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INDEPENDENT LENS: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

Airs Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Elmo and Kevin Clash in the documentary "Being Elmo."

Every day, millions tune in to SESAME STREET to see one of the world’s most adored and recognizable characters — a furry red monster named Elmo. Yet, with all of Elmo’s fame, the man behind the icon is able to walk down the street without being recognized.

Puppeteer Kevin Clash brings Elmo to visit kids in a scene from the documentary feature INDEPENDENT LENS "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey" – a film by Constance Marks.
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Above: Puppeteer Kevin Clash brings Elmo to visit kids in a scene from the documentary feature INDEPENDENT LENS "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey" – a film by Constance Marks.

The Ultimate Sesame Street Quiz

See how much you remember from the 42 years of the world’s most beloved children’s television program. Take the quiz

Meet Kevin Clash. As a teenager growing up in Baltimore in the 1970s, Clash had very different aspirations from his classmates — he wanted to be a puppeteer. More specifically, he wanted to be part of Jim Henson’s team, the creative force responsible for delivering the magic of SESAME STREET.

With a supportive family behind him, Clash made his dreams come true. Combining archival footage with material from the present day, filmmaker Constance Marks explores Clash’s story in vivid detail and chronicles the meteoric rise of Jim Henson in the process.

Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and including interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney and others, this insightful documentary offers up a rare, behind-the-scenes look at SESAME STREET and the Jim Henson legacy.

INDEPENDENT LENS is on Facebook, and you can follow @IndependentLens on Twitter. SESAME STREET is on Facebook.

Video

Preview: Independent Lens: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

Your browser does not support this object. Content can be viewed at actual source page: http://video.kpbs.org/video/2189924412

Watch Meet the Man Behind Elmo on PBS. See more from Independent Lens.

Above: Meet Kevin Clash. As a teenager growing up in Baltimore in the 1970s, Clash had very different aspirations from his classmates — he wanted to be a puppeteer. More specifically, he wanted to be part of Jim Henson’s team, the creative force responsible for delivering the magic of SESAME STREET.