Before They Were Stars: Elmo as a Husky-Voiced Background Puppet

In tribute to yesterday’s Cracked article, “5 Iconic Characters That Were Only Supposed to Be Bit Parts”, I’ve decided to do a “Before They Were Stars” feature on a puppet. Before he became a pop culture icon, Elmo spent his first several years on Sesame Street¬†as a random puppet who would pop up in the background of sketches every now and then. It was not until Kevin Clash took over his voice that he became a full-fledged character and eclipsed the popularity of everyone else on the show. Before that, Elmo’s voice was provided by the gruff vocal chords of Jerry Nelson and Richard Hunt, so you might be shell-shocked to watch this 1981 musical number where Elmo sounds like a laryngeal cancer patient.

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