The red-furred, orange-nosed Muppet monster with the falsetto voice that has endeared himself to millions is celebrating a birthday today. Elmo, one of the main characters on Sesame Street, has a positive, friendly, and cheerful demeanor. He lives with his father and mother, Louie and May, along with his sister, Daisy, and goldfish, Dorothy, in an apartment on Sesame Street. He enjoys the company of his blue blanket and a monster doll named Baby David, as well as that of his friends Zoe and Abby. He loves riding the tricycle, being tickled, and eating wasabi, but hates Brussels sprouts. He almost always refers to himself in the third person. Ironically, according to Sesame Street, Elmo is perennially three-and-a-half years old.
Elmo was designed in 1979 by Caroly Wilcox. Her early sketches referred to him as "short red," and he was also called "little red" and "baby monster" early on. He was created to be an Anything Muppet monster, but over time he became a star. His first named appearance took place on May 15, 1980, on Episode 1439, during Season 11. At the time, he mumbled instead of talking coherently, and was voiced by Brian Muehl. After Muehl left in 1984, Richard Hunt took over the role of Elmo for a time, before handing him off to Kevin Clash, who gave him his trademark voice, as well as his personality, which Clash thought should embody love. Elmo began gaining in popularity soon afterward. Ryan Dillon took over the role of Elmo in 2013.
Elmo made appearances on The Frugal Gourmet and The Rosie O'Donnell Show from the mid-1990s through the early 2000s, and the Tickle Me Elmo doll became a bit hit during the 1996 Christmas season. Other Elmo dolls followed. Elmo's popularity also led to two recurring segments on Sesame Street: "Elmo's World" and "Elmo the Musical." Elmo has also starred in many home videos and television specials, as well as in a full-length feature film, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland.
How to Observe Elmo's Birthday
Here are a few ideas on ways to celebrate Elmo's Birthday!
- Host a party with all things Elmo.
- Watch episodes of Sesame Street.
- Watch segments of "Elmo's World."
- Watch The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland or another production Elmo appeared in.
- East some wasabi.
- Get a Tickle Me Elmo.
- Pick up a copy of Elmo's Super-Duper Birthday to read to yourself or to a child.