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TODAY Interview: Big Bird explains how 'Sesame Street' is handling the pandemic

"We usually hug, but now we're just waving," Big Bird reveals on the show's new podcast.
/ Source: TODAY

Big Bird has a new gig on "Sesame Street": He's the first guest of the show's new podcast, Foley and Friends.

In a Zoom interview with TODAY, Big Bird shared his thoughts on everything from handling the pandemic to participating on the podcast, which launched on October 14 and will release new 15-minute episodes every Tuesday and Thursday.

"It was nice because, you know, I got to say hello to my teddy bear, Radar, right there. And I sang a song for everybody listening at home," Big Bird said. "And my favorite part is that my granny bird, she told me she was so proud of me."

The podcast's hosts are Foley, a new member of "Sesame Street" who has the ability to make silly sound effects with her voice, and her sidekick Mikee the Microphone.

The first guest on the Sesame Street Foley and Friends Podcast is Big Bird. TODAY

In the episode, Big Bird and Foley talk with letters of the alphabet, teaching them that it's OK that each of them makes their own unique sound.

Big Bird says he tries to help all of his friends embrace what makes them special, and shared a sweet story about how Foley learned to embrace her uniqueness.

The Sesame Street Podcast with Foley and Friends will release new episodes each week on Tuesday and Thursday.The Sesame Street Podcast with Foley and Friends

"Foley can make all kinds of sounds, you know, with her voice," he continued. "And it's really amazing. She can sound like a cat or a race car or a balloon popping — anything. She used to be pretty nervous about making all of her sounds in front of people, but we told her that we loved hearing them, and now she's not shy about it."

"Everybody has something special that they can share," Big Bird said. "And I know it can be scary at first, but your friends, they're always gonna be there to cheer you on."

Elmo also makes an appearance on the podcast, as well as Big Bird's neighbor, Oscar the Grouch, who accidentally participates in and wins a game on the broadcast, much to his annoyance.

"I like having Oscar for a neighbor," Big Bird shared. "But don't tell him that, because it'll just make him grouchier."

So how are Big Bird, Foley, Oscar and all of the "Sesame Street" friends handling the COVID-19 pandemic?

"We're doing OK," said Big Bird. "You know, we all wear our masks when we go outside. And my best friend, Snuffy, and I, we wave hello. We usually hug, but now we're just waving."

Big Bird also shared that when he feels lonely or nervous about the coronavirus, he talks to his granny bird or hugs his teddy bear. And, the long-time Sesame Street resident is keeping busy reading books about the alphabet — especially ones about the letter "B" — and his favorite magazine, "Better Nests and Gardens."

The "Sesame Street" Foley and Friends Podcast will release 15 episodes, exclusively on Audible.