Big Bird
Sesame Street Sesame Street

Big Bird

Comparision of the voice over actors who have been the voice of Big Bird with sound clips and images.
Franchise: Sesame Street

For our 3000th voice compare, who out there as a choice can possibly be bigger than this bird?

Big Bird is arguably the closest thing to a main character in the 50-year history of Sesame Street. Curious, childlike, and innocent, he lives on Sesame Street itself and loves spending time with his human friends, along with Snuffy and formerly, Mr. Hooper, whose name he could never quite get right. Big Bird doesn't know everything and is always happy to expand his horizons, and while the mistakes he makes may be frustrating, he's always able to get back up on his feet and move forward.

Since the beginning of the show in 1969, Caroll Spinney has stuck devotedly to Big Bird. Although he no longer performs him in the suit, he still often provides his voice in post-production. Of course, you can't go 50 years without picking up a couple of understudies, so Daniel Seagren filled in for Big Bird's appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and episode 83 in 1970. Since the late 90s, Matt Vogel has been Caroll Spinney's understudy. He is now the fulltime suit performer and occasionally lets his voice shine through as well.

Very special thanks to Ghosty404 for Matt Vogel and Daniel Seagren's clips! (As well as the appended bonus Caroll.)
Created by NCZ on Jun 13 2018
Sesame Street (1969)
Big BirdMatt Vogel
Matt Vogel
Sesame Street (1969)
Big BirdDaniel Seagren
Daniel Seagren
Sesame Street (1969)
Big BirdCaroll Spinney
Caroll Spinney

EDITOR'S OPINION

What is there to say about Caroll's performance that hasn't be said. He has to be one of the most dedicated voice performers in the history of VA work, let alone puppetering. He quite literally is Big Bird on every possible level. His performance has heart to it, he has a strong sense of will, and you can feel the sheer love he exudes not only for Big Bird as a character, but the children Big Bird seeks to entertain. It's one of the best performances not just in the history of children's television, but for any iconic character, ever.

His performance has evolved naturally over time as well. If you listen on his page there is an extra clip showing his earliest voice.

It's this earliest voice that Daniel Seagren is taking after. It's a little dopier in sound and kind of obvious that there was a replacement, but he only got a couple public shots in the role, so there's not a lot of the polish that Spinney and later Vogel naturally acquired.

That being said, I'm pretty happy with Matt Vogel being groomed as successor. His Kermit kind of strikes me as funny since it feels like Constantine as Kermit, but as Big Bird, he's got it down. He nails Big Bird's youthful, childlike innocence and optimism. As an impression you can tell he's not Caroll at times, but he has the spirit.

Overall, while Caroll is obviously on top, as we look to the future with Matt Vogel I think we're in a good place.


NCZ

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THE BEST
Who do you think has been the best from these Big Bird voice actors?
Caroll Spinney
Daniel Seagren
Matt Vogel