It's the end of an era for Sesame Street. The man behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since the very beginning is stepping down. Since 1969, puppeteer Caroll Spinney's been the voice - and for a while, the body - of Big Bird. He would later agree to voice the character of Oscar the Grouch.

But now Spinney is 84 and says it's time to step away from the job. Though he stopped climbing inside the Big Bird costume a while ago, he says in recent years the performances have been getting more and more difficult.

Spinney was originally chosen to play the part of Big Bird by Muppet mastermind Jim Henson. It would be a few years later when Henson would ask him to move into the world's most famous trash can and become the voice of Oscar the Grouch.

And thanks to Carroll Spinney, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch over the years have become cultural phenomenons and two of the most well-known children's characters in the world. Thanks for all the great memories, Mr. Spinney. You will be missed.

Source: Associated Press

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