Matthew J. Matt Vogel II is an American puppeteer, director, and singer who has been a Muppet performer for the Jim Henson Company since the 1990s. On Sesame Street, Vogel served as the assistant puppeteer for Ernie, performing either one or both hands while Steve Whitmire performed the head and vocal. Eventually, Vogel's ability to mimic the sound and performance of Caroll Spinney's Big Bird was put to use. As of 2006, Vogel's primary performances as Big Bird are the Journey to Ernie segments. Vogel has also, occasionally, operated the Big Bird puppet to a vocal track by Spinney in scenes where Big Bird is in the same scene as Oscar the Grouch, letting Spinney perform Oscar. An often-noted coincidence is that Vogel is the Dutch and German translation for bird.