INDEPENDENT LENS: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

Ch. 5.1 – Monday 4/9 at 9:00 pm

Discover the man behind the furry red monster named Elmo — puppeteer Kevin Clash.


Every day, millions tune in to SESAME STREET to see one of the world’s most adored and recognizable characters — a furry red monster named Elmo. Yet, with all of Elmo’s fame, the man behind the icon is able to walk down the street without being recognized.

Meet Kevin Clash. As a teenager growing up in Baltimore in the 1970s, Clash had very different aspirations from his classmates — he wanted to be a puppeteer. More specifically, he wanted to be part of Jim Henson’s team, the creative force responsible for delivering the magic of SESAME STREET. With a supportive family behind him, Clash made his dreams come true.

Combining archival footage with material from the present day, filmmaker Constance Marks explores Clash’s story in vivid detail and chronicles the meteoric rise of Jim Henson in the process. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and including interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney and others, this insightful documentary offers up a rare, behind-the-scenes look at SESAME STREET and the Jim Henson legacy.

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