We interrupt the current 24 hour news cycle to bring you a belated birthday greeting
Elmo Monster first giggled his way into our hearts on November 18,1985 on SESAME STREET. He is both the most beloved and the most controversial of the Muppet Monsters in that his first mouthpiece, Kevin Clash,resigned in 2012 after charges of pedophilia,his habit of referring himself in the third person may promote improper grammar, and his regular features, ELMO'S WORLD and ELMO: THE MUSICAL reduce appearances from the more traditional Sesame Street Muppets. Add to that the Times Square Elmos who have been charged with shaking down tourists for tips, and you may think that Elmo (or as an early incarnation was called in the 1970's, Baby Monster) should be told how to get AWAY FROM Sesame Street... AND FAST.
But, no matter how much controversy swirls around his fuzzy red head, Elmo is still emblematic of the child within all of us, always learning, with a unique spin on the world and a positive outlook.
He's starred in two movies (CINDER-ELMO with Keri Russell as the Princess and ELMO'S ADVENTURES IN GROUCHLAND with Vanessa Williams and Mandy Patinkin, among others), appeared on TODAY, ROSIE, ELLEN and other shows, recorded ELMOPALOOZA for Sesame Street Records (with guests such as Steven Tyler from Aerosmith) and appeared at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA (where yours truly had the pleasure to take a picture with him and even tickled him) and inspired whole lines of toys, (He even recorded a PSA for New York taxis!) but through it all, he remains excited, happy, and a welcome presence, especially in light of recent news events.
Happy Birthday, Elmo! Long may you giggle and give US the giggles!
Elmo...I mean, STEVE out!