Noel MacNeal

Noel MacNeal
Born (1961-09-15) September 15, 1961
Harlem, New York City, US
Residence Brooklyn, New York
Occupation Puppeteer, writer, actor, television director
Years active 1983–present
Spouse(s) Susan Elia (m. 1999)
Children Matthew

Noel MacNeal (born September 15, 1961) is an American puppeteer, writer, actor, and director of children's television, best known as the voice and puppeteer of Bear in Bear in the Big Blue House and Breakfast with Bear. He first came to public attention in the early 1980s.

On November 6, 1999, he married author Susan Elia at Manhattan's Union Theological Seminary.[1] In 2005, their son Matthew was born.[2]

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.

Noel portrays the environmentally friendly character ZoZo a mascot for safer streets, green transportation and useful public spaces.[3] 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.[4]

Among his characters are Bear, Mrs. (Mommy) Snuffleupagus and various Snuffleupagus relatives on Sesame Street. He has also been 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 and Blue on Nick Jr.'s Blue's Room, Rabbit for The Disney Channel's Emmy Award-winning series The Book of Pooh, Leon on PBS's The Puzzle Place, 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 (But not all at once).

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.


Non-Henson credits




  1. Brady, Lois Smith. "LOIS SMITH BRADY" The New York Times; November 14, 1999
  2. Where is the Zozo? Accessed September 24, 2010
  3. Streets Education

External links

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