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Elmo's Best Moments: Celebrating 25 Years of the Furry Red Monster

by Rich Keller, posted Nov 18th 2010 11:40AM
Elmo was born 25 years ago thanks to the puppetry of Kevin Clash.November 18, 1985 was a day that changed children's television. It was on this day that Elmo, the furry red monster of 'Sesame Street,' came into his own, thanks to puppeteer Kevin Clash.

An extra for years, voiced on occasion by folks like Carol Spinney (Big Bird) and Richard Hunt (Scooter from 'The Muppet Show'), Clash turned the very minor character into a 3 1/2-year-old mainstay that, depending on your feelings, transformed 'Sesame Street' in a good or bad way.

Since his introduction to 'Sesame Street,' Elmo has become the face of the four-decade old series, appearing on talk shows, primetime series, his own movie ('Elmo in Grouchland') and on the toy shelves as Tickle Me Elmo. He even has his own 15-minute show-within-a-show on 'Sesame Street' titled 'Elmo's World.'


To celebrate a quarter century of perpetual toddler Elmo, we present 10 memorable moments from his days on and off the Street.

Elmo and Kermit
This clip comes from the early days of Elmo's career, around 1986. Elmo is more unkempt than his current clean-shaven look and his voice his slightly deeper. But he still uses the third person to talk about himself.


Elmo and Ernie
It's very rare to see Elmo hang out with the likes of Bert or Ernie, making the few appearances with either of them welcome. That's why this clip from the show's 30th season, featuring a duet between Ernie and Elmo, is a special treat.


Elmo's Song
Elmo is a prolific performer. He sings, he dances, hosts his own show and, as we found out early on, composes his own music. The earliest of these works is 'Elmo's Song,' which he premiered on 'Sesame Street' during the early 90s. Eventually, a variation of the song would become the theme to 'Elmo's World.'


Elmo Goes Hollywood
It seems that all the big Hollywood biggies who came to Sesame Street wanted to star in a segment with Elmo. Here, Elmo tries to scare Julia Roberts...


.... while, in this segment, Elmo talks to Robert DeNiro about acting and how he can become a dog, a head of cabbage and a street-talking version of Elmo with relative ease.


And in this clip, Elmo cracks up Ricky Gervais as an interview goes awry.


Elmo Outside of Sesame Street
As Elmo's popularity grew he began to leave the confines of Sesame Street to become a world ambassador for the children's series. One of his more regular appearances was on 'The Rosie O'Donnell Show.' Here he talks to Rosie right after the events of 9/11.


In this clip Elmo ribs First Lady Abigail Bartlett about giving up her medical license on an episode of the hit NBC drama 'The West Wing.'


Elmo's Controversy
No retrospective of Elmo would be complete without the recent hubbub of his performance with Katy Perry. Though the segment was pulled prior to the beginning of the show's current season due to Perry's cleavage incident, a good many fans of the show didn't thing there was really anything wrong with it.


Elmo Interviews Kevin Clash
Other than the Frank Oz and the late Jim Henson, very few 'Sesame Street' puppeteers are really known by the public. Yet, due to his high profile, Kevin Clash has appeared alongside Elmo in numerous interviews. In this clip, Clash is actually interviewed by Elmo. Which begs the question of who's supplying Elmo's voice during the interview?


What's your favorite Elmo moment?

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Peacenik1965

Although it is true that Elmo was cute and entertaining, his arrival 25 years ago also signalled the end of Sesame Street's legitimacy as an educational program. The decision on the part of Kevin Clash to create a character that doesn't use pronouns influenced a generation of kids to believe it's okay to constantly refer to themselves in the third-person. Elmo is 25 now. Maybe it's time he started using pronouns like intelligent users of the English language.

November 27 2010 at 8:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vince

@redrose57...I think you need to watch MORE Sesame Street and learn how to spell. "disgusting", "discontinue" is one word, it should be "allowing THEIR children" and "lowered THEIR standards", and "mothers" is plural..you don't need the apostrophe. Instead of worrying how someone is dressing, worry about not looking like an idiot when you're trying to make a point.

November 21 2010 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
K. Hanson

Love you, Elmo. You ROCK!

November 21 2010 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Animatrix93

Burt & Ernie need to come out of the closet already.

November 21 2010 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ALice

Um, my understanding is that the segment with Katy Perry wasn't shown on PBS because it didn't meet their standards for children's programming. (Where have you been, dear?) :)

November 21 2010 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaba

Wow. Look at the photo of julia Roberts. Just goes to show you that ANY PLAIN JANE can become a star if they play a prostitute in a "B" movie such as "Pretty Woman!" That movie sucks, and I don't understand the hype about it. The woman was a hooker, why glorify it?

November 21 2010 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jaba's comment
sugardaisy

Julia has never been a good looking woman. Unless you are into the horsey-face look. Aka the Sarah Jessica Parker look.

November 22 2010 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Animatrix93

To Sassyredhead and redrose57:
Get over yourself. Not that I'm a Katy Perry fan, but she's an entertainer. The outfits she wears is part of her image. If anything, her stage clothes are reminiscent of 1940's/50's/60's.
Seriously, what would you rather have; Katy Perry or the likes of Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan?

In this day and age, children are already more advanced than we think we know. Kids already have access to cellphones, the internet and who knows what else. They might have already seen stuff you're not even aware of.

As for her father being a minster, don't you know that there are two types of professions that make the worst parents...religious leaders (minsters, rabbis, cleric) and psychologists.

So stop yer whining, and stop subjecting everyone else with your backwards tea party bull****. If anything, you're just mad because you're insecure and haven't gotten laid in aeons.

November 21 2010 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
discusted

LISTEN,,WE CHILDREN OF THE FLOWER CHILD DONT REMEMBER ELMO BEING IMPORTANT TO US,AND MAYBE ELMO IS 25 YRS OLD BUT COOKIE IS AT LEAST 40! COOKIE MONSTER IS OUR CHILDHOOD,SO WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH OUR COOKIE MONSTER? WHY ARNT WE CELEBRATING COOKIE MONSTER? EBAY SELLS VINTAGE COOKIE MONSTER PUPPETS FOR HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS,IF YOU FIND THE VINTAGE SEASAME STUFF ANYPLACE ITS A GOLD MINE. IM SURE THE REAL SEASAME STREET PEOPLE LOVE COOKIE MONSTER THE MOST. COOKIE MONSTER IS LOVING, HE ONLY EATS HEALTHY COOKIES,COMPARE THAT TO ELMO WITH THE PIZZA! BRING BACK COOKIE!! AND I HEARD THAT COOKIE MONSTER HAS THROAT CANCER,,LETS THANK OUR COOKIE MONSTER FOR TOUCHING OUR HEARTS.. THANK YOU COOKIE MONSTER! WE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE LOVE YOU!!OO

November 21 2010 at 12:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
discusted

ELMO IS A DIRTY RAG! COOKIE MONSTER IS KING! COOKIE MONSTER WILL ALWAYS BE KING!

November 21 2010 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
redrose57

My 3 children grew up on Sesame Street and then later, my 4 grandsons. I am appalled that they would let a loose woman with absolutely no morals whatsoever, to dress in such a discusting display of flesh, despite the fact she grew up on gospel music, with a father who was a minister. There was absolutely no excuse for the way they allowed her to dress. It sickens me that PBS, has lowered there standards so low as to let someone like that, dressed the way she was, in front of small children. At this point, I will no longer support the PBS station as I have in the past.
I can only hope that the mother's who have morals and values will step up to the plate and dis-continue allowing there children to watch such garbage.What's next PBS, Porn star's?

November 21 2010 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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