Frank Oz is 70, tomorrow

frank_ozMiss Piggy and Fozzie Bear on The Muppet Show. Cookie Monster, Bert, and Grover in Sesame Street. Thee were all creatures performed and co-created by Frank Oz, born Frank Richard Oznowicz. He has also performed Sam Eagle and Animal on the Muppet Show, and Yoda in the Star Wars movies.

Sesame Street, which I was too old to watch, but I did anyway; the various Muppet TV shows and movies; and the original Star Wars trilogy have brought me hours of joy.

I’ve indicated my favorite Muppets recently, all originally voiced by the late Jim Henson. But what would Ernie be without Bert? The Pig has added new dimensions to Kermit’s personality. Henson and Oz were almost each other’s alter egos.

Oz directed a few films that I’ve watched and mostly enjoyed, including The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), What About Bob? (1991), Housesitter (1992), and In & Out (1997).

Yoda-speak is so distinctive that there is a Yoda-Speak Generator. Actually, more than one. People actually study Yoda’s peculiar subject-verb-object order that Oz captured so well.

There are tons of videos of Frank Oz doing these characters. I picked these two:
Frank Oz at work with Miss Piggy, Roger Moore and Jim Henson
Peter Gzowski sits down with Frank Oz and Cookie Monster

I also liked hearing from the real Frank Oz.
A Conversation with Frank Oz Pt. 1, which stats with a video montage
Frank Oz speaks at the Jim Henson Memorial

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