Further proof that all of our childhoods are fleeting before our eyes have come to light. Caroll Spinney, who plays the role of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch is stepping down from the children’s television show, Sesame Street, after 50 years of bringing the characters to life. A full tribute to Spinney was provided by the studio.
The news comes from the way of Sesame Workshop that Spinney will be stepping down from his seminal role this year. Carroll had this to say about his time on Sesame Street:
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.
Spinney has been in the role since 1969 and his importance to the show cannot be understated. The good news is that Sesame Workshop has already announced who they have brought on to replace Spinney. Big Bird will be performed by Matt Vogel and Eric Jacobson will be performing Oscar the Grouch. Jim Henson, creator of Sesame Street, and Disney’s Muppets worked with Spinney since the show’s inception. In 1962 when Henson was trying to get the show off the ground, Spinney stepped in to help bring the iconic puppets to life. Joan Ganz Cooney, the co-founder of Sesame Street, had this to say about his from Sesame Street departure:
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.
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