Q

How Sesame Street puppeteer Ryan Dillon brings Elmo to life

On the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street, Ryan Dillon, the puppeteer and voice behind Elmo, joins q's Tom Power to talk about how he went from a childhood fan of the show to claiming centre stage.
Ryan Dillon is the current puppeteer and voice behind Elmo. (Gil Vaknin)
Listen19:20

Half a century ago, kids all across North America met Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch for the very first time. Sesame Street quickly became one of the biggest children's shows in history and generations of kids would go on to know its characters and theme song by heart.

Ryan Dillon, the puppeteer and voice behind Elmo, was one of those kids who grew up watching Sesame Street. He joined q's Tom Power to talk about how he went from a childhood fan of the show to claiming centre stage, and how his red furry friend helps families accept some of the hardships of today's world.

On Sunday Nov. 16, you can catch Sesame Street's 50th anniversary celebration on TV, hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The 50th season of Sesame Street premieres the next day on Treehouse in Canada and on HBO in the U.S.


Download our podcast or click the 'Listen' link near the top of this page to hear the full conversation with Ryan Dillon.

— Produced by ​Catherine Stockhausen

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