Caroll Spinney spielte fast 50 Jahre lang gleich zwei meiner Lieblings-Muppets aus der Sesamstraße, Bibo (Big Bird) und Oscar aus der Tonne. Erst 2018 zog er sich als letzter verbliebene Puppenspieler der Originalbesetzung zurück, nun ist Caroll Spinney im Alter 85 Jahren gestorben.
In einem Interview mit NPR aus dem Jahr 2003 anlässlich seiner damals neu veröffentlichten Biografie „Life inside Big Bird“ erklärte er, warum Kinder den grummeligen, immer schlecht gelaunten Oscar aus der Tonne so gerne mögen: „Because he’s honest“. Sad Day.
Mach’s gut, Caroll, danke für die gelben Riesenvögel und die grummeligen Mülltonnenbewohner.
Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for 49 years at “Sesame Street,” died in Connecticut after living with dystonia. He was 85.
Sesame Workshop announced his death, calling him an “artistic genius” whose “legacy here at Sesame Workshop and in the cultural firmament will be unending.”
“His enormous talent and outsized heart were perfectly suited to playing the larger-than-life yellow bird who brought joy to generations of children and countless fans of all ages around the world,” the announcement continued, “and his lovably cantankerous grouch gave us all permission to be cranky once in a while.”
Spinney was with “Sesame Street” from the beginning in 1969, and continued working as Big Bird and Oscar through 2018, though he stopped performing inside the Big Bird costume in 2015 when it became too physically demanding. He first met Jim Henson in 1962 at a puppeteering festival, but the idea of working for him did not come about until they reconnected at another festival in 1969. As Big Bird and Oscar, he conducted several orchestras, including the Boston Pops, across the United States, China, and Australia.
A Life Inside Big Bird (NPR): Cheerful ‘Sesame Street’ Star Is also its Grouch, who explains why he doesn’t like being happy.
Big Bird is kind and sweet. But after performing him all day, Spinney says it’s almost therapeutic to switch to Oscar the Grouch. He got the idea for Oscar’s gruff voice when he heard a Manhattan taxi driver bark, “Where to, Mac?” Spinney thought, “Wow, what a voice.”
Spinney says children like Oscar because he’s honest. And even though he’s a fuzzy green monster, he’s very human. “I’ve often noted that the characters, the puppets, often demonstrate more humanity than the real people.”