Sesame Street’s Elmo Is Hosting a Virtual Playdate to Make Quarantine Less Scary for Kids

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Jemal Countess/Getty Images / Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Sesame Street has been helping kids through difficult times for 50 years, and now the cast of characters is offering them support through the COVID-19 crisis. On Tuesday, April 14, WarnerMedia and PBS will air a half-hour special titled Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate for young viewers and their families.

In a news release, Sesame Workshop president Steve Youngwood said he hopes the program "will entertain and inspire families at a moment when so many are feeling isolated and overwhelmed by current events." The special episode, he said, is meant to "encourage parents and kids to gather and relax as a family, in a way that only the Sesame Street Muppets can."

In Elmo's Playdate, Elmo will be joined by several of his friends, including Cookie Monster, Grover, and Abby Cadabby. The format of the show will be a "cozy video conference"—something that's already familiar to kids who've been learning remotely and checking in with extended family members in quarantine.

In addition to celebrating essential workers like doctors and EMTs, the playdate will also spotlight ways to have fun at home. There will even be a few celebrity guest appearances. Tracee Ellis Ross will play a game of “Elmo Says,” Lin-Manuel Miranda will sing “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” and Anne Hathaway will join Elmo for “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.”

Elmo's Playdate is airing on PBS Kids and WarnerMedia networks—which include HBO, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, and truTV—on Tuesday, April 14, at 7:00 p.m. EST. The special will also be available to stream online.