Caroll Spinney Retires From Big Bird And OscarReported by Foxwolf on Wednesday, October 17th 2018
Sesame Street announced that Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer and voice of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch is retiring from Sesame Street. He has performed these iconic characters for nearly 50 years since the show's premiere in 1969.
Spinney's career has taken him all around the world, with his life and achievements documented in the 2014 "I Am Big Bird" film. While Big Bird has travelled with Bob Hope to China and also danced with the Rockettes, Spinney himself has won six Emmys, two Grammys, two Gold Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award.
His replacements are very close to home, coming from within the existing Sesame Street and Muppet family, and were mentored by Spinney himself for over 20 years. Matt Vogel (the Count and Kermit for Disney) will take on the role of Big Bird, while Eric Jacobson (Grover, Bert and Fozzie, Miss Piggie for Disney) will perform Oscar the Grouch.
Spinney released the following statements:
"Big Bird brought me so many places, opened my mind and nurtured my soul. And I plan to be an ambassador for Sesame Workshop for many years to come. After all, we're a family! But now it's time for two performers that I have worked with and respected – and actually hand-picked for the guardianship of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch – to take my alter-egos into their hands and continue to give them life."
"Before I came to Sesame Street, I didn’t feel like what I was doing was very important. Big Bird helped me find my purpose. Even as I step down from my roles, I feel I will always be Big Bird. And even Oscar, once in a while! They have given me great joy, led me to my true calling – and my wonderful wife! – and created a lifetime of memories that I will cherish forever."