What’s It Like Being Elmo?

On Monday night WOSU TV will premiere “Independent Lens: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.  My childhood was “Captain Kangaroo” and the crazy characters from Hanna-Barbera.  By the time “Sesame Street” made it’s debut I was more interested in “Zoom”.   My younger brother was the “Sesame Street” viewer in our house during their early years, at that time The Cookie Monster and Burt and Ernie were big time!  All of a sudden, out of nowhere, this red furry muppet named Elmo was everywhere, at least that’s what it seemed like.

Kevin Clash is the man, I guess I should say the puppeteer, behind Elmo.  A huge fan of Jim Henson and his muppet creations Kevin knew that’s where he wanted to be and sooner rather than later!  “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey” is a wonderful film no matter what your age or cartoon preference.  Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg,  filmmaker Constance Marks combines archival footage of Clash and early “Sesame Street” creations with material from the present day.  The wonderful bonus to this program is not only do we get a first rate profile on Kevin Clash and his creations, we also get the chance to witness the rise of Jim Henson and his muppets.  This really is one of those programs you have to see!

“Independent Lens: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey” airs Monday, April 9 at 9:00pm on WOSU TV with an encore presentation Tuesday, April 10 at 9:00pm on WOSU PLUS.