NEW YORK, N.Y. - Sesame Street is getting a new resident. Elmo’s new adopted puppy, Tango, will join Grover, Abby Cadabby and the rest of the Muppet crew on 123 Sesame Street this summer.
The white-and-brown puppy will make her Sesame Street debut in "Sesame Street’s" 52nd season in a new 30-minute animated special Furry Friends Forever: Elmo Gets a Puppy on HBO Max on August 5.
Tango, who will be a mainstay in future Sesame Street content, and Elmo’s relationship will model safe behavior and age-appropriate help with a pet. Elmo and his friends will show viewers how to meet a new animal, gently play with and brush it, teach the pet new tricks, give baths and how to show love and affection for their new furry friend.
In the song-filled special, Grover and Elmo find a sad, stray puppy sitting in a cardboard box while on a playdate. Grover warned Elmo that he should move quietly and let the dog sniff the back of his hand before approaching it. "This is how doggies get to know you," Grover said.
Elmo and Grover quickly find out that the puppy loves music, dancing and scratches under her chin. Oscar the Grouch even calls her a "cute, adorable little fluffball."
Soon, the furry monsters realize the puppy is homeless and decide to take her to a local pet adoption fair to find her a new home. Along the way, the pair name the puppy Tango after the ballroom dance because she loves to dance the tango.
On the way to the pet adoption fair, Cookie Monster makes an appearance to offer Tango treats and Abby Caddaby cleans her in a song-filled, magical bubble bath.
After finding the adoption fair empty, Elmo turns to Grover and says, "Elmo knows where Tango's home could be." Grover asks, "Where?" Elmo responded, "With Elmo."
Elmo promises his parents to feed, play, bathe and walk Tango.
Plans to introduce a pet on Sesame Street predated the COVID-19 pandemic, when animal adoptions soared. Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind "Sesame Street" wanted to explore the special bond between children and pets through Elmo and Tango’s relationship.
Elmo’s new adopted puppy, Tango, will join Grover, Abby Cadabby and the rest of the Muppet crew on 123 Sesame Street this summer.
"With Elmo adopting Tango, it’s going to mirror for many of our children what they’re experiencing now at home and help them understand how best to love and take care of their furry friends as well," said Kay Wilson Stallings, the executive vice president of creative and production at Sesame Workshop.
Details about Tango were carefully considered. Wilson Stallings, who owns a long-haired dachshund, and her team discussed what Tango should look like and what gender she should be.
"We decided that it would really be best to make sure that the way to have her most accessible and really appeal to as many kids and families as possible is just make her like a mixed breed," Wilson Stallings said. "Anybody that has a pet might see a little of their pet within Tango."
Sesame Street is rolling out new, exclusive digital content featuring Elmo, Tango and other furry friends on Sesame Street’s YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter platforms. New books, toys, apparel and more merchandise will also be introduced for kids and adults.
Just like Elmo will always be 3 1/2 years old, Tango will remain a puppy in future episodes. Wilson Stallings said Tango’s possibility as a recurring character is bright and there’s even a possibility of her own starring role in the future.
"Right now, we’re just really focusing on that relationship between she and Elmo as she gets to become more familiar with all the rest of the characters on ‘Sesame Street.’" Stallings said.