Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Sesame Street: People

Go To

Main Character Index
Monsters | Anything Muppets | Other Muppets
People | Unseen and Animated Characters

Human characters living on Sesame Street.
    open/close all folders 
Played by: Alan Muraoka (1998-present)
The current owner of Hooper's store.
  • Asian Store-Owner: The stereotypes are heavily downplayed, though.
  • Call-Back: He debuted in the first episode to feature Elmo's World, when he hosted a huge Birdketeer meeting, and was in over his head. In the first episode to feature Elmo the Musical, he knows what he's dealing with, and tries to nip chaos in the bud during another big event.
  • Hilarity Ensues: He tends to get dragged into Muppet hijinks.
  • Iconic Item: A dish towel, frequently on his shoulder.
  • Nice Guy: After Bob, he's probably the biggest sweetheart in the human cast (although some might say that he's a little more high-strung).
  • Oh, Crap!: Ignites a grease fire in Hooper's while, causing Maria to evacuate herself and Elmo and call the FDNY

Performed by: Angel Jemmot (1993-1995)
The owner of the Sesame Street day care center at Around the Corner and Gordon's cousin.
  • Happily Married: She is married to Jamal, and has a baby daughter named Kayla.

Played by: Ismael Cruz Cordova (2013-2015)

An energetic young Puerto Rican writer. Always interested in trying new things and encouraging his Muppet friends to be true to themselves. Mando also loves technology.

    The Baker 
Alex Stevens (1969, "The Baker")
Jim Henson (1969, singing voice)

Character who appears in the final segment of a series of counting shorts, unofficially named by fans as the "Baker Films." The Baker is a hapless individual who, after proclaiming (to trumpet fanfare) that he has a number of baked goods in his arms, attempts to walk down a short flight of steps, but ultimately he trips and spills everything, making a huge mess.

  • Butt-Monkey: Pretty hard to view him as anything but this.

    Bob Johnson 
Played by: Bob McGrath (1969-2015)

An unassuming, low-key music teacher who lives in the apartment above Hooper's Store.

  • Aerith and Bob: The literal "Bob" to his brother Minneapolis's Aerith.
  • Aside Glance: Trying to teach the Two-Headed Monster to play the clarinet evokes a flustered look at the camera.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Bob makes his sole appearance in the 38th season so that he can coax Horatio the Elephant out of Maria's bathtub.
  • Cool Old Guy: Became this with time, along with Gordon
  • Cool Teacher: Was originally a shop teacher, but later became a music teacher. Quite fitting, as Bob McGrath was a music teacher himself, for a time.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: He was originally a shop teacher.
  • Friend to All Children: Arguably more than any of the other adult cast members, Bob is at his warmest and most affectionate with the kids, both on- and off-camera. As Bob McGrath became a father himself not long before his tenure on Sesame Street began, this is no surprise.
    • Off the set, during the 90's, McGrath found some success recording albums of kids' songs, and performing concerts for families (sometimes even joined by his own sons and daughters).
  • Foil: To neurotic worrywart Telly, and sourpuss Oscar.
  • Happy Birthday to You!: He teaches everyone to sing the song in ASL, to surprise Linda, in one episode.
  • Manly Tears: In the episode dealing with Mr. Hooper's death, making the famous scene all the more heartbreaking - especially since the tears were unscripted.
  • Mentors: Gordon and Susan are like a mom and dad; Bob is gentler.
  • Nice Guy: The gentlest and sweetest of the show's male adults during the Classic era.
  • The Piano Player: Given that he's a music teacher by trade, he demonstrates this trope quite a few times (usually when giving a lesson).
  • Running Gag: The production staff loves to put Bob in costumes.
  • Ship Tease: With Linda, for several years.
  • Tenor Boy: Bob McGrath has a smooth tenor singing voice, and played the clean-cut, chipper guy-next-door/surrogate older brother role in the ensemble. He always projected a youthful air even though he was 37 when the show started.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: Of all the adults, he's the best known for his singing.
  • Translator Buddy: For Linda, a lot of the time.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Bob and Linda dated on and off, but their relationship never got more serious than that.
  • You Are the Translated Foreign Word: Bob speaks and signs at the same time, so he doesn't have to repeat himself.

Carlo Alban (1993-1998)

A teenager who was a student in Gordon's science class. In 1995, he started working at Hooper's Store.


Annette Calud (1993-1998)

A very empathetic dance instructor who taught many different forms of dance.

Violet Tinnirello (2019-present)
Charlie on set with Prairie Dawn

A young girl with military parents who moves to Sesame Street.

  • All-Loving Hero: She likes making friends with everyone on Sesame Street, even trying to befriend Oscar.
  • Cheerful Child: She's very cheerful and happy.
  • Military Brat: Her parents were in the military before moving to Sesame Street.

    Chris Robinson 
Christopher Lawrence Knowings (2007-present)

Gordon's nephew who came to Sesame Street looking for a job, and took one at Hooper's Store, to pay for college.

