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Film / Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

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Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey focuses on the Muppet performer Kevin Clash, who performed and voiced Elmo, the adorable and lovable red monster from Sesame Street until late 2012.

The movie follows his upbringing in Baltimore, his passion for creating and performing with puppets; how he began working for Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) and his career there, including rising to executive producer, and how his most popular creation came to be.

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Compare I Am Big Bird, another independent documentary about a longtime Sesame puppeteer (Carroll Spinney).

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This film provides examples of:

  • All-Loving Hero: When defining Elmo's personality, Clash decided that he should "represent love" and made him a Cuddle Bug. It succeeded way beyond expectations.
  • Ascended Fanboy: invokedClash was a big fan of Jim Henson and decided to become a puppeteer. Then he was recruited by the man himself.
  • Happier Home Movie: Shows up a few times in the film including one where his newborn baby just arrived at his home and had to talk in Elmo's voice much to the annoyance of his wife.
  • The Pete Best: An In-Universe example. In 1985, Richard Hunt was fed up with having to perform Elmo and tossed the puppet on Clash's lap. Clash raised him up and brought energy, life and a definitive voice in him. The character was then developed in a major way and became one of Sesame Street's most popular creatures, mostly thanks to Clash.
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