Ryan Dillon and Elmo season 45.jpg

Dillon's first public appearance as Elmo at the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll. (video)

Dillon performing Elmo with the PS22 chorus at Sesame Workhop's annual benefit gala in May 2013.


Ryan Dillon (b. May 25, 1988) began puppeteering for Sesame Street in 2005, at the age of 17.

As a high school student, Dillon came to the attention of the Sesame producers when he went to an open call for puppeteers. Kevin Clash immediately assigned Dillon to participate in that year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (where he performed Ernie) and in the taping for Season 37.

In his first two seasons on Sesame Street, Dillon assisted and played numerous Anything Muppets (including a few with speaking parts), and he continued as an on-and-off background puppeteer for the show while starting his own puppet building company (with Patrick Holmes). Dillon reentered the Sesame fold full-time when he was cast in the major roles of Cooper Monster, a motion capture Muppet, and Paul Ball for the Kinect Sesame Street TV video games.

In 2013, Dillon was selected to take over performing Elmo, following Kevin Clash's departure. Dillon made his first public appearance as Elmo at the White House Easter Egg Roll and has continued to play the character in all forms of media. In 2020, Dillon won a Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Principal Performance in a Daytime Program" for the special Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration, where he took on the classic Muppets Don Music and Lefty the Salesman. For the My Sesame Street Friends series, in addition to performing, Dillon directed the wraparounds for the "My Abby" and "My Sesame Music" installments.[1]

Outside of his Muppet work, Dillon's main project is co-producing puppet web videos with frequent collaborator Mark Gale under the banner The DillonGale Idiots. His other non-Muppet credits include puppeteering Sylvia in the Nickelodeon webseries Ask Sylvia and, on stage, portraying Dorsel in the original off-Broadway run of John Tartaglia's ImaginOcean. Dillon also participated in several O'Neill Puppetry Conference productions between 2006-2007, including Terry Lee's Under Milkwood and Emily Perl Kingsley's In a Contemplative Fashion.

Muppet/Henson credits


External links

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