Sanford performed for Sesame Street Live from 1980-1986. For the first two years, he performed in VEE's premiere show, A Sesame Street Mystery: The Case of the Missing Rara Avis; he played Victor the green Seedy Bird, and was the Big Bird understudy. When the tour ended in Puerto Rico, he flew to Portland, Oregon to replace an injured performer in a show in progress, Big Bird's Super Spectacular Totally Amateur Show.
After that tour ended, he joined the cast of Around the World, in the roles of Big Bird, Herry Monster, and Pink Honker.
Separate from the Sesame Street Live tour, Sanford was cast as a puppeteer for the massive Muppets Take Manhattan wedding sequence.