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Betsy Bird

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BETSY-BIRD-150
PERFORMER Betsy Baytos
DEBUT 1980
DESIGN Michael Frith designer
  Caroly Wilcox,
Cheryl Blaylock builders

Betsy Bird is a full-body dancing bird who was created especially for dancer Betsy Baytos.

She appeared in The Muppet Show episode 505, performing "The Varsity Drag" and "Bird Walk." Jim Henson puppeteered the character's head in some closeups, while Baytos provided the dancing, voice and choreography.

Although Henson felt the performance itself was wonderful, the costume's material seemed to hide Baytos' eccentric dance movements, instead of emphasizing them. While Betsy's movements are perhaps nothing extraordinary for a Muppet, for a human dancer it's an impressive performance.

Betsy Bird was also successfully featured during the Muppets' first 'live' performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, in a pas de deux, backed by flying seagulls. This was later aired on PBS as Here Come the Puppets!

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