Who actually voices Elmo from Sesame Street?
In his first “Sesame Street” appearances, Elmo didn’t have a single actor behind him. The likes of Jerry Nelson, Brian Muehl and Richard Hunt all threw themselves into the character, though none of these early interpretations lasted long. This ultimately offered Kevin Clash the chance to (literally) try his hand at the role and give Elmo his signature voice, which stuck almost instantly (via PBS). He would stick with the role from 1985 to 2012 before passing the baton to current Elmo voice actor and puppeteer Ryan Dillon.
Dillon’s Elmo tenure officially began in 2013, and as of 2022, he’s still going strong as a character. However, he’s been involved with “Sesame Street” for much longer, first appearing on the show in 2005 when he was just 17 years old. As Dillon recalled in a 2017 Wired YouTube interview, he worked closely with Clash in the years leading up to his departure, giving him the chance to witness what happened firsthand. in a performance by Elmo – experiences that allowed him to take over. for his mentor (via the Puppet Tears podcast on YouTube).
Until his voice gives in or he gives in to the pressure of portraying one of the world’s most beloved children’s TV personalities, it stands to reason that Ryan Dillon will be playing Elmo for many years to come.