The Sesame Workshop is reporting that long-time Sesame Street puppeteer Caroll Spinney has announced his retirement, noting that he's performed on the program since its 1969 premiere. Spinney has played the roles of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for nearly 50 years!
After five decades as the heart and soul of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, it’s impossible to entirely separate the man from the characters he so vibrantly brought to life. Big Bird visited China with Bob Hope in 1979. He’s danced with the Rockettes, and with prima ballerina Cynthia Gregory. He’s been feted with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, celebrated with his likeness on a U.S. postage stamp, and named a “Living Legend” in 2000 by the Library of Congress. Performing Big Bird has taken Caroll to China, Japan, Australia, France, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He has performed on hundreds of episodes of television, starred as his big yellow avatar in the feature film Follow That Bird, and conducted symphony orchestras throughout the United States, Australia, and Canada. Spinney even met his wife of 45 years, Debra, on the Sesame Street set in 1973.
Sesame Street Season 1 Caroll Spinney and Big Bird
Not to worry, Big Bird and Oscar are not going anywhere. They will be played going forward by puppeteers Matt Vogel and Eric Jacobson, with Spinney's blessing.
Also, if you haven't seen the 2014 documentary about Spinney titled I Am Big Bird, I urge you to do so. It's a truly beautiful portrait of a deeply creative man who chose to live his most authentic life. I won't lie, it made me cry.
Here's its trailer:
Thank you, Caroll, for all you've done and for being true to who you are.
Full press release: Puppeteer Caroll Spinney Announces Retirement from Sesame Street
A 2015 interview with Spinney: The Man Who Became Big Bird
images via Sesame Workshop
Today I learned (on Conan O’Brien’s podcast) that comedian John Mulaney has made a children’s musical comedy special for Netflix. What?! Terrific! The show’s official description states he and his “kid pals” “tackle existential topics for all ages with catchy songs, comedy sketches and special guests in a nostalgic variety special.” On Conan’s podcast, he […]
A few years back, Charles Phoenix, the creator of kitchen kitsch behind the Cherpumple and other outrageous recipes, made something that’s perfect to serve at a holiday party: Frosty the Cheeseball Man. It’s a whole lot of Velveeta, cream cheese, and subversive, melty fun. At my holiday parties, I delight in serving Charles’ Frosty because […]
You may remember I recently blogged about Danny Elfman’s new “music for film” MasterClass (which launched on Halloween, naturally). A day or so after it posted I got an email from someone on his team asking if I wanted to interview him. My response, “Uh, who could say no to that…?!” I soon found myself […]
Going to the beach is almost always an enjoyable experience, but trekking back through your house on the way to the shower can leave a trail of sand the quickly saps the day of its sunny fun. Thankfully this BeachBox: Portable Shower & Storage unit has you covered the next time you hit the beach. […]
When it comes to immediately grabbing a reader’s attention in any medium, few things are more important than picking the perfect font—regardless of whether you’re advertising your brand online or in print. The MyFonts Monotype Fresh Font Bundle offers over 50 handcrafted fonts from one of the world’s most revered typeface companies, and it’s available […]
We’re all guilty of constantly staring at a variety of screens throughout the day. The only problem is that the blue light that’s emitted by most electronics — and even energy-efficient lightbulbs — is notoriously bad for our eyes and, subsequently, our health. Here are three glasses that offer superior protection for your eyes both […]