Elmo: An Anything Muppet who became everything to lots of people

(image courtesy Elmo Wiki (c) Sesame Workshop)

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With his bright red coat, big orange nose, and wide eyes, Elmo is arguably the most famous of the Sesame Street muppets – but he didn’t always have it this good. Elmo began as an ‘Anything Muppet’–an extra, if you will, until Kevin Clash refashioned his character into the one we know–and kids love–today. Throughout the ’80s his star continued to shine, eventually becoming an international icon and best-selling Christmas toy. Forty years later, he’s still going strong, enshrined in a popular exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. (synopsis via YouTube – Smithsonian Channel)

I am and will likely always Team Grover.

But there is something quite adorable about Elmo who’s reached middle age as a character and who has endeared himself, through his love of learning and wide-eyed enthusiastic curiosity about the world, to millions upon millions of people across the world.

He is, anyway you describe him, quite delightful, with Sesame Workshop describing him thus in their media for Sesame Street’s 44th season in 2013-14.

“Elmo is a 3½-year-old red monster with a high pitched voice and a contagious giggle. Enthusiastic, friendly and cheerful, he always wants to be part of everything that goes on. However, like most preschoolers, he sometimes doesn’t have the skills or knowledge to do what he wants. But that never stops him because he has a very positive, optimistic view of himself and life. Elmo’s best friends are Zoe and Abby, and also his pet goldfish Dorothy. Elmo loves eating his favorite food, wasabi. He also loves riding on his tricycle and being tickled.” (source: Elmo Wiki)

This video from the Smithsonian Channel’s This Object in History series beautifully explores why Elmo is so well-loved and how he went from a background extra to the star of the Sesame Street show.

Well, except for Grover, of course, who is, well, GROVER …

(source: Laughing Squid)

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