Who knew that Elmo was a middle aged black man?
Kevin Clash, the 51-year-old voice-over actor and puppeteer with the gravelly, baritone voice isn’t commonly recognized by fans, but the 6-foot tall man has millions of admirers worldwide. For the last 26 years, Kevin has been the superstar voice behind the lovable and most popular
character, that we all knew and loved, Elmo.
This year, Kevin is releasing an upcoming documentary titled ‘Being Elmo,’ where he shares his life’s journey from being a shy Baltimore kid who made puppets out of slippers to becoming Muppet’s creator Jim Henson’s protege.
“I’m just somebody carrying around their . If the child loves the character, they keep their imagination.”
“[Kids] don’t look at me. Most of the time they don’t.”
Admitting to ABC’s ‘Nightline’ that he has a ‘Peter Pan Syndrome,’ Kevin says that no matter what his age, he’s a big kid at heart. He got his first of Sesame Street when he was 10-years-old and was instantly mesmerized. Soon after, he was creating shows of his own and for the bashful adolescent Kevin, it was a perfect fit.
“I was very, very shy, and so it was a good way of hiding. I loved creating different characters, creating something that wasn’t me, to hide behind.”
On Other Kids Teasing Him When He Was Younger
[They would say] you sleep with your puppets, you play with dolls — and then I did my first local television show and eveverybody thought, ‘Wow that’s ,’ so that went away.”
After puppets became “cool,” Kevin was voted most likely to become a millionaire, and says that was one prediction that came true. He joined the Sesame Street cast at 24, but it wasn’t until he started around with the furry red puppet around the studio known then as “Baby Monster” did he find his niche. The character wasn’t an immediate fan favorite because initially he was voiced by another actor with a “caveman grunt,” but when Kevin gave him the high-pitched squeaky voice, with the need for hugs and kisses, Elmo was created and the rest is history. Soon, ‘Tickle Me Elmo’ became a hit and movies like ‘The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland’ were made.
If you are just as interested in his story as I am, check out Kevin’s ‘Nightline’ feature below:
Read more: [Videos] Meet Kevin Clash: The Voice Behind Elmo | Necole Bitchie.com