February 3, 2022 marks the 38th birthday of the red, kindhearted muppet named Elmo. The beginning of Elmo’s legacy started back in 1984 when he first appeared on the show Sesame Street. At first he was just a guest that appeared during a musical number, but later on he was added as a permanent character. As years have passed, more shows have been created starring Elmo. The shows target children from the ages one to four years old, although recently has been more popular among teenagers and young adults due to the fact that songs and phrases said by Elmo are being used on social media. Videos of Elmo are being posted to TikTok, Instagram, and more, getting millions of likes and views. These videos are trending because they bring back the memories some teens and young adults experienced as little children. Some people have enjoyed these videos because of the now obvious snarky tone that wasn’t picked up on as much at a younger age.
Focusing back on Elmo's early years, in July of 1996, the first Tickle Me Elmo doll was created and sold. These dolls were $28.99, but soon after selling out, the dolls began being resold and cost up to $1,500 by the end of 1996. A Los Angeles radio station held a charity auction in late 1996 which included one of the dolls. The doll at the auction was bought for nearly $20,000. While at its peak, the Elmo franchise sold over a million Tickle Me Elmo dolls in just one year.
Throughout Elmo’s career he has taught many necessary principles, some of which included celebrities to gain more attention on the topics. For example, U.S. Senator Jesse Jackson was invited on Sesame Street and read a poem about civil rights to children and adults. Many other well-known celebrities such as Jason Derulo, John Legend, Ryan Reynolds, and more have guested on the show.
In Elmo’s 38 years of television fame, he has made an impact on society and taught children many necessary lessons. From sharing with others, being nice to everyone, or simply talking to his pet goldfish Dorothy nicely, everyone could definitely learn something from the all around safe friend Elmo. Happy 38th birthday, Elmo!
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