Kevin Clash may not be the most recognizable face on the street, but voice and counterpart is recognized and loved by millions around the world. Kevin Clash is Elmo. This weekend they were at the Beverly Hills Hilton as part of the PBS Tour and to promote the upcoming documentary, Being Elmo.
On Sunday July 31, Clash participated in a round table event with director of Being Elmo, Constance Marks. The round table covered a variety of topics from the documentary to how Clash got introduced to the Muppet family, to his work onSesame Street.
As a child, PBS (then called NPT) was always around and with that came Sesame Street. His parents were both very supportive and as a child he was teased for his love of puppets. He continued to build puppets through the years and practice his emerging skill, puppetry. As he grew in skill and age, he eventually would get even with one of his puppets at variety shows in high school who would put the bullies in their place.
Eventually, he would meet Kermit Love who began to introduce him to the world of the Muppets. After trying out some puppets that probably won’t go down in history as some ofSesame Street’s great, he was handed a little red monster. This monster had been previously used by Richard Hunt. Seeing as Richard Hunt was a legend, Kevin Clash really didn’t see how he would be able to do any better with this puppet. He was given a scene to do where this little red monster was using his imagination. When performing the scene, the cameramen (who would see everything over and over again) were laughing at the performance. At this point, Kevin Clash knew he had something.
Now, years later Elmo has become an international icon. Elmo is a combination of Kevin Clash’s parents with his mom bringing some spunk to Elmo and dad sweetness and creativity. Clash and PBS is incredibly protective of this little monster’s personality and often have to do things to maintain this innocence. This means that Elmo is always Elmo and never the grown man who provides much of his existence. From Jimmy Fallon to Bobby Flay matter who Elmo is talking to, he always keeps that preschool aged personality.
Being Elmo is a new award winning documentary that tells the story of Kevin Clash’s life, his love of puppetry, and how he came to know Jim Henson and become part of the Muppet family. It offers behind the scenes look at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson Workshop. Narrated by Whoopie Goldberg, it also includes interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney, along with rarely seen archive footage and heartwarming moments.
Keep your eyes on DAPs Magic for future information about how this film will be available for viewing.
A big THANK YOU to Lisa at www.babesindisneyland.com for connecting DAPs Magic with this event!