  • Butt-Monkey: Sometimes, this is because Alan is facing similar circumstances, and he needs Chris's help.
  • Manchild: Often very enthusiastic about things like circuses or bubbles and such.
  • Rearrange the Song: A rock remix for "People in your Neighborhood".
  • Straight Man: Although he too can be prone to goofiness and general clumsiness.
  • Welcome Episode: In his first episode, he's trying to find a job so that he can pay for his school supplies. His first few tries, however, prove less than encouraging:
    (1) Count von Count wants to hire someone to exercise so he can count the exercises without paying the person.
    (2) Cookie Monster wants a salesman to sell cookies, but can't bear to allow anyone to buy them.
    (3) Horatio the Elephant wants a dance partner to work for peanuts instead of money.

Northern Calloway (1971-1989)

One of the original human cast members of Sesame Street. He took over Hooper's Store after Mr. Hooper's death in 1983.

  • Character Outlives Actor: After Northern Calloway was revealed to have had a series of health and behavioral issues over the years, he left the show. (Stories vary as to whether he left voluntarily, was forced to resign or was fired.) In the opening Street scene of the Season 21 (1989-1990) season opener, Gordon reads to Elmo a postcard from David, which explained his first few weeks living with his grandmother on her farm, and that he hoped Mr. Handford was taking good care of the store he had just sold to him. Calloway died of a nervous breakdown-induced cardiac arrest on January 9, 1990, less than a year after leaving Street.
  • Cool Teacher: In a sketch where he plays a professor doing a lecture on trees.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: In one episode, after making fun of Big Bird for having a supposedly imaginary friend (Snuffy), he gets a call from a friend that Big Bird has never seen before, and is accused by Big Bird of having an imaginary friend of his own. David spends the entire episode trying to convince Big Bird that he's telling the truth, then realises that this must be how Big Bird feels when people accuse him of lying about Snuffy.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: Outside of Bob, he tended to have the most musical spotlight moments among the human cast.

    Gabi Rodriguez 
Gabriela Rose Reagan (1989-1993)
Desiree Casado (1993-2012)

Maria and Luis' daughter and a close friend to Gordon and Susan's son Miles.

  • Birthday Episode: She has her eighth birthday in one episode.
  • Real-Life Relative: The first Gabi, Gabriela Rose Reagan, is Sonia Manzano's real-life daughter. In fact the character was created to work Manzano's pregnancy into the show. But the part was eventually recast when Manzano realized that little Gabriela didn't enjoy acting.
  • Sick Episode: In one episode, she has a mild flu on her birthday.

    Gina Jefferson 
Alison Bartlett O'Reilly (1987-2016)

She started out as an assistant at Hooper's Store during The '80s. A lot has changed since then, and now she's a veterinarian.

  • Character Development: In the span of 24 years, she has assisted at Hooper's Store and a daycare, gone to veterinary school, opened a veterinary practice, and adopted her own son, Marco.
  • Cool Big Sis: Originally started out as this during her teenage years.
  • Genki Girl: Occasionally showed shades of this during her teenage years.
  • Instant Sedation: In one episode, books on the Letter of the Day and the Number of the Day have this effect on Marco.
  • Salt and Pepper: She and Savion were best friends.
  • Story Arc: The three-part episode "Gina Adopts a Baby". The original airdate was changed to coincide with National Adoption Month (November 2006).
  • Team Mom: Like Maria, she becomes transitions from Cool Big Sis (see above) to this, especially to Telly.

    Gordon Robinson 
Garret Saunders (test pilots)
Matt Robinson (1969-1972)
Hal Miller (1972-1974)
Roscoe Orman (1974-2015)

A father figure to the Muppets and kids on the street, and the de facto leader when things go wrong.

    Mr. Handford 
Leonard Jackson (1989-1990)
David L. Smyrl (1990-1998)
Leonard Jackson
David Smyrl

A retired firefighter and the owner of Hooper's Store between David and Alan.

Gedde Watanabe (1988-1992)

A Japanese-American artist and vet on Sesame Street.

  • Gratuitous Japanese: He taught some of the residents a few Japanese words and phrases, such as "Domo arigato" ("Thank you very much.")

    Mr. Hooper 
Will Lee (1969-1983)

A grandfather figure to those around him, and the original owner of Hooper's Store.

