Eric Jacobson started working with the Muppets in 1994 as a puppeteer on Sesame Street, and rose through the ranks of Sesame puppeteers. In order to keep the characters of Frank Oz - who was focusing more on directing and other pursuits - alive and visible, Jacobson was selected due to his strong puppeteer talent and extremely similar vocal range. Jacobson has worked on projects starring the classic Muppet Show and Sesame Street characters, and on Bear in the Big Blue House.
|“||I grew up watching the Muppets, and was a rabid fan myself and to carry on this legacy is really important.||”|
- -Eric Jacobson
Jacobson started performing on Sesame Street in 1994. In 1997, Jacobson started performing Bert on a semi-regular basis, and the next year he added Grover to his list as well; he began to perform both characters full-time with Play with Me Sesame. Today, Jacobson is the principal performer of these two Sesame stars – however Frank Oz occasionally comes in to record new material with them.
Jacobson has also taken on Guy Smiley in recent years, performing the character in videos for Sesame Street Presents: The Body, Ready to Learn commercials, a 2008 episode, and new segments for the video game Kinect Sesame Street TV. He has also performed minor characters on the show, such as Mr. Tiger, one of the Three Little Pigs and Hammy the Dwarf.
Jacobson's wife Mary was a production assistant on the show; they met on the program. His daughter's godfather works for the series.
At 2001's MuppetFest fan convention Jacobson made his Muppet debut secretly performing Miss Piggy welcoming the fans "live via satellite". Jacobson made his first major Muppet production debut performing Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, and Animal for 2002's It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie. He took over the role of Sam the Eagle starting in 2005 with The Muppets' Wizard of Oz.
In 2011, Dave Goelz commented on Jacobson;
|“||When Steve was able to do Kermit, I thought, "Wow, we got off lucky there, but if something happens to Frank or he leaves, we'll just be dead." Lo and behold, Eric Jacobson, who like Steve had been around for a long time in the Sesame Street performing group, was able to do very credible versions of Frank's characters. He's incredible with Miss Piggy. The first time I was at a read-through with Eric, I hadn't noticed his arrival, and we started reading the script. I heard Frank and looked around the room. And Frank wasn't there. So it was really an interesting thing.||”|
Outside of Henson, Jacobson has worked on The Puzzle Place, Jack's Big Music Show, and Disney's The Book of Pooh (plus a TV show called Once Upon a Tree, in which he performed Billy Bob the Bobcat). He also has performed on stage performing live puppet theater in New York City with The Puppet Company, The Cosmic Bicycle Theater, and The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park.
Jacobson has been honored for his work on several occasions and holds the distinction of being the first puppeteer to work on multiple film and television productions cited for excellence by UNIMA in the same year.
In 2013, Jacobson served as puppeteer for Shaggy Rogers (with Matthew Lillard serving as Shaggy's voice) for the DVD movie, Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map.
- Muppet Characters: Fozzie Bear (2002-present), Miss Piggy (2001-present), Animal (2002-present), Sam the Eagle (2005-present)
- Sesame Street: Bert (1997-present), Frankie, Giant Boulder, Grover (1998-present), Guy Smiley (outside appearances, #4182), one of the Three Little Pigs, Mr. Tiger, Hammy the Dwarf, the Martians, "Dinner Theatre" Pumpkin uncle ("Annie Get Your Gumbo"), Dusty
- Bear in the Big Blue House: Harry the Duck, Tucker Tutter
- Elmopalooza: Additional Puppeteer
- Sesame Street Goes to the Doctor
- Sesame English
- Peter and the Wolf
- Bert & Ernie's Word Play
- A Celebration of Me, Grover: Grover's Mommy
- Happy Healthy Monsters
- The Get Healthy Now Show: Yam, Eggplant, and Michael
- It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie: Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Yoda Muppet
- Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic
- The Muppets' Wizard of Oz
- Elmo's Christmas Countdown
- Count on Sports
- Studio DC: Almost Live
- Abby in Wonderland
- A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa
- Families Stand Together
- The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora: Frankfurter
- Shalom Sesame Grover (2010 episodes)
- The Muppets: Marvin Suggs
- Muppets Most Wanted: Baby
- Spaghetti Space Chase
- ↑ TV Land Awards interview
- ↑ Vanity Fair interview
- ↑ Disney twenty-three, Winter 2011 issue, page 52
- ↑ Sesame Workshop Press Kit Bio. 2007