Kicker: Big Bird’s retirement

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Sesame Street’s Big Bird is retiring after almost a half century.

Well, not the character Big Bird, but the familiar voice of Big Bird. Caroll Spinney announced this week he’s retiring at age 84. He joined Sesame Street back in 1969. He says the time has come to hand Big Bird—and Oscar the Grouch—over to someone who’s not 84.

AUDIO: Hello Big Bird! Oh hi Gordon. How are you? I want you to meet Sally. Oh sure, hi Sally!

REICHARD: Spinney found great meaning in his work. He stopped wearing the Big Bird costume a few years ago when it became too physically demanding for him. He kept up the voicing parts, though. He made sure his apprentice, Matt Vogel, was ready to take over when the time came. Well, it’s come.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) In this April 10, 2008, file photo Lynn Finkel, stage manager for “Sesame Street” slates a taping with Big Bird in New York.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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