While Tickle Me Elmo's remained a hot item this Christmas, Elmo's personal life has taken a serious and challenging turn. Sesame Street is aired a TV Special entitled, When Parents are Deployed, starring Elmo and his family. In the half-hour special, Elmo will learn that his father has been deployed and what that means for their family unit.
The Elmo segments are intercut with stories from actual families with parents serving overseas. The show is designed to help kids who are struggling with parents serving abroad. In Elmo's storyline, the Armed Forces aren't specifically referred to, but it is heavily suggested that Elmo's father is headed for lands similar to Iraq or Afghanistan.
The special is hosted by Cuda Gooding, Jr. and aired last night on PBS.