In reply to: Original Big Bird, Caroll Spinney, Leaves âSesame Streetâ After Nearly 50 Years - The New York Times
[…]Spinney said, he was originally asked to play as “a funny, dumb country yokel.”
After a few episodes, Spinney made a suggestion to the show’s producers. “I said, I think I should play him like he’s a child, a surrogate,” he recalled. “He can be all the things that children are. He can learn with the kids.”
That had a lasting effect on Big Bird and on “Sesame Street,” where the character came to embody the tender, nurturing soul of the show.