imagine with Elmo (2011)
- Simple Science Experiments with Elmo and Friends: Water and Earth (2012)
- Elmo's Daddy (2013)
- I Love You Just Like This! (2015)
- Elmo's Merry Christmas - Oscar's Grouchy Christmas (2016)
- Love from Sesame Street (2018)
Elmo's dad had been seen in a number of books, and like Grover's Mommy, his appearance varied widely according to the artist. In such titles as Elmo Gets Homesick and When Is My Birthday?, Elmo's dad resembles an adult version of Elmo. However, in the more recent illustrations and books, the character holds true to the current Louie, as seen in Sesame Beginnings.
The first incarnation of Elmo's dad to be seen on television was in the "Birthdays" episode of "Elmo's World," in which Dorothy imagines Elmo on the day of his birth in a dream sequence. As with all such "Elmo's World" sequences, all of the characters are seen from Dorothy's point of view -- that is, as an altered version of Elmo. In this incarnation, Elmo's parents look just like Elmo and are referred to as George and Gladys (named after the parents of Elmo's puppeteer Kevin Clash).
- Facebook comment by Gene Barretta, June 11, 2019
- The Barretta Brothers: Two of Us Show #16 (00:15:49)
- "EP#10: Tyler Bunch/'Blue Skies'/Not Puppets (Pam Arciero)", Below The Frame with Matt Vogel, September 30, 2020. (01:11:39)