Matt Vogel

Matt Vogel

File:Caroll Spinney Matt Vogel.jpg
File:Matt Vogel Baby Big Bird.jpg
File:Matt Vogel performin the Muppetry of Count von Count.png

Matthew J. "Matt" Vogel II (b. October 6th, 1970) is an accomplished puppeteer in his own right. However, ever since joining Sesame Street in 1996, he has become most familiar for his work as Caroll Spinney's Sesame Street understudy for Big Bird for the "Journey to Ernie" segments, several street scenes & other appearances whenever Caroll Spinney is unavailable. He has also performed various Anything Muppets & CGI characters on "Elmo 's World", & plays Big Bird's infant self, Baby Big Bird in the Sesame Beginnings DVD series. Also, apparently, it has been decided that, when Caroll Spinney retires or passes away , Vogel is to be the new Big Bird. However, whether or not Vogel will be taking over for Caroll Spinney's role of Oscar the Grouch as well , is still unknown. Most recently, he 's also served as assistant puppet captain on Sesame Street.

Vogelhas also taken over for most of Jerry Nelson's characters several years before Nelson's death, by the suggestion of Jerry Nelson himself, personally. Vogel is , as of 2008, the new permanent performer of Floyd Pepper, Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, Robin the Frog & Camilla the Chicken following Nelson's retirement. Hehas also taken over the Muppetry of Jerry's greatest, most famous character ever, Count von Count, but Jerry kept performing the voice[1] [2]. Jerry continued performing the voice till his very tragic death on Thursday, August 23rd, 2012. Vogel has now assumed both voice & Muppetry duties of the character, starting w/ a YouTube video.[3] Vogel also performed the gray Grouch in the Grouch spoof of Spamalot called Scramalot.

Vogel's other Muppet credits include work, assisting or in supporting roles, on Big Bag, Bear in the Big Blue House, Sesame English, & The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, as well as various pigeons in the Creature Shop film The Producers. Other works include Oobi, the video series MATHmatazz, Jack's Big Music Show, The Puzzle Place, the HBO drama Oz, Blue's Room, & Between the Lions.

In theater , Vogel has acted in regional productions of various plays including The Foreigner & Six Degrees of Sparation, & was involved in the 2003 - 2004 Broadway run of Little Shop of Horrors, manipulating Audrey II & playing various bums & Skid Row residents (alongside Martin P. Robinson & Anthony Asbury). In addition to Muppeteering, Vogel's interest in music is made evident by his non-Sesame role as front man for the band, The Mighty Weaklings released a CD of songs "for kids--& grown-ups" called You Can't Rock Sittin' Down in June of 2008 after appearing in the video for their song "Rocket Ship" on Jack's Big Music Show. Vogel, with Joey Mazzarino, co-owns Pratfall Productions, which produced the film -noir puppet spoof Murder, He Squeaked & various inserts for Sesame Street, Sesame Street videos & Nick Jr .'s Curious Buddies. Vogel also serves as director for Sesame Street beginning with Season 39 & the recurring segment, "Murray Has a Little Lamb".[4]

Matt & his wife Kelly live in the Big Apple with their 5 children.

Episodes Where Vogel Played Big Bird

In addition to the Journey to Ernie segments & inserted clips, Matt has also played Big Bird in many scenes including:

Matt Vogel/David Rudman Muppet Pairings


File:Matt Vogel Floyd Pepper 1.jpg
File:Matt Vogel Floyd Pepper 2.jpg
==Predecessors/Successors== {{

Non-Henson Credits

  • Oz: Pecky
  • Between the Lions: Rumplestiltskin, Derek Cheetah, Monkey Ad Executive (Jeff Kidding), various characters
  • Jack's Big Music Show: Leonard the Squirrel, MC Turtle, The Squirrels, etc.


  • The day Matt Vogel was introduced to Caroll Spinney at his 1st audition for the part of Big Bird, the latter remarked , "Vogel is German for Bird. That's a good sign."
  • The word "Vogel" is Dutch for Bird as well.
  • The protective slippers Vogel wears over Big Bird's feet when he's not on set are labeled , respectively , "Vogel " & "Füsse", meaning "bird" & "feet", or read together "bird's feet".
  • Matt Vogel is left-handed.
  • Characters of Jerry Nelson's Matt Vogel has performed once or consistently are:


  1. ToughPigs - A Chat with Jerry Nelson, part 1
  2. HandyMan in the Control Room (Sesame Family Robinson)
  3. Count von Count is Countin' the "You"s in YouTube
  4. Season 40 Press Kit.
  5. Muppetmindset interview with Matt Vogel
  6. The Big Bad Wolf's casting history

External links

Special extra images

See also

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