Joey Mazzarino

Joseph Mazzarino (born June 4, 1968) is an American actor, puppeteer, writer and director. He is best known for his roles on Sesame Street as Murray Monster, Stinky the Stinkweed and other Muppets,[1] and being Head Writer and Director on Sesame Street, winning 22 Emmy Awards for his work.

Joey Mazzarino
Joseph Mazzarino

(1968-06-04) June 4, 1968 (age 53)
New York City, New York, U.S.
  • Actor
  • puppeteer
  • writer
  • director
Years active1986–present
Spouse(s)Kerry Butler


Former Muppet performer Camille Bonora influenced Mazzarino when she taught an improvisation class at his university, and eventually introduced him to Jim Henson. Mazzarino later became the head writer for Sesame Street and also worked on The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Muppets from Space, and Kermit's Swamp Years.[2]

When Mazzarino auditioned for Sesame Street, he wrote a sketch called "Colambo" and soon found himself cast in the title role. Since then, he had been a prominent member of the Sesame Street cast where he performed Horatio the Elephant, Ingrid, Murray Monster, Papa Bear, Stinky the Stinkweed, and various characters until 2015, when he resigned.

Mazzarino spent the past few years as a writer/producer on the Showtime original series Kidding starring Jim Carrey. He directed all 13 episodes of the Julie Andrews’ Netflix series Julie’s Greenroom, where he also served as a writer. Mazzarino spent over 20 years on Sesame Street in multiple roles: Head Writer, Director, Lyricist and Muppet performer. He received 25 Emmy Awards for his work in multiple categories (Outstanding Original Song, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series).

Mazzarino is currently writing on a new PBS series from the Fred Rogers Company entitled Donkey Hodie and is about to begin his third season as a writer for the PBS animated series Nature Cat.

Personal lifeEdit

Mazzarino is married to actress Kerry Butler.[3] They have two adopted daughters, one named Segi for whom he wrote the Sesame Street song "I Love My Hair". The Muppet who sang the song was also named Segi.[4]




Crew workEdit

Awards and nominationsEdit

  • Writer's Guild of America Award


  1. ^ "Interview With Sesame Street Head Writer Joey Mazzarino". April 5, 2015.
  2. ^ Hennes, Joe (February 23, 2009). "A Chat with Joey Mazzarino, part 1". Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  3. ^ Butler, Kerry (September 24, 2007). "Kerry Butler". Broadway Buzz (Interview). Interviewed by Kathy Henderson – via
  4. ^ "'I Love My Hair': A Father's Tribute To His Daughter". NPR. October 18, 2010.
  5. ^ "WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR 2009 WRITERS GUILD AWARDS | Press Room". Writers Guild of America, East. February 8, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  6. ^ "Awards / History / 2014". Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  7. ^ "Awards / History / 2015". Retrieved January 14, 2021.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Performer of Papa Bear
1992 - 2015
Succeeded by
Preceded by Performer of Two-Headed Monster (left head)
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Performer of Murray Monster
2005 - present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Performer of Horatio the Elephant
Succeeded by