Big Bird by the Bucks

A bird’s eye view of our Feathered Friend’s financials.

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For more than 50 years everyone’s favourite feathered friend has been Sesame Street’s more recognizable face/beak. But how is Big Bird doing financially, as a bird in the big city? Wealthie looks at the numbers:

$160,000: The cost of the Big Bird suit, an eight foot, video-enabled vessel covered in more than 6000 turkey tail feathers.

$314,072: The reported annual salary of puppeteer, Carol Spinney, who originated Big Bird in 1969 and played the character until his retirement in 2018. Today, Sesame Street’s friendliest fowl is played by Matt Vogel, who apprenticed under Spinney to get Big Bird’s mannerisms to really take flight. 

$1: Amount earned by Big Bird for his first ever job, helping Mr. Handford stack newspapers before the morning rush. The episode aired in 1995, which means Big Bird would have made $1.80 in today’s dollars. (It’s not a lot, but hey, he’s only six and a half. Also, we’ll explain “inflation” in another piece!)

$3,599,000: Cost of a brownstone in East Harlem, the neighbourhood where the fictional strip of Sesame Street, including Big Bird’s nest, is said to be located.  

$180,000,000: The amount that Sesame Workshop (the company that owns Sesame Street) paid to the estate of Big Bird creator, Jim Henson, for the rights to all Muppets.    

$600,000: Approximate production budget for each episode of Sesame Street.

Thoughts on getting a jump on your financial health:

Early bird gets the worm. But cookie taste better than worm. So me sleep in. 

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