ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

While the lyrics to the theme song might claim that everything is "A-OK," a new documentary following the life of Caroll Spinney, the man behind our favorite feathered friend Big Bird, has opened up the world of Sesame Street and revealed that the big yellow bird almost died in space.

In the documentary, titled I Am Big Bird, which premiers next week, Caroll Spinney shared many surprising and interesting stories from his many years on the show, including how Big Bird was initially planned to be a crew member onboard the doomed Challenger mission.

81-year-old Spinney revealed that Big Bird was approached by NASA to be a part of the Challenger mission because "they wanted the children of America to be more interested in NASA," and they believed that such a popular character could do just that.

The plan was for Spinney to travel with the Big Bird suit aboard the space shuttle and do a production from space, but after they found out there was insufficient space to store the suit, Spinney and Big Bird was unable to go. However while Big Bird and his actor were spared from the disaster, teacher Christa McAuliffe, who took Big Bird's place, was not so lucky and sadly died in the tragedy which claimed seven lives.

Despite Spinney having that very sad story to tell in the documentary, he also shared something a lot more lighthearted - the Big Bird performer and President Obama share a great-grandfather, making them ninth cousins, twice removed! Definitely a pretty interesting relative to have when you're a giant yellow feathered bird.

Source: Gawker


Latest from our Creators