SESAME STREET Puppeteer Caroll Spinney is Retiring After 50 Years

Caroll Spinney has been the puppeteer for Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for 50 years on Sesame Street. He was the original puppeteer for both characters and is now retiring at the ripe old age of 84.

The announcement came from Sesame Workshop’s Twitter and Spinney will be succeeded by Matt Vogel and Eric Jacobson. Vogel currently works on Count Von Count and will now also do the role of Big Bird. Meanwhile, Jacobson will add Oscar the Grouch to his other puppets including Grover, Bert, and Guy Smiley. Spinney’s final season will be the upcoming 50th season that will debut on HBO in 2019.

Co-founder of Sesame Workshop, Joan Ganz Cooney, made the following statement along with the announcement:

“Caroll has been one of the leading lights of ‘Sesame Street’ from the very beginning. His genius and his talent made Big Bird the most beloved yellow feathered friend across the globe. But the sheer artistry of Caroll is that he also brought Oscar to life and made him the most lovable Grouch in the world.”

It’s sad to see Spinney go after all these years, but he’s earned his retirement.

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