Tyler James Williams recalls shock of seeing Big Bird without his head while working on “Sesame Street” as a kid

Tyler James Williams recalls shock of seeing Big Bird without his head while working on “Sesame Street” as a kid
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“He just had the legs on.”

Warning: the following article may shatter your sense of reality. Proceed at your own risk.

Tyler James Williams is reflecting on a disturbing childhood memory: seeing Big Bird’s insides.

In an interview on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show, the Abbott Elementary star discussed his time working on Sesame Street as a 7-year old. “I remember the moment of walking on set and seeing a man in Big Bird and it stopped me at first,” Williams recalled. “The head was off and he just had the legs on, and it definitely shocked me.”

<p>Liliane Lathan/ABC via Getty Images; HBO</p> Tyler James Williams and Big Bird (with head)

Liliane Lathan/ABC via Getty Images; HBO

Tyler James Williams and Big Bird (with head)

Williams also said that although it was strange to see the Muppet performers behind the scenes, the Sesame Street cast still did their best to keep their characters alive between takes.

“They stay in character the entire time,” he remembered. “If it's Elmo, although you can see the hand up the puppet, the voice coming out of the man's mouth will always be Elmo until the kids leave, so that's what helps bridge the gap a little bit. I'm seeing behind the curtain, but I'm still getting things here that are comfortable and familiar. They're very aware of how I think jarring that can be for a kid and they do a really good job of making it feel as natural as possible.”

<p>Sesame Workshop</p> Tyler James Williams on 'Sesame Street'

Sesame Workshop

Tyler James Williams on 'Sesame Street'

The Everybody Hates Chris star went on to explain how his time on the Sesame Street set gave him a new appreciation for Muppet performances.

“You also then get a really good understanding of how hard that job is to do,” he said. “Big Bird, the man is in the suit, but the mouth is moving from his arm that is stretched up, so you somehow have to be able to stand and move one of the arms and flap it and, you know, walk and do all of this while your other hand is moving along with the mouth and I remember looking at that and going, ‘This is much harder than anybody thinks.’ It takes two people to do Elmo and to move the hands and the mouth at the same time and they're sliding along the floor together.”

Williams also revealed a shocking fact about the Sesame Street cast. “I hate to break it to you, but Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird are the same person,” he said, and later added that Mr. Snuffleupagus is also the same actor. “I will say this: Snuffleupagus is the head and then the butt. Those are two different people. That has to be the case, but yeah. The same actor does all three.”

Watch the full clip above.

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