Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey | Indy Week

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

Rated PG 76 min. 2011

Constance Marks' sunny documentary is about bringing joy and making dreams coming true. The subject of the film is an African-American puppeteer named Kevin Clash, who grew up poor in a disadvantaged section of Baltimore. But he had a single-minded passion: to be a Muppeteer. He began crafting his own puppets from an early age and progressed to local TV and then to the national spotlight with Captain Kangaroo. Then he finally met his idol, Jim Henson. Clash auditioned for the chance to embody a new Muppet soon to take center stage on Sesame Street. That Muppet was Elmo, the ultimate in successful color-blind casting. The character transcends race, not black, white or brown but universally red. Elmo is warm, curious and affectionate, seemingly a reflection of the talented artist who supplies his voice.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Constance Marks

Writer: Philip Shane and Justin Weinstein

Cast: Bill Barretta, Fran Bill, Kevin Clash, Joan Ganz Cooney, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosi O'Donnell, Frank Oz, Martin P. Robinson and Caroll Spinney

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