When Matt Vogel was introduced to Spinney at his first audition for the part of Big Bird, the latter remarked, "Vogel is German for Bird. That's a good sign." The word "vogel" is Dutch for bird as well. The protective slippers Vogel wears over Big Bird's feet when he's not on set are labeled, respectively, "Vogel" and "Füsse," meaning "bird" and "feet," or read together "bird's feet." Vogel is left-handed, but puppeteers with his right hand.
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ABOUT MATT VOGEL: Matt Vogel is one of the core Disney Muppet Performers and plays Kermit the Frog, Sgt. Floyd Pepper, Uncle Deadly, Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Camilla, Sweetums, Pops, and Constantine. He is one of the Sesame Street Muppet Performers and plays Big Bird, The Count, Mr. Johnson, and others.
On Sesame Street, Vogel is the performer of Big Bird, Count von Count and Mr. Johnson as well as Biff, Herb the Dinosaur, Hansel, Forgetful Jones, Sherlock Hemlock and one of the Yip-Yip Martians. He also performs Alex, a Muppet whose father is in jail, for the Sesame Street in Communities initiative page on incarceration. 
- Puppeteer, director
Oct 13, 2016 · When Matt Vogel was first introduced to Caroll Spinney, who originally played Big Bird, Spinney said,”‘Vogel’? That’s ‘bird’ in German. This may be the job for you!” Here Matt describes what it’s...
Feb 06, 2019 · Today, 23 years later, Vogel, now 48, doesn't animate just any Muppet — he's the man inside the Muppet, taking over the role and voice of Big Bird from longtime puppeteer Caroll Spinney after he...
- Benjamin Svetkey
Jul 31, 2020 · In 2016, Vogel voiced Floyd Pepper, Uncle Deadly, Robin, Crazy Harry, Lew Zealand, and others for The Muppets TV series of 2015-2016. But Vogel’s voice may sound especially familiar to you because...
Big Bird. Matt Vogel became Caroll Spinney's understudy for Big Bird in 1997. In most cases before Season 48, Vogel would manipulate the puppet to Spinney's vocals (either pre-recorded, dubbed in post-production, or provided live on set); however, there have been several appearances and performances where Vogel has provided the vocals for Big Bird as well, most notably in the Journey to Ernie segments that ran from 2002 to 2005.
Appropriately enough, as he's the current performer of Big Bird, his surname means "bird" in German.
***I DO NOT OWN ANY OF THE FOOTAGE USED IN THIS VIDEO***Comparing the voices of Caroll Spinney's and Matt Vogel's Big Bird character
- 5 min
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