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Question about Muppeteer Understudy Actors

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by Ethan Menaker, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. Ethan Menaker

    Ethan Menaker Active Member

    I also stumbled across this article from the Muppet Mindset; https://muppetmindset.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/interview-with-muppeteer-gabriel-velez/. It listed who auditioned at Disney to understudy for each of the main muppet characters
    Kermit-Artie Esposito, John Kennedy, Drew Massey, Gabriel Velez
    Miss Piggy-Michael Lisa, Tony Whitten
    Fozzie-Gabriel Velez, Victor Yerrid, David Stephens
    Gonzo-Brett O'Quinn (also did Bunsen Honeydew)
    And Mo Frackle, you are probably right that Gonzo will go to Brett over Drew.

    I've also wondered why on Robot Chicken that Drew Massey did Fozzie when Victor Yerrid (working with him on Robot Chicken) Fozzie on Muppets Ahoy!, while Victor got Kermit, which Drew had auditioned for. I'm guessing Victor got Piggy on Muppets Ahoy! even though he never auditioned was to keep the number of puppeteers at a minimum.
  2. Ethan Menaker

    Ethan Menaker Active Member

    I've also pondered as to why Ryan Dillon got Elmo over more established puppeteers such as John Tartaglia (who an old forum listed as the understudy) and Peter Linz (who had voiced Elmo on a theme park ride).
    Do you think when a character is fully recast that a completely new audition is held and that the official understudy has to audition to keep their job?
  3. Ethan Menaker

    Ethan Menaker Active Member

    David Stephens sounds like he fits in the Frank Oz/ Eric Jacobson vocal range as well;
  4. Ethan Menaker

    Ethan Menaker Active Member

  5. MuppetSpot

    MuppetSpot Well-Known Member

    Maybe Gabriel V. will perform Bert.
  6. Ethan Menaker

    Ethan Menaker Active Member

    I've also heard Michael Lisa's Creature Clones business is a rip-off, but he seems like a VERY talented actor
  7. Ethan Menaker

    Ethan Menaker Active Member

    Revisiting this a year later. Does anyone have any new speculations as to who the understudies might be? Also, does Carroll even voice Big Bird or Oscar anymore? (I know Matt performs them)
  8. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Caroll no longer puppeteers, but he still does the voices, while Matt does the puppeteering for Big Bird, and Eric Jabson does the puppeteering for Oscar.
    Zappetman likes this.
  9. BEAR 2

    BEAR 2 Well-Known Member

    I was thinking the same. It makes a lot of sense. In that recent Sesame Street panel event with Carroll and a few of the human cast members, he didn't look to good health wise. I thought, how could he still perform Big Bird. He always said he would keep doing it until he can't hold up the head anymore. He also seemed a bit disconnected from the rest of the panel...made me worried. It's nice to know he is still able to do the voice for them. I'm still not quite used to Vogel's BB voice. He's not bad, and his voice will be great moving on as he sounds like a slightly older Bird, which is great because I always felt like once Elmo came on the scene, BB represented the "big brother" role.

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