Farewell, Mr. Spinney

December 14, 2019
Caroll Spinney, Big Bird, and Oscar the Grouch. Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Gil Vaknin / Sesame Workshop

“Bad days happen to everyone, but when one happens to you, just keep doing your best and never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself.” Want to guess who said those wise words? Here’s a hint: He’s eight feet, two inches tall, yellow, and lives on Sesame Street with his best friend, Mr. Snufflelupagus. Yep, it’s Big Bird!

For over fifty years, Caroll Spinney, the man who played Big Bird on the popular children’s TV show Sesame Street, used the larger-than-life puppet to help kids learn simple things like numbers and the alphabet, as well as tougher things like feelings. Earlier this month, Mr. Spinney passed away from health complications before he was able to witness Sesame Street receive the Kennedy Center Honor—the first TV program to ever receive such a prestigious award. To honor Mr. Spinney and his role in making Sesame Street the award-winning program it is today, his colleagues pinned a single yellow feather on their clothing, and Big Bird himself made an appearance. Thank you, Mr. Spinney, for being the most lovable Bird there ever was!

To remember Mr. Spinney, we’re sharing some fun facts about Sesame Street:

-Sesame Street made its debut on November 10th, 1969.

-Mr. Spinney was the voice of both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.

-While Oscar the Grouch is green now, he wasn’t always that color; he was originally an orange monster!

-The first muppet to appear on Sesame Street was Big Bird, but over 1,000 puppets have appeared on the show since then.

-Karli, a foster child, is the latest monster to join the Sesame Street family.

What is your fondest memory of Sesame Street?