Like most American children born after 1970, I grew up with “Sesame Street.” My mom likes to tell a story about my first day at nursery school, when she got reamed out by my teacher for teaching me to read, since that’s what I was supposed to be learning at school. She hadn’t taught me; I had learned by watching “Sesame Street.”
So it was a big deal for me to meet the monster, the myth, the legend, Elmo, who was in town for the Austin premiere of the documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey.” The film is about the life of Kevin Clash, the man who has performed Elmo since 1985 and was the brains and right hand behind one of the most enduringly popular Muppets. I spoke with Clash and the film’s director, Constance Marks, about “Being Elmo” and then I got to blow my inner 4-year-old’s mind by chatting with Elmo himself about Austin (it’s his first trip), his favorite book (“Green Eggs and Ham”) and his biggest fear (I won’t spoil it for you). My one regret? I didn’t have chance to ask him to tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street.
Director Constance Marks and Subject (and Elmo Performer) Kevin Clash:
Matt and Elmo: