Short for biography.
As a child in the 1970s, Matt Vogel was inspired by Jim Henson. Watching Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, he was motivated to build his own puppets out of t-shirts and masking tape. Matt entertained kids in his neighborhood, at school, and various local clubs and organizations throughput his hometown of Kansas City, KS. In ninth grade, however, he put the puppets away and decided to take acting classes at Kansas City's Theatre for Young America.
Matt went to college to become an actor and earned a BFA in Theater at The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in St. Louis, MO before moving to New York. However, on the way to The Big Apple, he saw an ad in Backstage featuring Kermit the Frog that read, “DO YOU MEASURE UP TO BE A MUPPET?” and everything changed. Matt was hired by Jim Henson's youngest son, John, in 1995 to be the second performer of the puppet version of the Coca-Cola Polar Bear.
Soon after, Matt began working on Sesame Street as one of the Sesame Street Muppet Performers. To this day, he plays various chickens, monsters, and other characters on the show and has performed The Count since 2012 (a character originated by veteran Muppet Performer Jerry Nelson). Matt is also the understudy for Carol Spinney (Big Bird) and has earned six Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Directing in a Children’s Series” as part of the show’s directing team. He is currently shooting season 47 of the series, while season 46 airs on HBO.
In 2008, Matt became one of the core Muppet Performers, playing characters originated by Jerry Nelson. Those characters include: Sgt. Floyd Pepper, Robin the Frog, Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, Uncle Deadly, Pops, Dr. Julius Strangepork, and Camilla. Matt also plays the larger-than-life ogre, Sweetums (originally performed by Richard Hunt, followed by John Henson). Most recently, Matt played Constantine, Number One Criminal and World’s Most Dangerous Frog in the 2014 film, Muppets Most Wanted. During the 2015-16 television season, Matt was one of the core Muppet Performers for ABC's The Muppets, playing Uncle Deadly, Floyd, Sweetums, and Robin.
Muppet projects include feature film, The Muppets (where he originated the character ‘80s Robot); television specials A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa for NBC and Studio DC: Almost Live! for Disney Channel as well as numerous television appearances (Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America, etc) and Muppet viral videos, including the Webby Award-winning Bohemian Rhapsody.
Other credits include feature film, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland; television credits for 30 Rock, Jack’s Big Music Show, Oobi, Blue’s Room, Jim Henson’s Bear in the Big Blue House, Between the Lions, The Puzzle Place, Big Bag and Oz as well as Gorillaz - Live at The Apollo Theater and the Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors as part of the puppeteering team for Audrey II with Martin P. Robinson.
Matt also has other interests including music. His band, The Mighty Weaklings, has released four albums, including a collection of family-friendly songs (You Can't Rock Sittin' Down) and a rock album called Keep It Weak.