Bruno holding Oscar's trash can
DEBUT 1978
Bruno the Trashman
Bruno carries Oscar's trash can
Caroll Spinney Bruno

CAROLL SPINNEY in the BRUNO costume.

Bruno 2016

The recycling man (Episode 4621)

Bruno the Trashman on rollerskates
2495 g

A rare instance where BRUNO does not carry the TRASH CAN.

Bruno the Trashman wire

Seen here in EPISODE 1880, a piece of monofilament wire is strung from BRUNOs jaw to the inside of OSCARs TRASH CAN, allowing CAROLL SPINNEY to manipulate the mouth from within the TRASH CAN.

BRUNO THE TRASHMAN is a sanitation engineer on SESAME STREET who acts as personal chauffeur to OSCAR THE GROUCH. The 2 friends first met in episode 1259. During the 1970s, the SESAME STREET cast made live performances across the country, but there was no effective way to help OSCAR THE GROUCH to enter the stages. CAROLL SPINNEY, inspired by a puppet character on The Gong Show, conceived of a full-body GARBAGE man who could physically carry OSCAR. Since his arms are usually just holding onto OSCARs TRASH CAN, CAROLL SPINNEY was able to perform OSCAR as well as OSCARs left hand while inside the BRUNO costume. The TRASH CAN was connected to an opening in BRUNOs stomach.[1]

Though usually BRUNOs a silent SESAME STREET character, 1 of the few times that BRUNO spoke was in the song "Put IT in the TRASH CAN", which he sang as part of a singing group, "BRUNO & the TRASHmen". He had a brief line at the end of Follow That BIRD, saying "Sure, Boss!" when OSCAR asked him to just go take a walk around the block. Similarly, when OSCAR asks him a question in the special Here Come the Puppets!, BRUNO does manage to get out the sentence "Well, uh..." before OSCAR cuts him off & says thats enough. An invisible wire was connected from BRUNOs mouth to somewhere inside the TRASH CAN.

According to CAROLL SPINNEY, BRUNOs greatest moment was at the end of Follow That BIRD "as he slowly walks into the sunset carrying OSCAR".[2]. BRUNO has demonstrated skills at rollerskating while also carrying OSCAR in his TRASH CAN, in both Here Come the Puppets! & BIG BIRDs Birthday or Let ME Eat Cake. BRUNO, in the latter, surprised both OSCAR (to his disappointment) & the humans (to their amazement) at how good of a skater he was.

After several years in storage, the puppets foam eventually just completely, literally disintegrated.[3]. SPINNEY later remarked in a live appearance that rebuilding the puppet would have been prohibitively expensive, & the character was retired.[4]

Years later in Episode 4621 in 2016. a recycling man appears. Though not named directly, his physical appearance & profession suggest that the character is intended to be BRUNO. In this iteration, hes made from a Pumpkin live hand Anything Muppet & performed by John Tartaglia.





  • BRUNO first appeared in episode 1259. Originally, the script was written as an introduction to the character & how he first met OSCAR. Their encounter occurs as BRUNO begins to collect OSCARs TRASH CAN for disposal. After explaining his living situation, he decides he likes being carried around. The rest of the episode consists of BRUNO carrying OSCAR around to various locations on SESAME STREET looking for a new spot to settle, but everyone kicks him out. BRUNO eventually has to return to work at the city dump, & takes OSCAR with him.[5]

Photo galleryEdit



  1. SPINNEY, CAROLL. The Wisdom of BIG BIRD; New York: Villard, 2003 pp. 63-64.
  2. SPINNEY, CAROLL. The Wisdom of BIG BIRD. New York: Villard, 2003, p 64.
  3. Gikow, Louise A. SESAME STREET: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the STREET; New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2009, p. 48.
  4. SESAME STREET at 40: A Night of Celebration with the LEGENDARY Cast, January 30th, 2009, Shea Center for the Performing Arts, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ.
  5. archived episode guide

See alsoEdit

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