Elmo's World is a fifteen-minute long segment that is shown at the end of Sesame Street from Season 30 through 37 (1998-2006), then less regularly though Season 42 (2012). In it, Elmo and his friends talk about a specific topic, such as jackets, dancing or computers. Each episode includes the same twelve segments in the same order, which appeals to young children's attraction to ritual and routine, and that children's participation with the program increases with repetition.
Each segment takes place in Elmo's apartment, which is decorated with crayon drawing designs that change as needed. Hence, "Elmo's World". Elmo is performed by Kevin Clash.
In Season 43, Elmo's World was replaced by Elmo the Musical.
More than 64 episodes (segments) were produced, along with two hour-long direct-to-video specials: Wild Wild West! and Happy Holidays!. For the 35th anniversary special The Street We Live On, Elmo's topic was Sesame Street itself.
The episode "Cookie World" in Sesame Street's 37th season included a spoof of Elmo's World, with Cookie Monster hosting the segment.
The series was created when research showed that the average viewing age of Sesame Street was getting younger and was becoming more popular with viewers under three. However, these viewers were also beginning to lose interest at about the 45-minute mark of the show. Elmo's World was created to engage their interest at that point.
Each segment is filmed in front of a blue screen, which allows for full-body puppets to be used, with the performers dressed in blue clothing so they can be removed from the scene in production. Initially, motion capture was used for animated characters, but this was discontinued when production became more complicated. Simple stand-ins and markers are used for filming, then replaced in post-production.
The series ended production in 2009, with the segments being used intermittently through the next three years. It was replaced by Elmo the Musical in an attempt to increase the age of Sesame Street's viewers, increase ratings, and to give the puppeteers new challenges.
Elmo's World Live! is a stage show presented at Sesame Place, the official Sesame Street theme park in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Two versions of the stage show have been run. The first ran from 2001-2006 and featured Elmo exploring the concept of dance: what can and cannot dance, and the many different types of dance. The second ran from 2011-2014 with the theme of fish.
In 2014, the stage show was replaced by Elmo the Musical—Live at Sesame Place!
Elmo's World has been dubbed into Polish along with Sesame Street as Świat Elmo, and eight DVDs have been released.
In the Bangladeshi co-production of Sesame Street (Sisimpur), a shorter version called Ikri's World was created that was inspired by Elmo's World. In it, traditional puppetry and sets are used to travel through Ikri Mikri's imagination. She is joined by a clown named Shemai Ali, who tries to answer Ikri's question through pantomime.