Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Congratulations, Mr. Spinney!

You may not recognize the gentleman with the white hair and beard standing behind Oscar the Grouch, but if you're a die-hard Sesame Street fan, you already know that it's Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who has performed Oscar and Big Bird on the show for over 30 years. You probably already know that he recently won the lifetime achievement emmy award. I can only assume that this photo was taken at one of those Hollywood parties I never get invited to. Could it be proof that girls really do go for the bad boys? :) Well, probably not, as Elmo is there as well. The nearly bald gentleman behind Elmo is puppeteer Kevin Clash, who also got an emmy. I'm not sure if any of the girls got emmys or not.

Spinney has written a book about performing on Sesame Street that I'd definitely recommend to fans of the show. He also did a book tour a few years ago that included cameo appearances by Oscar. Spinney is also a fine artist, and some of his sketches appear in the book. And if you happen to be a fan of Bob Hope, you may want to pick this book up as well. Big Bird and Bob made a few appearances together, and Spinney has thanks for the memories.

One of my favorite stories about Spinney is not included in the book, though. It involves a connection to - of all things- the space shuttle Challenger tragedy. I'm going to have to do some homework on that one to be sure I get my facts straight. I'll blog about it soon!

In the meantime, here is Spinney's Web site, which has a link where you can buy the book:


And here's a review of the book from a fellow devoted muppet fan, Danny at Toughpigs: