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Matt Vogel

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Matt Vogel with Baby Big Bird.

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Vogel with Floyd Pepper.

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At 2014 Sunday Times photo shoot.

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Matt Vogel (b. October 6, 1970) is an accomplished puppeteer who joined the Sesame Street troupe in 1996. He is currently the show's Muppet Captain and has assumed some of Jerry Nelson's roles, by the recommendation of Nelson himself.[1] In addition to performing classic Muppet characters such as Floyd Pepper and Lew Zealand in recent productions, Vogel has puppeteered Count von Count and other Sesame Street Muppets originated by Nelson, who continued to voice the characters for several years. After Nelson's death, Vogel fully inherited the Count, now providing both the voice and puppetry.

Vogel is also known for his work as Caroll Spinney's understudy for Big Bird, including the "Journey to Ernie" segments, several street scenes and other appearances whenever Spinney is unavailable. He also played Big Bird's infant self, Baby Big Bird in the Sesame Beginnings DVD series. Overtime, Vogel has also accumulated his own recurring characters on Sesame Street, including Herb the dinosaur and Hansel.

Vogel's early Muppet credits include work, assisting or in supporting roles, on Big Bag, Bear in the Big Blue House, Sesame English, and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, as well as various pigeons in the Creature Shop film The Producers. Works outside the Henson fold include the video series MATHmatazz, Jack's Big Music Show, The Puzzle Place, the HBO drama Oz, Oobi, Blue's Room, and Between the Lions.

In theater, Vogel has acted in regional productions of various plays, including The Foreigner and Six Degrees of Sparation, and was involved in the 2003-2004 Broadway run of Little Shop of Horrors, manipulating Audrey II and playing various bums and Skid Row residents (alongside Martin P. Robinson and Anthony Asbury).

In addition to puppeteering, Vogel's interest in music is made evident by his non-Sesame role as front man for the band, The Mighty Weaklings released a CD of songs "for kids--and grown-ups" called You Can't Rock Sittin' Down in June of 2008 after appearing in the video for their song "Rocket Ship" on Jack's Big Music Show. With Joey Mazzarino, Vogel co-owns Pratfall Productions, which produced the film-noir puppet spoof Murder, He Squeaked and various inserts for Sesame Street, "Sesame Street" videos and Nick Jr.'s Curious Buddies. Vogel also serves as director for Sesame Street beginning with Season 39 and the recurring segment, "Murray Has a Little Lamb."[2]

Performances as Big Bird

In addition to the Journey to Ernie segments, Matt has also played Big Bird in many scenes and segments including:

Credits

Non-Henson Credits

  • Oz - Pecky
  • Between the Lions - Rumplestiltskin, Derek Cheetah, Monkey Ad Executive (Jeff Kidding), various characters
  • Jack's Big Music Show - Leonard the Squirrel, MC Turtle, The Squirrels, etc.
  • Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map - Fred Jones (Frank Welker served as Fred's voice)

Trivia

  • When Matt Vogel was introduced to Spinney at his first 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."

Sources

  1. Tough Pigs - A Chat with Jerry Nelson, part 1
  2. Season 40 Press Kit.

External links

Start a Discussion Discussions about Matt Vogel

  • Count von Count - Performer box update

    7 messages
    • Four yays are good enough for me ;) I'll go ahead and add. The Casting History probably isn't needed now anyway. The performer note can be mo...
    • Yeah, I think it's important to keep the info about when the changeover happened.

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