Elmo is set to welcome an adorable (and topical) new friend to “Sesame Street” this summer.
HBO Max on Tuesday introduced viewers to Tango, Elmo’s adopted puppy, via a teaser video that reveals how the canine character gets her unusual name. The brown-and-white pooch will make her official debut in a 30-minute animated special, “Furry Friends Forever: Elmo Gets a Puppy,” slated to air on the streaming network next month.
Officials at Sesame Workshop, which produces “Sesame Street,” said they began developing Tango about two years ago, well before the COVID-19 pandemic sent pet adoptions skyrocketing nationwide.
Like many recent “Sesame Street” initiatives, however, her introduction is auspiciously timed.
“For generations, our Sesame Street Muppets have been kids’ first friends, modeling valuable lessons about life, learning, and friendship,” Kay Wilson Stallings, Sesame Workshop’s executive vice president of creative and production, told HuffPost in an emailed statement. “After nearly two years of development, we are thrilled to introduce Tango, Elmo’s spirited, adventurous, and adorable furry friend.”
Tango won’t remain cartoon-only for long. The character is also set to appear as a live-action Muppet in future “Sesame Street” episodes.
The long-running children’s series, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019, has in recent months made visible strides to tackle topical issues. Last month, the program celebrated Father’s Day with an episode titled “Family Day” that featured a same-sex couple, Dave and Frank, and their daughter, Mia.
And in 2020, the show responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and the discourse around racial inequality with a pair of virtual town halls aimed at parents and children.
Watch “Sesame Street: Introducing Tango” below.