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Noel MacNeal
Nick-Jr-Oobi-show-cast (cropped 4).jpg
MacNeal as Kako on the set of "Oobi"
Born (1961-09-15) September 15, 1961 (age 60)
  • Actor
  • director
  • puppeteer
  • writer
Years active1983–present
(m. 1999)

Noel MacNeal (born September 15, 1961), sometimes credited as Noel McNeal or Edward Noel MacNeal, is an American actor, director, puppeteer and writer of children's television who has performed since the early 1980s. He was the voice and puppeteer of Bear on Bear in the Big Blue House. He also starred as Kako on Oobi, Leon MacNeal on The Puzzle Place and as Magellan on Eureeka's Castle.


Noel portrays the environmentally friendly character ZoZo[citation needed] a mascot for safer streets, green transportation, and useful public spaces.[1] This Jim Henson designed and created walk around puppet is used by Livable Streets Education to talk about these issues with young children and families.[2]

While Bear is his most famous character, MacNeal has also performed Mrs. (Mommy) Snuffleupagus and various Snuffleupagus relatives on Sesame Street, Magellan, a baby dragon, on the ACE Award-winning series Eureeka's Castle on Nick Jr, Leon MacNeal in The Puzzle Place, Raphael in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III and Madame Chairbird in the Sesame Street film Follow That Bird. His repertoire of characters also includes Kako on the Nick Jr. series Oobi, Blue on Nick Jr.'s Blue's Room, Rabbit for The Disney Channel's Emmy Award-winning series The Book of Pooh, Lionel on PBS's Between the Lions, and Knock-Knock on The Great Space Coaster. In addition, he’s performed with and/or for Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Lewis, Mickey Rooney, Emma Thompson, Wayne Brady, Dave Chappelle, Donny and Marie Osmond, Tom Bergeron, Regis and Kelly, Matt Lauer and Katie Couric.

Noel is also a television writer. His scripts have been featured on PBS Kids Sprout's The Good Night Show, The Disney Channel's Bear in the Big Blue House, PBS's The Puzzle Place, The Magic School Bus and Cyberchase, TLC's Salty's Lighthouse (in which he re-wrote an original episode of the British children's TV series Tugs for its own segments) and Nickelodeon's Eureeka's Castle and Gullah Gullah Island. He is also a script and television directorial adviser and consultant for the international versions of Sesame Street as well having directed episodes of Bear in the Big Blue House and PBS Kids Sprout's The Good Night Show.

In 2003, Noel received a Daytime Emmy Nomination as "Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series". Noel is now the resident puppeteer for the HBO series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. MacNeal was noted for his portrayal of Mr. Nutterbutter,[3] and operated a seagull puppet in another episode. He also portrayed Totes McGoats, a goat-human hybrid mascot which promotes recycling, in the episode on plastics.[4]

Personal life

MacNeal was born to a white father and an African-American mother.[citation needed]

On November 6, 1999, he married author Susan Elia at Manhattan's Union Theological Seminary.[5] In 2005, their son Matthew was born.[6]



After Bear in the Big Blue House (2003 - 2019)

The Reunion of Bear in the Big Blue House & Beyond (2019 - present)




  1. ^ Where is the Zozo? Accessed September 24, 2010
  2. ^ Streets Education
  3. ^ Court Finds John Oliver Has the Right to Hire a Giant Squirrel Named “Mr. Nutterbutter” to Insult Coal Barons
  4. ^ "Przegląd tygodnia: Wieczór z Johnem Oliverem (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver) - sezon 8, odcinek 7 - HBO GO". (in Polish). Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  5. ^ Brady, Lois Smith. "LOIS SMITH BRADY" The New York Times; November 14, 1999
  6. ^ [1]

External links

Preceded by
Performer of Mommy Snuffleupagus
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Performer of Sweetums
2008; 2017
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 8 November 2021, at 02:25
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