Guests keep getting added to the celebrity lineup for this year’s Tampa Bay Comic Con. But for your inner preschooler, they won’t get any bigger than this.
Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who played Big Bird on Sesame Street from the show’s inception in 1969 until 2018, will appear at this year’s convention in August, signing autographs, posing for photos, and generally making guests in his presence cry tears of joy.
Spinney, 85, joins a guest lineup that already included Hellboy and Sons of Anarchy star Ron Perlman, the Harry Potter film series’ Ginny Weasley actress Bonnie Wright, and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ Pink Ranger Amy Jo Johnson. Other recent additions to the guest list include Shazam’s Asher Angel, The Office’s Creed Bratton, Firefly’s Adam Baldwin, Teen Wolf’s Dylan Sprayberry, Reno 911 and Rocko’s Modern Life’s Carlos Alazraqui and Batman: The Animated Series’ Kevin Conroy.
But for all-time pop cultural relevance, it’s hard to get any bigger than Big Bird himself. Designed by Jim Henson, the character embodied by Spinney became arguably the most iconic children’s television character in the world, starring in films and helping generations of kids learn to do, well, just about anything. Spinney also performed the character of Oscar the Grouch, and in 2006 received a lifetime achievement award from the Daytime Emmys. Considering all that, getting a $30 autograph or $20 op with Spinney is practically a steal.
Tampa Bay Comic Con runs Aug. 2-4 at the Tampa Convention Center. Tickets are $30 and up per day or $60 for the weekend. Kids 12 and under get in free.
Contact Jay Cridlin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.