|Sesame Street character|
Mr. Noodle in Elmo's World
|Portrayed by||Bill Irwin|
Mr. Noodle and his siblings—Mr. Noodle's brother Mister Noodle, Ms Noodle, and Miss Noodle—are characters who appear in the "Elmo's World" segments during the educational children's television program Sesame Street. Mr. Noodle was played by Broadway actor Bill Irwin, who had previously worked with Arlene Sherman, executive producer of Sesame Street and co-creator of "Elmo's World", in short films for the program.
When Irwin became unavailable, Sherman asked Michael Jeter, who was her friend, to replace Irwin as Mr. Noodle's brother Mister Noodle, which he accepted enthusiastically, calling it his favorite role in twenty years. Jeter was in the role beginning in 2000, until his death in 2003. Kristin Chenoweth played Mr. Noodle's sister Ms. Noodle, and Sarah Jones played Mr. Noodle's other sister Miss Noodle. As of January 2017, Daveed Diggs and comedian Daniel Koren, have played two more of Mr. Noodle's brothers. Five actors playing members of the Noodle family have won Tonys.
Writer Louise A. Gikow calls the Noodles "a dynasty of mimes,...in the tradition of great silent film comedians like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd". They made mistakes, but solved them with the help of "enthusiastic kid voice overs", which empowered children and helped them feel smarter than the adults.
They were silent in order to allow Elmo to do all the talking, and to give children the opportunity to respond to what they saw on the screen. They would physically and humorously act out their replies to Elmo's questions.
According to writer and "Elmo's World" co creator Judy Freudberg, "Mr. Noodle, who never speaks, is all about trial and error. When you throw him a hat, he acts like he's never seen one before. Kids feel empowered watching him because they can do what he can't". According to Sesame Street researcher Lewis Bernstein, the characters, whom he called "bungling", gave young viewers "the opportunity to figure it out" before the adults did.
- Herman, Karen (2004-07-20). Archive of American Television., event occurs at 3:31
- Herman, Karen (2004-07-20). Archive of American Television., event occurs at 5:10
- Oliver, Myrna (2003-04-01). "Michael Jeter, 50; 'Mr. Noodle' on Sesame Street". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
- Gikow, Louise A. (2009). Sesame Street: A Celebration— Forty Years of Life on the Street. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, p. 169. ISBN 978-1-57912-638-4
- Steinberg, Brian (2016-10-17). "'Sesame Street' Will Revive 'Elmo's World'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
- Clash, Kevin, Gary Brozek, and Louis Henry Mitchell (2006). My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo has Taught Me About Life, Love and Laughing Out Loud. New York: Random House, p. 77. ISBN 0-7679-2375-8
- Davis, Michael (2008). Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street. New York: Viking Penguin, p. 339. ISBN 978-0-670-01996-0