Rick Lyon is a puppeteer, actor, and puppet designer and builder originally from Rochester, New York, who has worked for the Jim Henson Company as one of the operators of Big Bird. He appeared on Broadway originating the roles of Trekkie Monster, Nicky, the blue Bad Idea Bear, and other characters in the Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q, a musical for which he designed and created all of the puppets. In the fall of 2005 he reprised his roles in the production of the show in Las Vegas for eight months before returning to the Broadway cast. Rick was a puppeteer on Sesame Street for 15 seasons, from 1987 to 2002. He also worked with Nickelodeon on the Stick Stickly project. He was a lead puppeteer for the first season of Comedy Central's television program Crank Yankers. Lyon's company The Lyon Puppets, maintains a large permanent workshop outside New York City in New Jersey. In addition to building all of the Broadway and Las Vegas Avenue Q puppets, the company has built puppets for the original West End production of Avenue Q in London, the US national tour, and international productions in Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland and Germany, and Paris, France. Rick frequently coaches actors in puppetry for productions of Avenue Q for which he provides puppets.
He studied theater at Penn State University and puppetry at the Institute of Professional Puppetry Arts in Connecticut and the Institut International de la Marionnette in France.
He is married to actress Tonya Dixon, who played opposite him as Gary Coleman in the Las Vegas cast. Lyon and Dixon were married at The Wynn Casino. They have one daughter.
Sesame Street -television,
Crank Yankers - television,
Bear in the Big Blue House - television,
Avenue Q - Broadway,
Muppet*Vision 3D - film attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney California Adventure Park,
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 - film,
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 - film,
Men in Black - film