Meet The Man Who Played Barney For 10 Years
This guy was inside the dinosaur costume all along.
Before now, little was known about the person who was inside the Barney costume for 10 years. But thanks to a recent article from Business Insider, that’s all about to change. 53-year-old David Joyner opened up to the publication about what it was like to play Barney from 1991 to 2001, and it’s very interesting to hear his perspective.
I mean, can you imagine wearing a 70-pound costume around for hours at a time?
According to Joyner, it could reach up to 120 degrees inside of his Barney costume, and his range of motion and eyesight were very limited once he stepped inside that big purple dinosaur.
Unsurprisingly, some intense training went into the preparations for wearing the costume.
“The head doesn’t come off. The head doesn’t swivel. There’s no facial expressions that can be made. I can only see a certain amount, because of the peripheral of Barney’s mouth. And when Barney’s mouth is closed, I can’t see anything,” Joyner tells Business Insider. “So what I would literally do is I would walk around my apartment as if I was blind. I would close my eyes, and I would try to feel energy. And try to feel the energy of anything that was around me. And then try to pick things up.”
Joyner only provided the motions for Barney’s character. The voice was done by Bob West until 2000, and then the role was passed on to Duncan Brannan, Tim Dever and Dean Wendt.
Despite the fact that Barney went off the air some time ago, the big purple dinosaur still holds a special place in Joyner’s heart. “Barney was beautiful,” he tells Business Insider. “Barney was very, very good to me. I loved being Barney. I loved everything about being Barney. But that chapter is gone.”
The actor went on to make appearances in “That ’70s Show,” “The Young and the Restless” and more. And now, he’s playing another costumed character in “Hip Hop Harry.” You can find the series on YouTube.
Joyner wasn’t the only person to get his start on “Barney & Friends,” either. Believe it or not, there are quite a few very famous people who began on the TV show. Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and Debby Ryan—just to name a few—began making appearances on “Barney & Friends” as children.
Brings back memories, doesn’t it?