Clash has been the voice and puppeteer for Elmo for over 17 years, but was not the original voice for Elmo who originally talked like a cave man.
See also: A girl and her dog in South Africa
Huffington Post Black Voices reports:
Clash has honed his skills creating and animating puppets since the age of 10. He landed his first paying television gig in his late teens for a CBS affiliate in Baltimore, where he ultimately attracted the attention of Muppet designer and future mentor, Kermit Love, who introduced the ambitious teen to legendary puppeteer Jim Henson, who created Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and dozens of other famous characters.
Following brief stints on the popular kids shows “The Great Space Coaster” and “Captain Kangaroo,” Clash made his “Sesame Street” debut in 1984, as the voice of Baby Natasha and Hoots the Owl. Clash said that Henson told him to “just be as silly as you want. Muppets are rebellious and that’s the way they should be. Don’t take it too seriously.”