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Eric Jacobson is an American puppeteer, best known for 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.
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, and the ABC primetime television series, The Muppets.
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. 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. After Oz retired from the roles, Jacobson became the characters' primary performer. He also took on Guy Smiley, a role previously performed by Henson. Jacobson also began performing Oscar the Grouch after Caroll Spinney's retirement in 2018. 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.
Similarly for the Muppets, Jacobson began performing Miss Piggy in 2001. 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.
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.
Jacobson performed Miss Piggy for appearances on Rove Live, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Tony Danza Show, Good Morning America, 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!. 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. Jacobson performed Bert for the character’s appearance in the Between the Lions' second season episode "Tweet! Tweet!".
|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||Performer|
|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||Performer|
|2005||Jack's Big Music Show||The Little Bad Wolf, Phil the Coo-Coo Bird||Performer|
|2006–2011||Pinky Dinky Doo||Additional voices|
|2008||A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa||Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle||Performer|
|2008||Studio DC: Almost Live||Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle||Performer|
|2008–2009||Muppet YouTube Shorts||Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle||Performer|
|2010||Disney's Honorary VoluntEars Cavalcade||Miss Piggy||Voice, theme park parade|
|2010||The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora||Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear||Performer|
|2011||So Random!||Miss Piggy||Performer, Episode: "Miss Piggy"|
|The Muppets||Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle, Marvin Suggs||Performer|
|2013||Good Luck Charlie||Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal||Performer, Episode: "Duncan Dream House"|
|2013||Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map||Shaggy Rogers||Performer (puppetry only)|
|2014||Muppets Most Wanted||Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam Eagle, Animal||Performer|
|Nerdy Nummies||Miss Piggy||Performer|
|2015||Muppet Moments||Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam Eagle, Animal||Performer|
|2015–2016||The Muppets||Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle||Performer|
|2016–2019||The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History||Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam Eagle||Voice, theme park show|
|2017||The Muppets Take the Bowl||Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle, Newsman||Performer, live show at the Hollywood Bowl, Sept. 8–10|
|2018||The Muppets Take the O2||Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle, Newsman||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||Bert, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, Two-Headed Monster (left head)||Performer|
|Muppets Now||Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Sam Eagle, Animal||Performer|
- Setoodeh, Ramin (March 11, 2014). "How Kermit and the Muppets Got Their Mojo Back". Variety. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- 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.
- "A Conversation with characters from Sesame Street live from NerdHQ 2014". YouTube.com. Nerd HQ. July 26, 2014. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
- Schaffstall, Katherine (August 30, 2019). "Emmys: 46 of This Year's First-Time Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
- 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.
- Hipes, Patrick (October 17, 2018). "Caroll Spinney, 'Sesame Street's Big Bird For 50 Years, Is Retiring". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
- "Sesame Street's Big Bird puppeteer retires". bbc.com. October 17, 2018. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
- 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.
- "New Muppet Stuff -- Extreme Makeover: Home Edition".
- Itzkoff, Dave (July 28, 2020). "It's Time to Re-Re-Re-Meet the Muppets". The New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
- 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.