According to Ohba he did not derive the actual plot idea from one particular source. Before he opened his Grand Depot for retail business, he let evangelist Dwight L. Moody use its facilities as a meeting place, while Wanamaker provided 300 ushers from his store personnel. However, A.J. Simon, a college graduate, with a Wall Street look, is a polished fellow with a taste for classic cars and tailored suits. A.J. was a practicing Catholic; Rick was not. Caroll Edwin Spinney (born December 26, 1933) is an American puppeteer, cartoonist, author, and speaker most famous for playing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street since 1969. He has sometimes been credited as Carroll Spinney or Ed Spinney.