Man who played Barney for 10 years reveals his experience (video)
By Sewe Ishola,
Ever wondered, who lived inside one of the most beloved children characters, Barney?
Well, we finally get a glimpse as one of the several persons, who played Barney, David Joyner, a graduate of Electronic Engineering Technology, who played the role for 10 years (1991 to 2001) has unveiled himself and he has interesting things to say.
Joyner while speaking about his experience noted that he had dreamt about being a television star until he got the call for the Barney audition where he finally was able to show his capabilities.
He said, “Being Barney was never an accident. I was supposed to do this character…
Now Barney is about 70 pounds, and it can get over 120 degrees inside. So inside you’re sweating profusely. It’s a t-rex, so you’re basically just up to your elbows in being able to move. And then also, Barney’s feet were huge. Now I did have some sneakers inside that were glued to the bottom of the feet.
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. 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.
Sometimes, when they took a break, I put a fan in the mouth, I’d sit down on an Apple box, and I’d put my hand on my knees, and I would just close my eyes. So I would literally meditate.”
Before then, Joyner was a human mannequin that would move to the children’s amazement mechanically in malls.
Although, Bob West was Barney’s voice, David said they had a Dino-sync technology that allowed him to hear even the breath of Bob through his headphones and made him know almost exactly what Bob was about to say.
He mentioned that apart from the constant sweat under the heavy costume, he also had to learn how to pick things and move around with eyes shut because he couldn’t see anything most of the time.
He has also starred in 24, ER, Shameless, 70s show, The Young & Restless among others.
The 53-year old and has since moved on to become the Hip Hop Harry Break-Dancing Teddy Bear.