Elmo: The Rise of a Sesame Street Character From Down to the Top

You all know Elmo as a popular Sesame Street character. Was this always the case? If you think so, you are wrong. Elmo was once an unnamed ordinary puppet. Even Caroly Wilcox, who created it in 1979, certainly did not anticipate that Elmo would rise this much.

Characters such as Big Bird, Count von Count, Oscar the Grouch, Grover and Cookie Monster became known and popular in the early years of Sesame Street. They had a lot of fans. But Elmo was probably just designed to be used as a decor. This reminds me of a theater where I performed in elementary school. Our teacher, Mrs. Turner, asked me to be a tree. Oh, very unfortunate.

Elmo's Early Times

Elmo could not even speak in his first episodes on Sesame Street. He was just muttering incomprehensibly. Worst of all when he was devised, it was given strange names like "Baby Beast" and "Little Red". He was far from being a star as such. It was hovering in the hands of many performers like a baseball ball.

The Sesame Street character Elmo was performanced by Brian Muehl for a short time (1980–1984). The red puppet was performed by Richard Hunt, after Brian Muehl. However, Richard Hunt's voice and character were not well suited to performing a cute puppet. Hunt also didn't like performing Elmo. He even hated him.

Elmo's Rise in the Hands of Kevin Clash

Following Hunt's departure, in 1985 Kevin Clash began performing Elmo. This was the beginning of the rise from zero to the top for both Kevin Clash and Elmo. Apart from being a good puppeteer, Clash was a smart guy. He first asked himself the following question: "How should a puppet be performed in a TV show for children?" The answer was simple: adding love. 

Performed by Clash, Elmo soon started to gather sympathy and make people laugh. TV viewers were not only laughing but also learning something. After this stage, Sesame Street character Elmo and Clash started to climb to the summit with strong steps.

Elmo was quickly getting popular. In fact, this popularity started to annoy fans of characters such as Big Bird, Count von Count, Oscar the Grouch, Grover, and Cookie Monster. Because they thought the other Sesame Street characters didn't get enough time because of him.

The Rise from Down to the Top

  • He starred in Elmopalooza, CinderElmo, Elmo's Christmas Countdown, Elmo Saves Christmas, The Street We Live On, Elmo Says BOO !, Count on Elmo, Elmo's Alphabet Challenge, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland and many more Sesame Street Specials.

  • 4 video series titled "The Best of Elmo" featuring Elmo's most popular scenes have been released.

  • The shows Elmo the Musical and Elmo’s World were broadcast in Sesame Street episodes for a long time.

  • In the 1990s, the "Tickle Me Elmo" doll broke sales records.

  • Elmo was a guest on the "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" many times in the 1990s and 2000s. [1]

  • He has also acted in versions of Sesame Street in other countries. He also took part in the Sesame Workshop and the British production “The Furchester Hotel”. [2]

  • Elmo finally launched his own show on HBO MAX. The name of the show was The Not Too Late Show with Elmo. Elmo's show had visitors such as Olivia Wilde, Sara Bareilles, Jonas Brothers,  Jonathan Van Ness, Hoda Kotb, Ben Platt, Sofia Carson and Nope band.

  • The first non-human being to visit the US congress was Elmo. He met with First Lady Michelle Obama. Elmo also visited the White House kitchen.

  • Elmo and his mother Mae tried to raise awareness for Covid-19.

Elmo Loves You

After all, the Sesame Street character Elmo quickly became popular on the way he started out as an ordinary puppet. Elmo loved the children, and the children loved Elmo. Kermit said in an interview that Elmo was successful because it was colored red. In fact, Kermit referred to the difficulties of being green. Who knows, maybe one day Elmo might leave Sesame Street like Kermit. But until then, Elmo will remain a king who sits on his throne and smiles to the children: “Elmo loves you...”


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