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The man beneath the Jazz Bear costume for nearly a quarter-century will perform no more. A spokesperson says the Bear will live on, but it will have someone else beneath the suit.
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Reports: Jazz Bear performer fired after 24 years

FILE PHOTO (Jacob Wiegand, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The man beneath the Jazz Bear costume for nearly a quarter-century will perform no more.

Several sources confirm Jon Absey, who has performed as the Bear since 1994, was fired this week for reasons unknown.

A Jazz spokesperson says the Bear will live on, and will even be at Friday’s home opener against the Golden State Warriors, but it will likely be one of Absey’s assistants performing.

To put it mildly, the Jazz Bear is an absolute icon here in Utah. His antics, usually dangerous stunts, are always entertaining (and sometimes annoying, depending on who he bothers during a home game).


As the Bear, Absey has been Mascot of the Year five times and was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006.

Jazz officials say they do not comment on personnel matters out of respect to their current and former employees.