Short for biography.
Matt was inspired as a child growing up the 1970s by the creativity and imagination of Sesame Street and Jim Henson’s Muppets. He built and performed his own collection of puppet characters as a kid in the early 1980s, and later decided to become an actor, taking classes and performing in shows at Kansas City's Theatre for Young America.
Matt went to college 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.
In 1996, Matt began working on Sesame Street playing various chickens, monsters, and other characters as one of the Sesame Street Muppet Performers. He has performed The Count and Mr. Johnson (Grover's long-suffering customer) since 2012 (both characters originated by veteran Muppet Performer Jerry Nelson). Matt is the understudy for Big Bird (a character originated by Caroll Spinney) and is Sesame Street's Puppet Captain. He has earned seven Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Directing in a Children’s Series” as part of the show’s directing team.
In 2008, Matt became one of the core Disney Muppet Performers playing Sgt. Floyd Pepper, Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, Uncle Deadly, Pops, Dr. Julius Strangepork, and Camilla (all originated by Jerry Nelson). He also plays the larger-than-life ogre, Sweetums (originally performed by Richard Hunt, followed by John Henson). 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. In 2017, Matt was chosen to play Kermit the Frog (a role created and played by Jim Henson, later Steve Whitmire).
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, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Jack’s Big Music Show, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Oobi, Blue’s Room, Jim Henson’s Bear in the Big Blue House, Between the Lions, The Puzzle Place, Big Bag and HBO's Oz.
Matt lives outside New York with his wife and five children.