Favorite Characters

All Your Preschooler's Elmo Questions, Answered — By Elmo Himself!

All about everyone’s favorite red monster from Sesame Street.

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Lalalala lalalala, Elmo’s World! Yes, it is definitely Elmo’s world and we’re all just living in it. Many of us grew up with Jim Henson’s muppets, and as parents now, it’s pretty fun to have children who also adore the classic show, Sesame Street. One of the show’s most popular characters is the beloved Elmo. If your child is a fan of Elmo and is anything like my own child — i.e. they ask approximately one billion questions in rapid fire about everything and anything related to their current interests — you’ll want to be ready with some super great Elmo facts. How old is Elmo? What kind of monster is Elmo, anyway? Your kid has questions — we’ve got answers.

What kind of monster is Elmo?

I went straight to the source for this one. Sesame Workshop senior digital producer Andrew Moriarty correctly let me know, “The best person, I mean monster, to answer this question would be Elmo.”

So, what kind of monster is Elmo? Here’s the answer, straight from Elmo’s mouth: “What kind of monster is Elmo? Elmo would say Elmo is a kind, furry and sometimes ticklish red monster! Ha-ha! Elmo is also monster who loves guacamole, story time, and finger painting! Most of all, Elmo is a monster who loves living on Sesame Street with his friends and family!”

Parents might be interested to note that Elmo was voiced by Kevin Clash from 1985 to 2012, and is currently performed by Ryan Dillon.

Photo courtesy of Sesame Street Workshop

Who is in Elmo’s family?

Elmo lives at 123 Sesame Street with his mother, Mae, and his father, Louie, says Moriarty. Elmo fans might also like to know that Elmo has a pet goldfish named Dorothy — of Elmo’s World fame, of course — and a brand-new puppy named Tango. “Elmo named her Tango because, you guessed it, she loves to dance just like Elmo,” he says. “Elmo also has a Nana and Pop Pop, his Grandmother and Grandfather, who love to visit him on Sesame Street. When they can’t visit, they video chat Elmo with the help of his Mommy.”

When did Elmo move to Sesame Street?

Elmo first made his debut on Sesame Street as a background monster in 1980, and was voiced by Brian Muehl. He didn’t start out as a popular character, however, because instead of his signature falsetto voice and speaking in third person, according to Moriarty, “Starting in Season 16 of Sesame Street, hard as it is to imagine, Elmo had a gruff gravelly voice. It wasn’t until Season 17 where Elmo became the character that we know and love today. He was given his sweet falsetto voice and memorable laugh, and became the embodiment of love!”

“Elmo began as a far different character when he first appeared in season 11 where he would only communicate in mumbles,” he says. “For most of his appearances at that time, he would appear in the background or in large group scenes with other monsters.”

How old is Elmo?

Elmo’s birthday is February 3, and he is three-and-a-half years old. He is super relatable to toddlers and preschool-aged children, as evidenced by his incredibly popular show, Elmo’s World, where we meet Dorothy (his pet goldfish), Mr. Noodle (his neighbor) and other guests.

Where to watch Elmo?

Of course, you can always catch Elmo on Sesame Street, which you can tune in to on HBO or for free via PBS Kids. You can also get a bigger dose of Elmo in his movie, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. And don’t forget The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, which is currently in its second season on HBO Max.

Elmo will remain a permanent fixture in many childhood memories to come, and we are so thankful that he’s been the first best friend for many of our children and he has taught them so much through Sesame Street and his other spin-offs. And, never forget, “Elmo loves you.”

Sources interviewed:

Andrew Moriarty, a Senior Digital Producer and puppeteer at the Sesame Workshop

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