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Eric Jacobson
Jacobson at San Diego Comic-Con in 2015
Years active1994–present
SpouseMary Jacobson

Eric Jacobson is an American puppeteer. He is best known for his involvement with the Muppets, performing Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and Sam Eagle for The Muppets Studio, as well as Sesame Street characters Bert, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, and Guy Smiley—all roles that he inherited from the characters' original performers, Frank Oz, Caroll Spinney, and Jim Henson.[1][2]

Since 1994, Jacobson has been a regular performer for Sesame Street, where he has received Daytime Emmy Award and Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Since 2001, Jacobson has appeared as part of the Muppets cast in several feature films and television series, including The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, the ABC primetime television series, The Muppets, and the Disney+ series, The Muppets Mayhem.


Eric Jacobson, a native of Fort Worth, was inspired to enter the field of puppeteering after the death of Jim Henson while he was attending film school.[3] Jacobson initially began his career as a puppeteer on Sesame Street in 1994, where he worked alongside Frank Oz, often performing the roles of Grover and Bert when Oz wasn't available.[4][5] After Oz retired from the roles, Jacobson became the characters' primary performer.[5] He also took on Guy Smiley, a role previously performed by Henson.[6] Jacobson also began performing Oscar the Grouch after Caroll Spinney's retirement in 2018.[2] For his work on Sesame Street, Jacobson has been nominated for both a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in Children's Programming and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance in 2011 and 2019, respectively.[7][4]

Similarly for the Muppets, Jacobson began performing Miss Piggy in 2001.[1][8] The following year, he began performing Fozzie Bear and Animal, debuting in those roles in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie. He also began performing Sam Eagle beginning in The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005). All the aforementioned characters were also previously performed by Oz, whom Jacobson consulted with to accurately portray the proper characterization, physicality, and voice for the characters.[5]

In 2001, the same year that he worked on The Book of Pooh, where he performed as Piglet and Kanga, he also began playing Miss Piggy, debuting at the "Muppetfest" convention.[8]

Other works

Jacobson performed Harry the Duck and other characters on Bear in the Big Blue House.

Outside of Henson, Jacobson has worked on The Puzzle Place, Jack's Big Music Show, and Disney's The Book of Pooh (plus a TV show called Once Upon a Tree, in which he performed Billy Bob the Bobcat). He also has performed on stage performing live puppet theater in New York City with The Puppet Company, The Cosmic Bicycle Theater, and The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park.

In 2013, Jacobson served as puppeteer for Shaggy Rogers (with Matthew Lillard serving as Shaggy's voice) for the DVD movie Scooby Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map.

Guest appearances

Jacobson performed Miss Piggy for appearances on Rove Live, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Tony Danza Show, Good Morning America,[citation needed] This Morning, WWE Raw, Take Two with Phineas and Ferb, Good Luck Charlie, WWE Tribute to the Troops, and also performed Miss Piggy for an appearance in an episode of the Disney Channel Original Series So Random!.

Jacobson performed Grover during appearances on Good Morning Australia, Rove Live, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[citation needed] He performed Fozzie Bear during appearances on Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, @midnight, and Big City Greens (voice role as the character of Dr. Enamel). Jacobson performed Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Animal for an appearance on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.[9] Jacobson performed Bert for the character’s appearance in the Between the Lions' second season episode "Tweet! Tweet!".

Personal life

Jacobson is married to Mary Jacobson, who works as a production assistant on Sesame Street.[5] His daughter's godfather also works on the show.[5]


