The man under the feathers has done a lot lately.
From releasing a documentary about his iconic role as Big Bird, to making this AH-mazing Birdman parody, to teaming up with Michelle Obama and Billy Eichner, Caroll Spinney works his tail off just to make kids smile on the daily.
But when he hosted an ‘ask me anything’ on Reddit Thursday, he revealed there was one child in particular whose smile stands out.
The Sesame Street star was asked about his ‘most meaningful interaction’ with a young viewer, and the story he told made us tear up.
He had gotten a letter from a man who had a five-year-old son named Joey, who was very sick with cancer and knew he was dying. All Joey wanted was a phone call from his feathered friend. Big Bird was the only thing that could cheer him up, but he wasn’t always in every episode of the children’s show.
So Caroll dialed the phone and, as Big Bird, talked to the boy for about ten minutes. He told the Reddit readers Joey’s final words to him:
“He said, ‘Thank you for calling me Big Bird. You’re my friend. You make me happy.'”
The puppeteer then learned in a thank-you note from the child’s dad that after hanging up with Big Bird, Joey smiled and said:
“Big Bird called me! He’s my friend.”
And then, sadly, he passed away.
But Joey’s parents said that he hadn’t smiled in months, so they explained it was a ‘gift’ for their son to pass away with a grin on his face.
Caroll went on to say:
“We’re not trying to fool them, we’re just trying to entertain them, and let them know that their friend Big Bird is not just a man in a giant suit.”
He definitely succeeded.
[Image via WENN.]