Mae is Elmo's mother and Louie's wife. She first appeared in the 2006 Talk, Listen, Connect resource videos, helping Elmo to cope with the absence of his father while he was deployed with the military. Her name was first made known in the 2009 special Families Stand Together.
When Louie has to leave for "lots and lots of days" to do grown-up work, Elmo and his mom keep busy passing the time until his return by keeping a daily routine. When it's finally time for her husband to come home, Elmo's mom bakes a cake and helps Elmo and his friends decorate for the homecoming.
A National Public Radio story on the video included a behind-the-scenes audio clip, recorded during a take for the scene in which Elmo's mom is reunited with her husband. The script called for an embrace between the couple, and a kiss. This soundbite illustrates the care taken between Fran Brill and Bill Barretta in determining just how long is too long for a kiss when dealing with scenes meant for innocent eyes. For this particular outtake, the performers took some liberties when the kiss had seemingly gone on too long.
For the 2010 special When Families Grieve, Mae received a makeover in the shape of a nose job, and a wispier yet fuller hairdo.
Before Elmo's mom became a recurring character, she has been heard calling for Elmo from off-screen in a few brief instances on Sesame Street. Her performers varied, with Stephanie D'Abruzzo voicing her in Episode 4070, and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph voicing her in Episode 4123.
Elmo's mom also appeared in some animated online storybooks published to Sesameworkshop.org in 2005. Her design here is similar to her later Muppet appearances. In "Elmo's Special Cupcakes" and "Elmo's First Day of School," which feature spoken dialogue, Elmo's mom is voiced by Jennifer Barnhart.
After she was established as Mae, and during Fran Brill's tenure as the character, she made one appearance on the series proper; a vocal cameo in Episode 4513 telling Elmo that his lunch is ready. A few years later, Mae appeared in Episode 4920, performed by Stephanie D'Abruzzo.
A version of Elmo's mom was seen in the "Birthdays" episode of Elmo's World. In Dorothy's imagination, she appears the same way everyone does in Tickle Me Land: as a variation of Elmo. In this dream sequence, she is called "Gladys" in homage to performer Kevin Clash's mother.
- Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments (2006)
- Talk, Listen, Connect: Homecomings (2008)
- When Parents Are Deployed (footage from the Talk, Listen, Connect series)
- Today (September 8, 2009)
- Families Stand Together (2009)
- When Families Grieve (2010)
Illustrated versions have varied from red to orange fur, and various hairstyles. Elmo's mom had been seen in a number of books, and like Grover's Mommy, her appearance varied widely according to the artist. In such titles as Elmo Gets Homesick and When Is My Birthday?, Elmo's mom resembles an adult (female) version of Elmo. However, in the more recent illustrations and books, the character holds true to the current version of Elmo's mom, as seen in Talk, Listen, Connect.
- When Is My Birthday? (1988)
- Elmo Gets Homesick (1990)
- Halloween Party (1991)
- I Want to Be an Astronaut (1991)
- No Red Monsters Allowed! (1991)
- What's in Oscar's Trash Can? and Other Good-Night Stories (1991)
- Ernie and His Merry Monsters (1992)
- Grover's Guide to Good Manners (1992)
- Elmo's Guessing Game (1993)
- Sesame Street's Mother Goose Rhymes (1993)
- Zip! Pop! Hop! (1996)
- Giddy-Up! (1998)
- Surprise, Mommy! (1999)
- Elmo's ABC Book (2000)
- Elmo's First Babysitter (2001)
- Grover's Farm (2001)
- Sesame Street Train Station (2001)
- Look and Find Elmo (2002)
- Smile for Elmo (2002)
- Big Enough for a Bed (2002)
- It's Check-Up Time, Elmo! (2005)
- Red or Blue, I Like You! (2005)
- Elmo's Big Day (2005)
- Elmo's Breakfast Bingo (2005)
- Be a Friend (2006)
- Elmo Good Night Stories (2006)
- Elmo's Easy As 123 (2006)
- Elmo's Easy As ABC (2006)
- Fly Away with Big Bird (2006)
- Elmo & Friends Picture Stories (2007)
- Elmo's Favorite Places (2007)
- Elmo 'n' Daddy (2007)
- Good Night, Tucked in Tight (2007)
- Elmo Goes to the Zoo (2007)
- Elmo Visits the Dentist (2007)
- Have Yourself a Furry Little Christmas (2007)
- Mommy Loves Elmo (2007)
- Rosita's Easter on Sesame Street (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)
- Count to 10 (2009)
- Elmo Loves Hugs! (2009)
- Love, Elmo (2009)
- Murray's First Book of Words (2010)
- Busy Little Monster (2010)
- Elmo's Potty Book (2010)
- Together at Heart (2010)
- Elmo's Alphabet Soup (2011)
- Elmo's Christmas Picture Puzzles & Songs (2011)
- Imagine with Elmo (2011)
- Elmo's Mommy (2012)
- Get Moving with Elmo! (2012)
- Elmo's 123 Lift-the-Flap (2015)
- I Love You Just Like This! (2015)
- Elmo's Merry Christmas - Oscar's Grouchy Christmas (2016)
- Who's Afraid of Monsters? (2016)