Matt Vogel

Matt Vogel

Matt Vogel (b. October 6th, 1970) is an accomplished puppeteer in his own right. However, since joining Sesame Street in 1996, he has become most familiar for his work as Caroll Spinney's understudy for Big Bird on Sesame Street, including the "Journey to Ernie" segments, several street scenes & other appearances whenever 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. It has been decided that, when Spinney retires, Vogel is to be the new Big Bird. Most recently, he's also served as assistant puppet captain on Sesame Street. He has also taken over Jerry Nelson's characters, by the recommendation of Nelson himself. As of 2008 he is the voice of Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, Floyd Pepper, Robin the Frog, & Camilla the Chicken. He has also taken over the puppetry of Jerry's most famous character, Count von Count, while Jerry provides the voice. He also voiced the gray Grouch in the Grouch spoof of Spamalot, called Scramalot.

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:

  • A sketch where Big Bird explains to Elmo that plants can't play catch.
  • A sketch where Big Bird watches Elmo show up & down.
  • Episode 3851: For the scene where Big Bird & Elmo practice the tango, Vogel is puppeteering Big Bird
  • Episode 3877
  • Episode 3907
  • Episode 3987
  • Episode 3997: For the parts of the episode where Big Bird and Oscar do not share a scene, Big Bird is played by Spinney, however, since the episode is mainly about Oscar, when they share a scene, Spinney is Oscar, & Vogel is inside Big Bird, to a vocal track
  • Episode 4074: The Letter of the Month Club
  • Episode 4107 & Episode 4108: The Adventures of Little Big Bird (mini Big Bird only)
  • Episode 4155: Vogel performs Big Bird (voice & puppetry) for his cameo at the beginning.
  • Episode 4187: Vogel played Big Bird during the green-screen scenes to a vocal track by Spinney
  • Episode 4203: Vogel played Big Bird to a vocal track by Caroll Spinney
  • Episode 4206: In the brief moment where we see Big Bird's actual crash when he is wedged inside the little wall in front of 123 Sesame Street, Vogel is Big Bird
  • The Street We Live On: in the intro to "Journey to Ernie"



  • When Matt Vogel was introduced to 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" and "Füsse," meaning "bird" and "feet," or read together "bird's feet."
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