kottke.org posts about Carroll Spinney

Happy birthday, Big BirdMar 20 2012

Today being the first day of Spring, it is also Big Bird's birthday. To celebrate, the Sesame Street blog posted an interview with Big Bird creator, Caroll Spinney, who shared anecdotes from BB's life. Interestingly, Big Bird used to celebrate his 4th birthday, but since he learned how to read, he now celebrates his 6th birthday. And has for quite some time. Dude never seems to age.

Since he couldn't read or write, he was 4-years-old. By the end, he was writing little poems and stuff, so then he had to be six so he could read. He's turning six and he always turns six. His birthday came about on a calendar on the early days of the show. Someone decided he should have a birthday and I decided it should be the first day of spring.

Then Spinney brought everyone's good cheer down a notch by talking about Mr. Hooper.

They said, "Don't' you understand? Mr. Hooper has died." And I said, "Yes, well when is he coming back?" They said, "Don't you understand? Mr. Hooper is never coming back," and quickly everyone is moved to tears. It was probably the most sensitive show we have ever done. When we finished there were tears on all the actors' faces. When I came out of the suit, I had to have a towel because I had been crying.

Lastly, aside from never aging in 40+ years of birthdays, it must be weird to have a birthday on a calendar date that has changed over time. Remember when the first day of Spring was March 21st?

(via Dan Lewis who you might want to check out if you like learning a new thing everyday)

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