Video

Elmo's Rise to Stardom

With his bright red coat, big orange nose, and wide eyes, Elmo is now arguably the most famous of the Sesame Street muppets. Elmo began as an "Anything Muppet"—an extra, if you will, until Kevin Clash refashioned his character into the one we know, and kids love, today. Throughout the '80s his star continued to shine, eventually becoming an international icon and best-selling Christmas toy. Forty years later, he’s still going strong, enshrined in a popular exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. (05:29)

Arts & Culture At the Smithsonian History Ingenuity Smithsonian Channel