Skip to comments.Don't tell Mitt! The actor who brought Big Bird to life makes $314,000 a year
Posted on 10/11/2012 12:47:43 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
It looks like Mitt Romney was on to something when he promised to fire Big Bird during his first presidential debate: Big Bird makes big bucks!
Tax returns from PBS's Sesame Workshop show that the television show shelled out at least $314,072 for the actor behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.
That makes Caroll Spinney, who has played everyone's favorite yellow-feathered friend since 1969, a true blue member of the One Percent.
But Mr Spinney isn't even the highest paid member of the puppetry staff. Jospeh Mazzarino, who plays Murray, Stinky the Stinkweed, the Two-Headed Monster, Papa Bear and directs some episodes, makes a cool half a million.
The other characters make around on average between $300,000 and $450,000 per year in salary.
The Sesame salary scandal broke when Mitt Romney pledged to cut funding to PBS.
'I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird,' the candidate said.
'But I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.'
The comment quickly went viral, with thousands sharing their dismay that the Republican would axe their childhood pal...
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
There are actors on General Hospital that have to scrap by with $70k a year, and this Big Bird character pulls in this much? Something is not right here.
I have to scrape by on $550 a month. Tell me about it.
Can't stand Big Bird. Barney is gross. Also dislike Cat in the Hat etc.
When my kids were little we had real people like Miss Rita and Mr. Rogers.
Pretend characters were part of the "fiction" world.
Job Ad: Needed. One individual willing to wear a stupid bird outfit for four hours a day, and read a script written for three-year old kids. You must act dorky, flap your feathers occasionally, and show up promptly at nine each morning for taping. Taping will end promptly at three in the afternoon...no overtime. Payscale? Minimum of $5k a week. No cursing or drinking allowed on the set.
"As God as my witness I thought Big Bird could fly."
Big bird could afford a pretty spiffy nest making that kind of money.
If you’re going to walk into my office, the least you could do is come through the imagery door. Rather than step across the tape on the floor which symbolize my walls.
Maybe not Mitt- or Ryan, but somebody ought to be hammering this into the ground & breaking it off. And shouldn’t there be a list of contributions (& contributors) somewhere, it being “public” broadcasting & all?
Does anyone know just how much money SS takes in from all of its merchandising? And does SS pay anything to PBS to have its program aired?
There’s also the issue of Bill Moyers and his many programs. I believe I read a couple of years ago that Moyers makes millions on his books, CD/DVD’s of his programs but doesn’t pay PBS anything to have them aired. It’s like free promotion/advertising for his products.
I found one article from “Education News” that found Sesame Street earned $134 Million in 2010.
I still haven’t found any information on whether Sesame Street has to pay any fee to PBS to have its program aired.
Today Sezme Street is brought to us by the letter “U” as in “U gonna pay Up!” and the letter “P” as in “Pony” since you’ve paid for one but can’t have it.
Big Burd thanks “U”!
IIRC, the guy who does little Elmo is a 6’ +, 300lb black guy
That’s a good question (re both Sesame Street & Bill Moyers), unbiased truth, & I’ve never seen it asked or addressed.
I’ll snoop around & I’ll bet other FRiends will, too- maybe we’ll come up with some answers/ information to share.
It makes me wonder about others showcased by PBS/ NPR. I actually have one of Rick Steve’s books (Europe Through The Back Door).
I wanna grow to be big bird!
I agree with Homer Simpson when he said, “the rich mosaic of cable programming has made public television so very, very unnecessary.”
Interesting info out there for anyone who is interested (No. I can’t believe we’re talking about Big Bird instead of actual hell-in-a-handbasket crises in the *real world*, either. But here we are & we are dealing with overgrown children, after all).
excerpt from Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Annual Report. Note that they receive their govt funding from the Dept of Education (I didn’t know this)
The financials look, to me, to be stale (09/ 2010) & vague, but maybe that’s how they’re done. (wish I could highlight parts of this)
The Corporations receivables consist primarily of returned grants, accrued interest and receivables from the U.S. Department of Education. The specific identification method is used to determine the uncollectible amounts. The Corporation records an allowance for doubtful accounts on its outstanding receivables based on specific identification of uncollectible accounts. Allowance for doubtful accounts as of September 30, 2010 and 2009 was $76,276.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (the Corporation) is a District of Columbia not-for-profit corporation authorized to receive federal appropriations under Title II of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, as amended. The Corporation is recognized as exempt from income taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, except on activities unrelated to its exempt purpose. In addition, the Corporation is an organization that is not a private foundation as defined in Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The primary source of funding to the Corporation is the federal government. Congress has approved future annual funding to the Corporation through fiscal year 2012. Annual funding for 2012 and 2011 amounts to $445,000,000 and $430,000,000, respectively.
Basis of Combination
The combined financial statements are presented on an accrual basis and include the accounts of Literary Classics, Inc., a District of Columbia not-for-profit corporation exempt from income taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which was created in fiscal year 2003 to act as the custodian for certain classic films valuable to the public broadcasting industry. Combined financial statements are presented because of the common control of the Corporation and Literary Classics, Inc. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in the combination.
Basis of Presentation
The revenues, expenses, gains and losses and net assets of the Corporation are classified based on the existence or absence of donor-imposed restrictions. Accordingly, the net assets of the Corporation and changes therein are classified and reported as follows:
Unrestricted Net AssetsNet assets that are not subject to any donor-imposed stipulations. Unre- stricted designated net assets represent Board-approved funds for specific purposes.
Temporarily Restricted Net AssetsNet assets subject to donor-imposed stipulations on the use of the assets that may be met either by the Corporations actions and/or the passage of time. There were no temporarily restricted net assets at September 30, 2010 and 2009.
Permanently Restricted Net AssetsNet assets subject to donor-imposed stipulations that the principal be maintained permanently by the Corporation but permit the use of the investment earnings for general or specific purposes. There were no permanently restricted net assets at September 30, 2010 and 2009.”
Here is Breitbart’s piece on it
some information regarding SS’s “extensive merchandising”, but it avoids the financial aspect.
It’s probably not inconceivable that CPB funding is similar to stuff like Solyndra, where some of the money goes back into the politician’s pockets/ campaigns.
You know, I have no problem with Spinney demanding this much for his work after doing it for, what, 40 years. PBS *paying* him that much is a different matter, of course. (I won’t comment on the others because I don’t know anything about their resumes.)
I guess the man knows how to market himself.
Big Bird needs to protect his nest egg in the Canary Islands.