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Join in to celebrate one of the world’s most favorite creatures – the lovable, adorable, fuzzy red monster, Elmo from Sesame Street. So blow up some balloons, put on that party hat and get some confetti ready, because even though he never seems to really get any older, taking part in Elmo’s Birthday is a whole load of fun!

History of Elmo’s Birthday

It’s impossible to look at the history of Elmo without first considering the place where he lives, which is Sesame Street. This show from the Children’s Television Network got its start in 1969 when it was launched with a fairly radical educational format for preschoolers. Sesame Street has been broadcast continually since its inception, making it one of America’s longest running television shows.

The idea of the show, which combines marionette-puppets (Muppets) and humans, is placed in an urban setting and builds into all sorts of opportunities for children to learn. With music, stories and other snippets, children learn their colors, numbers and letters, as well as various social lessons. These life lessons might include how to get along with friends, the idea that family comes in many different forms, that the world is full of adventure and the imagination is a great thing.

While he was not one of the original characters on Sesame Street, Elmo has become one of the most beloved and recognizable children’s characters in the world. Appearing in 1984, fifteen years after the show was first released, Elmo’s character began finding his own voice and grew in popularity as the perpetually three-and-a-half year-old, red muppet with some child-like language skills.

Elmo’s Birthday is observed in celebration of this lovable, furry character with a bright orange nose, showing appreciation not only for him but also for all of his educational partners on the show. Whether made of muppet fur or human skin, the cast of characters on Sesame Street offer a whole community of friends and buddies with which Elmo is able to explore, learn and grow. From Ernie and Bert to The Count and Abby Cadabby, Elmo has a whole crew of folks who are excited to celebrate his birthday, and the party is sure to be huge!

Another related observance that celebrates the entire show and location where Elmo comes from is Sesame Street Day, celebrated each year on November 10.

Elmo’s Birthday Timeline

1969

Sesame Street premiers 

This show is first aired on November 10 of this year, offering a new and radical kind of children’s show.[1]

1980

Elmo is born 

Created as an unnamed background monster, Elmo makes his inaugural appearance on Sesame Street and his character will develop over the next few years.[2]

1998

Elmo’s World makes its debut 

As part of a larger structural change, an entire 15-minute segment featuring Elmo runs at the end of every program for more than a decade.[3]

1999

Elmo gets his first feature film 

The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland is a feature-length musical adventure comedy starring Elmo, Mandy Patinkin and Vanessa Williams.

2012

Elmo gets a new “muppeteer” 

After more than 30 years, Elmo changes from the original performer, Kevin Clash, to Ryan Dillon.[4]

How to Celebrate Elmo’s Birthday

Looking for ideas to celebrate Elmo’s Birthday in style? Well, since he’s just three years old, he’s probably pretty happy with almost any kind of a party! In any case, check out some of these ideas for paying homage to this little creature’s big day:

Enjoy Watching Elmo

Whether grabbing a few episodes of Sesame Street through PBS or watching online, Elmo’s Birthday is certainly a great time to watch this groovy little character in action! The Elmo’s World spots that ran for fifteen minutes at the end of each episode for more than a decade might be a good place to start, and some of these can be found on YouTube or another online source.

Another way to see the little guy on the big screen is to catch his feature film, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. Released in 1999, this is a musical adventure comedy that features many of the characters from Sesame Street, including Elmo’s friend, Zoe, as well as Oscar the Grouch, Big Bird and Telly Monster. Humans who are involved in the story are played by actors Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa Williams and several others. In addition, some of the classic humans from Sesame Street are featured, like Gordon and Maria.

Host an Elmo’s Birthday Party

Parents, teachers, and others who have small children, or even those who are children at heart, may be interested in hosting an event to celebrate Elmo’s Birthday! Make it fun by encouraging guests to dress up as their favorite characters from Sesame Street and perhaps even host a costume contest where the winner gets an Elmo-approved prize. Play some of Elmo’s World spots for some party entertainment, and be sure to supply some Sesame Street themed snacks and treats. After all, Elmo’s friend Cookie Monster is going to need some cookies!

Learn Some Fun Facts About Elmo 

Have a load of fun celebrating Elmo’s Birthday by getting more involved with his life! Check out some of these interesting facts and bits of trivia that can be learned and shared in honor of this important day:

  • Elmo hasn’t mastered pronouns yet, so he almost always refers to himself in the third person (which some adults may find annoying).

  • Although Elmo appeared in 1980, it wasn’t until he was given to Kevin Clash in 1984 that he gained his real voice and personality.

  • A toy called “Tickle Me Elmo” was sold in the 1990s and quickly became one of the most popular Sesame Street toys ever.

  • Anyone who has seen his house may realize that Elmo has a pet fish named Dorothy!

Create an Elmo’s Birthday Soundtrack

Some entertainment for Elmo’s Birthday could certainly be music that is played from a playlist on Spotify or some other music platform that offers access to music from Sesame Street. After all, any day is made better with a great soundtrack!

Check out songs like these performed by the red monster and his iconic voice:

  • Elmo’s Song
  • Happy Dance
  • Singing in the Shower
  • Elmo’s Got the Moves

Get an Elmo Toy for a Little One

Perhaps one fun way to celebrate Elmo’s Birthday might be to get ahold of a stuffed Elmo and gift it to a favorite child. Do an online search for Elmo toys and stuffed animals, or find one at a local toy store. Books, games, coloring books, and other forms of learning with Elmo may also be found. Perhaps it will be a new introduction to Elmo for the child, or it could be an old favorite that is rekindled. In any case, a gifted red monster is sure to please someone who is young in years – or just young at heart!

Elmo’s Birthday FAQs

How old is Elmo?

Though he has been on Sesame Street for more than three decades, Elmo is always just 3½ years old![1]

What animal is Elmo?

Elmo isn’t an animal – he’s a monster! As with many of the muppets, Elmo’s character is just accepted as his red, furry self.

Is Elmo a muppet?

Yes, Elmo is a “muppet”, which is a trademarked term that originally referred to Jim Henson’s creatures, blending “marionette” and “puppet” to create the word.[2]

Who is the voice for Elmo?

Elmo’s puppeteer and voice was originally Kevin Clash and, since 2012, it has been Ryan Dillon.

Does Elmo have parents?

This perpetually 3-year-old’s parents finally show up in 2006, and their names are Louie and Mae.[3]

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