He originated the roles of Nicky, Trekkie Monster, and Blue Bad Idea Bear in Avenue Q, a Broadway play for which he designed and created the puppets. In fall 2005, he reprised his roles in the production of the show in Las Vegas. He also worked with Nickelodeon on the Stick Stickly project. He was the chief puppeteer for the first season of Comedy Central's television program Crank Yankers.
All of a sudden, Kermit the Frog was twenty feet away from you. It was like having Frank Sinatra in the room. Even though Rick was right there with the puppet sitting on his lap, all anyone could watch was Kermit. Most people never get that experience unless you go backstage at Sesame Street and see the puppeteers do it live in front of you.
- Bobby Lopez
Rick was absolutely brilliant. When he put the puppet on his arm and brought it to life, you completely believed that Kermit was alive. Everyone was just captivated. We had never seen anything like it. He made our song better than it was. He took it to a level that was beyond what we had dreamed of. And we said, "We've got to work with this guy again. Because this is a magical combination."