Hey, parents: Have you watched countless hours of Sesame Street and/or Muppet movies with your child? If you’re anything like me, your mind begins to wander a bit as you’re enjoying the 23rd consecutive viewing of the one where Zoe’s tutu flies up in the tree. Because I’m curious about how things work, my mind tends to wander towards the how of both the show(s) and the movies, specifically the world of puppetry, which I find pretty fascinating. To me it’s one of those things that is way under-appreciated, especially considering how much happiness it brings to our children.
For example: have you ever thought about how Big Bird is brought to life by a pupeteer? Think about it for a sec. Is there somebody inside of him? Okay- that sounds like an easy answer. But, keep in mind he’s 8 feet tall. So is Carroll Spinney just a really tall guy? I doubt it- I’d like to believe there’s a bit more magic at work.
Enter the relentless power of the web and the people who make it. Today, a few of my long-standing questions- including how Big Bird is played, and trust me, the answer will surprise you- were answered thanks to The Muppet Wiki, a huge collection of information, trivia, and insider info on all things Muppet, from Big Bird to Kermit to over 1,000 other characters of varying acclaim. Besides providing great historical insight into the creation and development of the Muppets, the site has quite a few really interesting nuggets that I think might interest parents, and their kids, who consider Jim Henson’s world a great and really interesting place.