According to one source, Elmo may have appeared in the 1981 book, "The Sesame Street Circus of Opposites," except he appeared as dark orange. Elmo though was a bit of an orphan. Three muppeteers couldn't connect to the furry red monster (who looked a bit shaggier back in those days). One day, young Kevin Clash was sitting in the Muppeteer-in-training greenroom when the late Richard Hunt (who voiced Scooter, Beaker, and Sweetums) tossed him Elmo and suggested he give it a try. Clash and Elmo partnered up on November 18, 1985, and they've never looked back. (See an early Elmo singing "One Fine Face" with Ernie in 1985.)
Happy Birthday, Elmo!
A look at Elmo's accomplishments over the course of his life.