Year Production Role Other notes
1994–present Sesame Street Bert (1997 – present), Grover (1998 – present), Guy Smiley (2005 – present), Oscar the Grouch (2015 – present) Performer
1995–1998 The Puzzle Place Leon MacNeal, Blue Piece Police Season 3 (puppetry only)
1996–1998 Once Upon a Tree Billy-Bob the Bobcat Performer
1997–2006 Bear in the Big Blue House Harry the Duck, Tucker Tutter
2001–2003 The Book of Pooh Piglet Performer (puppetry only)
2002 It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Yoda Performer
2005 The Muppets' Wizard of Oz Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle
Jack's Big Music Show Little Bad Wolf, Phil the Coo-Coo Bird
2006–2011 Pinky Dinky Doo Additional voices
2007–2008 Bunnytown Super Bunny Performer
2008 A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle
Studio DC: Almost Live
2008–2009 Muppet YouTube Shorts
2010 The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear Performer
Disney's Honorary VoluntEars Cavalcade Miss Piggy Voice, theme park parade
2011 So Random! Performer, Episode: "Miss Piggy"
The Muppets Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle, Marvin Suggs Performer
Take Two with Phineas and Ferb Miss Piggy Performer, Episode "Miss Piggy"
2013 Good Luck Charlie Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal Performer, Episode: "Duncan Dream House"
Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map Shaggy Rogers Performer (puppetry only)
2014 Nerdy Nummies Miss Piggy Performer
Muppets Most Wanted Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam Eagle, Animal
2015 Muppet Moments
2015–2016 The Muppets
2016–2019 The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam Eagle Voices, theme park show
2017 The Muppets Take the Bowl[10] Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle, Newsman Performer, live show at the Hollywood Bowl, Sept. 8–10
2018 The Muppets Take the O2[10] Performer, live show at the UK, Jul. 13–14
2019 Big City Greens Dr. Enamel Voice role, Episode: "Hurty Tooth"
Credited as Fozzie Bear with Jacobson credited as Fozzie Bear's "personal handyman"
Muppet Babies Play Date Miss Piggy (baby), Fozzie Bear (baby), Animal (baby) Performer (puppetry only)
2020 The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo[11] Bert, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, Two-Headed Monster (left head) Performer
Muppets Now Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Sam Eagle, Animal
2021 Muppets Haunted Mansion Performer, Halloween special for Disney+
The Muppets' Christmas Caroling Coach[12] Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Sam Eagle Voices, theme park show at Disneyland during Disney Merriest Nights
2023 The Muppets Mayhem Animal Performer

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result Refs
2023 Children's and Family Emmy Awards Outstanding Puppeteer Performance The Muppets Mayhem Nominated [13]
Sesame Street Nominated


  1. ^ a b Setoodeh, Ramin (March 11, 2014). "How Kermit and the Muppets Got Their Mojo Back". Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Cordero, Rosy (December 8, 2019). "Sesame Street legend Caroll Spinney, who played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, dies at 85". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  3. ^ "A Conversation with characters from Sesame Street live from NerdHQ 2014". Nerd HQ. July 26, 2014. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Schaffstall, Katherine (August 30, 2019). "Emmys: 46 of This Year's First-Time Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e Spitznagel, Eric (September 30, 2011). "Sesame Street puppeteer Eric Jacobson reveals shocking news that Sesame Street is not a real place". Vanity Fair. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  6. ^ Hipes, Patrick (October 17, 2018). "Caroll Spinney, 'Sesame Street's Big Bird For 50 Years, Is Retiring". Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  7. ^ "Sesame Street's Big Bird puppeteer retires". October 17, 2018. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Lloyd, Robert (May 16, 2015). "If Harry Shearer leaves 'The Simpsons,' what will happen? Just ask Bugs Bunny". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  9. ^ "New Muppet Stuff -- Extreme Makeover: Home Edition".
  10. ^ a b Itzkoff, Dave (July 28, 2020). "It's Time to Re-Re-Re-Meet the Muppets". The New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  11. ^ Adams, Erik (May 19, 2020). "The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo is the next best thing to a streaming Muppet Show". The AV Club. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  12. ^ "Video: The Muppet Christmas Caroling Coach Debuts at Disney Merriest Nites". November 11, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
  13. ^ Coates, Tyler (November 2, 2023). "Children's & Family Emmy Awards: Disney Dominates Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 7, 2023.
Preceded byFrank Oz Performer of Bert 1997 – present Succeeded byNone Preceded byFrank Oz Performer of Grover 1998 – present Succeeded byNone Preceded byFrank Oz Performer of Miss Piggy 2001 – present Succeeded byNone Preceded byFrank Oz Performer of Fozzie Bear 2002 – present Succeeded byNone Preceded byFrank Oz Performer of Animal 2002 – present Succeeded byNone Preceded byKevin Clash Performer of Sam Eagle 2005 – present Succeeded byNone Preceded byDon Reardon Performer of Guy Smiley 2005 – present Succeeded byNone Preceded byFrank Oz Performer of Marvin Suggs 2011 – present Succeeded byNone Preceded byJoey Mazzarino Performer of Two-Headed Monster (left head) 2016 – present Succeeded byNone Preceded byCaroll Spinney Performer of Oscar the Grouch 2015 – present Succeeded byNone Preceded bySteve Whitmire Performer of The Muppet Newsman 2017 – present Succeeded byNone Preceded byMatt Vogel Performer of Harvey Kneeslapper 2019 – present Succeeded byNone