two images of Philly Elmo

Philly Elmo

Updated Feb 14, 2023 at 07:06AM EST by Rebecca Rhodes.

Added Feb 13, 2023 at 01:14AM EST by sakshi.

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Philly Elmo refers to a man wearing an Elmo costume often seen alongside a drumline in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The costume is work by William Futon, who first went viral as "Philly Elmo" in 2018 when he was videographed marching with the Positive Movement Entertainment drumline near the Kensington Fire in July 2018. Philly Elmo has since become a notable and recognizable figure in Philadelphia, making an appearance at various protests and events, including Super Bowl celebrations in Philadelphia.


On July 11th, 2018, YouTuber[1] Rocco Avallone posted a video titled, "Elmo at the Great Philadelphia Trash Fire of 2018," gathering over 800,000 views in over four years (seen below).

The video was also uploaded to Rocco Avallone's Twitter,[2] where it gathered over 17,000 likes and 8 million views in over four years (seen below).


In 2020, a photo of a man wearing an Elmo costume in summer 2020 at the BLM protests went viral, with various internet users mistaking him for William Futon a.k.a Philly Elmo. On June 1st, 2020, the image was posted to the subreddit /r/funny,[3] from where it has since been deleted (seen below). A meme comparing Elmo Rise and the protester also went viral on Tumblr in June 2020.[4] William Futon took to his Instagram on May 31st to clarify that the protestor was not him.[5]

AMK "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life." -Oscar Wilde, 1891 the internet, 2014 philadelphia, 2020

On August 20th, 2020, Twitter[6] user @hate5six posted a tweet about Philly Elmo, gathering over 7,000 likes in over two years (seen below).

On October 24th, 2022, Twitter[7] user @MedlowMinus posted a video of Elmo and the drumline performing at a gathering for Philadelphia going to the World Series, gathering over 2,000 likes in over three months (seen below).

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External References

[1] YouTube – Rocco Avallone

[2] Twitter – RoccoAvallone

[3] Reddit – /r/funny

[4]  Tumblr – blepshmep

[5] Instagram – philly_elmo89

[6] Twitter – hate5six

[7] Twitter – MedlowMinus

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