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Big Bird walk-arounds

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Full-bodied walk-around versions of Big Bird created for various stage, public and theme park appearances. This Big Bird, almost the same height as the actual Big Bird (8' 2"), is not a working puppet; a string is attached from underneath his beak to his left wing allowing the performer to use both hands to operate Big Bird's hands. The most familiar design of the walk-around Big Bird, introduced in 1980, wears a striped tie, or in some cases, a tuxedo shirt front, so to hide the vision hole in Big Bird's neck (as there is no monitor inside the costume). In stage shows, the puppet performs to a vocal track by Caroll Spinney (or, in the case of international appearances, the person who dubs Big Bird's voice in that country's language).

Like all the other walk-around Sesame Street characters, Big Bird was originally designed and fabricated by The Muppet Workshop, who eventually handed over these duties to VEE Corporation. As of 1985, the Big Bird costume cost $30,000.[1]


Full Body Puppet/Costume Year Stage Production Notes
Holidayonicebigbird 1978 Christmas Eve on Sesame Street Big Bird as he appears in the Ice Follies / Holiday on Ice shows from 1974 to 1980.
Big Bird Live 2003 Out of This World Big Bird in Sesame Street Live. This Big Bird wears a striped tie, or on different occasions, a tuxedo shirt.
Img 0024 Sesame Place Big Bird at Sesame Place, where he appears to shake hands, poses for pictures and sign autographs.
BigBirdBlueTie Sesame Place Similar design with a solid blue tie.

Sources

  1. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jan 22, 1985

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