It is impossible to remember your childhood and not think about it. Sesame Street. New cartoons and animations may appear and disappear, but this series of PBS will remain a constant in the education of any child. But behind every puppet we have come to know and love, there is an actor that helps bring these characters to life. And now, after almost 50 years, the show says goodbye to one of its original cast members. The original actor of Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird, Caroll Spinney, retires from Sesame Street after playing our favorite, the garbage-loving gremlin and the friend of yellow feathers since it premiered in 1969.
Spinney, who is now 84 years old, published a statement about his decision to withdraw from both roles. In the sincere message, the actor said goodbye to his iconic character and encouraged the fans to embrace the new cast members who will replace him. The complete statement, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, says the following:
"Big Bird brought me many places, opened my mind and nourished my soul. And I plan to be an ambassador for Sesame Workshop for many years. After all, we are a family! But now is the time for two artists with whom I have worked and respected, and who have actually carefully chosen for the guardianship of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, take my alter-egos in their hands and continue to give them life. "
As to who these replacements are, Big Bird will now be voiced by Matt Vogel, who previously took over Kermit the Frog from Steve Whitmire. Meanwhile, Eric Jacobson, who currently expresses Grover, Bert, and Guy Smiley, as well as Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear of the Muppets, will take over Oscar the Grouch. But while these two seem more than qualified, it is difficult not to feel that it is the end of an era. In fact, Spinney had such a lasting impact on the program that Sesame Workshop released a sweet tribute video in his honor, showing his many contributions over the years.
"Caroll and Big Bird are very similar in their genuine kindness, sweetness and love," said Sesame Workshop co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney in the video. Spinney won a total of six Emmys, as well as a lifetime achievement award and a Grammy for his work in Sesame Street, according to BuzzFeed News.
"Before you get to Sesame StreetI did not feel that what I was doing was very important. Big Bird helped me find my purpose, "Spinney said in the video." Even when I give up my papers, I feel that I will always be Big Bird. And even Oscar, once in a while! They have given me great joy, they have taken me to my true vocation, and to my wonderful wife! – and created a life of memories that I will cherish forever. "
Upon hearing the news of his retirement, many fans have tweeted love messages for Spinney, thanking him for making his childhood so full of happy memories.
The last day of Spinney will be on Thursday, according to The New York Timesand, remembering his lifelong career of making children laugh and learn, he seems to have few regrets. "I always thought, how lucky do I have to be able to play the two best Muppets?" He said at the start. "Playing Big Bird is one of the happiest things in my life."
And it has been a joy to see him do it.