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Series / The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo

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The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo is a spin-off of Sesame Street developed exclusively for the HBO Max streaming service. The series, consisting of 13 episodes, debuted on the platform on May 27, 2020. The first three episodes were available at launch, with new episodes premiering weekly afterwards. Each episode runs 15 minutes long. The show is as follows:

The series parodies the late night Talk Show format with Elmo as the host, chatting with guest stars before he goes to bed. Cookie Monster appears as a sidekick, and other Sesame Street characters make appearances working backstage on the show. Being a Sesame Street property, it's also an Edutainment Show, teaching young viewers how to get ready for bedtime.

Some of the guest stars include Kwame Alexander, Sara Bareilles, Batman, Miles Brown, Ciara, Andy Cohen, Dan + Shay, Jimmy Fallon, Josh Groban, Mykal-Michelle Harris, H.E.R., The Jonas Brothers, Hoda Kotb, Lil Nas X, Blake Lively, John Mulaney, Kacey Musgraves, John Oliver, Pentatonix, Ben Platt, Jason Sudeikis, Jonathan Van Ness, and Olivia Wilde.

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You can watch an episode on YouTube.


The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo provides examples of:

  • Big Eater: Naturally, Cookie Monster is still this. In the Jonas Brothers episode, the "light snack" he ordered is a sandwich so big that Biff and Sully, who are construction workers, have to bring it in. In the Blake Lively episode, he mentions having a Marshmallow Dream which resulted in the disappearance of not only his pillow but his bed and various other things that were in the same room.
  • The Cameo: Many obscure and retired Sesame Street Muppets appear in the audience, including Roosevelt Franklin, Harvey Kneeslapper, Don Music, Lefty the Salesman, Sherlock Hemlock, Forgetful Jones, Captain Vegetable, Humphrey, The Amazing Mumford, Horatio the Elephant, Chipowski, Little Murray Sparkles, Madame Chairbird, Leo Birdelli, Bug and others.
    • In addition to appearing as a guest on the show in one episode, John Oliver is a recurring cameo performer, with Grover blundering onto the set of Oliver's show Last Week Tonight on multiple occasions.
  • Quarter Hour Short: Each episode lasts 15 minutes long.
  • Spiritual Successor: Many early reviews have called this Sesame Street's version of The Muppet Show due to following the format of celebrity guests, comedy sketches, and backstage antics.
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