Kevin Clash

Puppeteer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-hour Archive interview, Kevin Clash talks about his early appearances in Baltimore on local station WMAR. He describes how he came to be involved with Jim Henson and his Muppets through puppet designer Kermit Love. He then speaks in great detail about his work on Sesame Street and the characters he performs, most notably "Elmo." He talks about working with various actors on Sesame Street, and what makes Jim Henson's Muppets so unique. Clash demonstraits how he works "Elmo," and how the puppet is cared for and stored. Karen Herman conducted the interview on July 20, 2004 at the Sesame Workshop in New York, NY.

"I'm 43 years old, I'm a Black man. I'm six feet tall, 170 pounds. I mean, they would never think that I perform this little red monster on Sesame Street. They can't connect it."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Kevin Clash on adjusting his early puppet act for television
Kevin Clash on the end of Captain Kangaroo
Kevin Clash on the creation of "Elmo" on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on working with the Sesame Street writers on his characterization of "Elmo"
Kevin Clash (as "Elmo") on advice to an aspiring Muppet
Kevin Clash on what makes Jim Henson's Muppets so unique
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On television he watched as a kid, including Sesame Street; on what interested him about puppetry early on, and on building puppets
On going on local television with his puppets early on; on adjusting his early puppet act for television; on learning to do voices for his puppets

Chapter 2

On meeting Kermit Love, and on appearing on Captain Kangaroo; on working with Bob Keeshan on Captain Kangaroo; on working on Captain Kangaroo, The Great Space Coaster, and Sesame Streetat the same time
On the end of Captain Kangaroo; on going to work on Sesame Street full time
On how it felt for him to be working on Sesame Street, and on performing various Muppets; on various Muppets he performed in his early days on Sesame Street; on the creation of "Elmo" on Sesame Street

Chapter 3

On his early performances of "Elmo" on Sesame Street; on working with the Sesame Street writers on his characterization of "Elmo"; on the popularity of "Elmo" on Sesame Street
On "Elmo" and "Snuffleupagus" on Sesame Street; on some of his favorite performances and storylines as "Elmo" on Sesame Streeet; on the "Elmo's World" sketches on Sesame Street
On working with Bob McGrath on Sesame Street; on working with Roscoe Orman on Sesame Street; on working with Loretta Long on Sesame Street

Chapter 4

On Caroll Spinney as "Oscar" and "Big Bird" on Sesame Street; on Frank Oz on Sesame Street; on Jim Henson on Sesame Street
On what makes Jim Henson's Muppets so unique; on working on Dinosaurs; on his dealings with his fans, and on his then-future
On explaining the creation of the "Elmo" Muppet and how he's operated; on advice to an aspiring Muppet (via "Elmo"); on how "Elmo" is stored
Shows

Captain Kangaroo

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Kevin Clash on meeting Kermit Love, and on appearing on Captain Kangaroo
Kevin Clash on working with Bob Keeshan on Captain Kangaroo
Kevin Clash on working on Captain Kangaroo, The Great Space Coaster, and Sesame Streetat the same time
Kevin Clash on the end of Captain Kangaroo

Dinosaurs

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Kevin Clash on working on Dinosaurs

Sesame Street

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Kevin Clash on television he watched as a kid, including Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on working on Captain Kangaroo, The Great Space Coaster, and Sesame Streetat the same time
Kevin Clash on going to work on Sesame Street full time
Kevin Clash on how it felt for him to be working on Sesame Street, and on performing various Muppets
Kevin Clash on various Muppets he performed in his early days on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on the creation of "Elmo" on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on his early performances of "Elmo" on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on working with the Sesame Street writers on his characterization of "Elmo"
Kevin Clash on the popularity of "Elmo" on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on "Elmo" and "Snuffleupagus" on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on some of his favorite performances and storylines as "Elmo" on Sesame Streeet
Kevin Clash on the "Elmo's World" sketches on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on working with Bob McGrath on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on working with Roscoe Orman on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on working with Loretta Long on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on Caroll Spinney as "Oscar" and "Big Bird" on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on Frank Oz on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on Jim Henson on Sesame Street, and on working with the Jim Henson Company
Kevin Clash on how "Elmo" was made and how he is cared for on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on the logistics of operating "Elmo" on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on how he works "Elmo" with his hand on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on how "Elmo" is stored
Topics

Advice

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Kevin Clas (as "Elmo") on advice to an aspiring Muppet

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Kevin Clash on meeting Kermit Love, and on appearing on Captain Kangaroo

Fame and Celebrity

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Kevin Clash on his dealings with his fans

First Big Break

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Kevin Clash on going to work on Sesame Street full time

Pivotal Career Moments

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Kevin Clash on meeting Kermit Love, and on appearing on Captain Kangaroo
Kevin Clash on going to work on Sesame Street full time

Pop Culture

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Kevin Clash on his dealings with his fans

Television Industry

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Kevin Clas (as "Elmo") on advice to an aspiring Muppet
Genres

Children's Programming

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Kevin Clash on working on Captain Kangaroo
Kevin Clash on working on Sesame Street
Kevin Clash on playing "Elmo" on Sesame Street
People

Jim Henson

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Kevin Clash on what makes Jim Henson's Muppets so unique

Bob Keeshan

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Kevin Clash on working with Bob Keeshan on Captain Kangaroo

Loretta Long

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Kevin Clash on working with Loretta Long on Sesame Street

Kermit Love

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Kevin Clash on meeting Kermit Love, and on appearing on Captain Kangaroo

Bob McGrath

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Kevin Clash on working with Bob McGrath on Sesame Street

Roscoe Orman

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Kevin Clash on working with Roscoe Orman on Sesame Street

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