Suddenly thrust into the middle of what’s becoming the dumbest election since…the last election, Big Bird’s gay parentage has come to light.
The Daily Beast interviewed Christopher Lyall, one half of the pair that originally created Sesame Street’s eight-foot avian. A native of New Zealand, Lyall had worked as a dress cutter before leaving his homeland to pursue a career as a dancer. In London, he met the late Kermit Love [Ed. note: best. name. ever.], a costume designer, while rehearsing for a show in London.
“He said, ‘Would you like to come to New York for a few days?’” Lyall recalled. “I said, ‘I only have a few days.’”
After Lyall’s visit, he and Love began a relationship that would last nearly fifty years and produce at least one child.
Love enlisted Lyall’s help after being commissioned by Jim Henson to fashion something out of a sketch he did of one of those drinking birds that tip in and out of a glass. Each Big Bird they made took about three weeks with Lyall citing Love’s commitment to perfection.
“[Kermit] was very particular about the way the bird looked, and he always got his way,” said Lyall. “He was a very determined person.”
Big Bird began attending the White House’s annual Easter egg roll during the Nixon administration, though Lyall only accompanied Love once, in 1986 under President Ronald Reagan, who was probably unaware that he was hosting one big old gay happy family.
When Love’s health began to fail and he was restricted to a wheelchair in the late-90s, Lyall remained dedicated and devoted to him. “It’s what one does,” he said. “You do it.”
Kermit Love died in 2008 of congestive heart failure at 92. Today, Lyall, 75, is back in New Zealand but is none too happy with the way his baby is being used back in America during this election.
“It’s very frustrating having to observe the political games and the lies.”
Tell us about it.