Voice of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, Caroll Spinney, is retiring

Diabeetus

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http://www.staradvertiser.com/2018/10/17/breaking-news/puppeteer-who-played-big-bird-on-sesame-street-deserves-to-be-immortal/
The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on "Sesame Street" is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Caroll Spinney announced in a statement today that he’s handing over Big Bird and his other character, Oscar the Grouch, to younger performers. The 84-year-old joined "Sesame Street" at its inception in 1969.

Spinney says he didn’t feel like his work was important until Big Bird helped him find his purpose.

Spinney says the physical requirements of performing the characters had become difficult and he developed problems with his balance. He stopped doing the puppeteering for Big Bird in 2015 and now only provides the voices for him and Oscar.

His apprentice, Matt Vogel, will succeed him in the Big Bird role. Vogel also plays Kermit the Frog.

I once saw Caroll Spinney at a convention. He was a very nice, sweet guy, but he is also very old. I am not surprised he retired, but it still hurts a bit. Big Bird and Oscar were always my favorite Sesame Street characters, and I feel it will be at least very difficult to replace the man who gave life to those characters. It sucks, but that's how it be sometimes.
 

Brit Crust

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I've always knew this was gonna happen someday, but it doesn't make this any less bittersweet. I'm beyond amazed that Caroll Spinney has stayed on Sesame Street for literally decades since its very first episode. Thank you for touching the lives of children (and grown-ups) everywhere.

 

Judge Holden

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They shall be missed
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Trilby

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Reminded, prior to Sesame Street, Caroll played a number of small roles for a localized version of Bozo the Clown that aired in Boston during the 1960's. One of these characters was a lion who could draw things out quickly on air.
 
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Jewelsmakerguy

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Reminded, prior to Sesame Street, Caroll played a number of small roles for a localized version of Bozo the Clown that aired in Boston during the 1960's. One of these characters was a lion who could draw things out quickly on air.
Makes sense. I mean Caroll did draw the pictures that were featured in the episode that addressed Hooper's death:
 

Alec Benson Leary

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So... I was an innocent child, then a disgruntled middle-schooler, then an awkward high-schooler, then an enthusiastic young liberal, then a wary supporter of civil rights in a trying time, then an understanding trump apologist, then willing to be tarred as a nazi for the same beliefs that once got me labeled as a progressive hero?

And the whole time kids got to have the same big bird teaching them about sharing and empathy?

Good. Children diserve continuity. And they deserve to be ignorant of politics.
 

Brit Crust

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Reminded, prior to Sesame Street, Caroll played a number of small roles for a localized version of Bozo the Clown that aired in Boston during the 1960's. One of these characters was a lion who could draw things out quickly on air.

Makes sense. I mean Caroll did draw the pictures that were featured in the episode that addressed Hooper's death:
Caroll's an accomplished artist in his own right. Here are some samples of his work.
 

RumblyTumbly

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Big Bird > Elmo

Just had to throw that out there.

It was time. I mean 85? Whoa! But what a run he's had. Thanks for all the fun memories. Oscar was my favorite character on Sesame Street and Big Bird was the icon of Sesame Street for me as a kid. I still remember watching Follow That Bird when I was little.

Full credit to Mr. Spinney for all the years he poured into this and making so many kids happy.
 

The Decimator

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I can’t say I didn’t expect this. He was barely on the show this past season, and whenever he was, his voice sounded very weak and frail. Spinney was the last remaining cast member from Season 1, after Bob McGrath and Loretta Long were dropped a couple of years ago. Everyone else from that first year is either dead (Jim Henson, the original Gordon and Mr. Hooper) or retired (Frank Oz), so this really is the last of the old guard.

All I can do now is thank Caroll Spinney for nearly 50 years of greatness, so, good luck on your future endeavors, Big Bird.

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