  • Accidental Misnaming: That's Hooper, Big Bird, Hooper!
  • Alliterative Name: His full name is Harold Hooper.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: At least until Bob wished him a Happy Hanukkah in Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.
  • Blind Without 'Em: In one episode during the era when everyone thought Snuffy was imaginary, he came face-to-face with Snuffy, but couldn't see him because he had lost his glasses.
  • Bus Crash: When his death was finally revealed on the show, he had already been absent for a year following the death of Will Lee.
  • Cool Old Guy: He was a snarky, funny guy.
  • Death Is a Sad Thing: Played so, so straight with his death. In doing the episode's defining scene in one take, an unintentional lesson — that even adults cry and feel deeply saddened when someone they are close to dies, and that oftentimes entire families cry together in times of grief (indeed, several of the adult characters are visibly emotional and on the verge of tears as they explain to Big Bird that Mr. Hooper died and is not coming back...ever) — made its indelible mark on this episode and earning it critical acclaim.
  • Friendly Shopkeeper: Mr. Hooper was unfailingly kind and friendly to all patrons of his store. In a riff on the "Gift of the Magi" Plot, Ernie and Bert both sell their prize possessions to him in order to buy Christmas gifts for the other. After Ernie and Bert realize what had happened, Mr. Hooper returns the prize possessions to them as his Christmas gift to them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mr Hooper is somewhat of a Deadpan Snarker, but he is a nice guy.
  • Last-Name Basis: As the oldest on the street in his day, he considered this a mark of respect.
  • Never Say "Die": A subversion, which is still met with acclaim today; after his actor died, the writer's decided to use the opportunity to directly address death for the show's young audience.
  • Shirtless Scene: On the beach, in Hawaii. Obviously not played for Fanservice.
  • Suddenly Ethnicity: Bob wishes him a Happy Hanukkah in Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.
  • The Character Died with Him: He was killed off after his actor (Will Lee) died on December 7, 1982.
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: Harold Hooper was seldom referred to by his first name. Two known instances among a handful: The episode when Hooper got his GED (sometime in the mid-1970s); and in 1980, when Maria took a job as a census taker and interviewed Hooper.
  • Unexpected Successor: David had to pretty much scrap his plans for law school when Mr. Hooper died.
  • Who's Watching the Store?: Subverted. Mr. Hooper would either close the store or ask someone else to run it.

Jou Jou Papailler (1993-1995)

A park ranger of the Sesame Street park.

  • Happily Married: He is married to Angela and has a baby daughter named Kayla.

Nitya Vidyasagar (2008-2015)

A young Indian-American who owned and operated the laundromat.

Linda Bove (1972-2002)

A librarian and Bob's (apparent) girlfriend. Also deaf. Initially, she was Barkley's human, before he became the community's pet upon her departure.

  • Disabled Love Interest: To Bob, for a while.
  • Disabled Snarker: She once subbed for Oscar. That's got to count for something.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Averted at actress Linda Bove's request. Both the actress and the character are deaf, but Bove specifically requested that her deafness not be treated as the defining aspect of the character, and that the writers not shy away from jokes about ASL.
  • Never Learned to Talk: She can't talk because she's been deaf all her life. As such, she communicates with sign language.
  • Ship Tease: With Bob for several years.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Bob and Linda dated, but they didn't get married.

    Luis Rodriguez 
Emilio Delgado (1971-2015)

A Chicano who runs the Fix-It Shop with Maria.

  • Happily Married: Married to Maria.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Whenever he needed to slip away and change into Señor Zero, he would make up a nonsensical excuse like "I forgot to feed my running shoes" or "I think I left my wallet in a dishwasher."
  • Mr. Fixit: He specializes in toaster repair.
  • Secret Identity: In a few episodes, he has one called "Señor Zero", basically an Affectionate Parody of Zorro, which he would assume any time someone said the word "none".
  • Team Dad: Came to share this role with Gordon over the years.

    Mr. Macintosh 
Chet O. Brien (1971-1992)

A fruit vendor at the arch next to Hooper's Store.

    Maria Rodriguez (née Figueroa) 
Sonia Manzano (1971-2015)

Maria came to Sesame Street from Puerto Rico. She worked as Luis' employee (and eventual co-partner) before settling down, marrying him, and having a daughter, Gabriela.

  • Aborted Arc:
    • She was hooked up with David until the mid-1980s.
    • According to Louise Gikow, who wrote for various international co-productions, the reason why the David–Maria romance angle was dropped was due to health problems involving David's actor, Northern Calloway. Calloway had been battling mental illness since the 17th season began in 1985, and by the time the 20th season ended in 1989, he became so ill and ill-looking that he had to leave the show, dying of excited delirium complications only a year later in 1990.
  • All Women Love Shoes: At one point, she goes shoe-shopping and ends up trying on eighty pairs before finally finding the right ones for her.
  • Apple of Discord: Once before their marriage, she successfully petitioned Luis for a raise.
  • Aside Glance: One of the most noted characters of the human cast to do this, particularly when dealing with Muppet characters.
  • Dude Magnet:
    • A lot of Muppets have had a crush on Maria throughout the show: Big Bird, The Count, Grover, Placido Flamingo, Snuffy, and Stinky. Maria herself hooked up with David and then ultimately married Luis. It's also implied that Oscar has a crush on her.
    • As noted in the 2008 book Street Gang, during the period when Marty Robinson was playing the front end of Snuffy, the writers created a puppy love storyline for him. It was art imitating life as the puppeteer had as big a crush on Sonia Manzano as Snuffy did on Maria. He said that they (the puppeteers) all had crushes on her. So Sonia Manzano was not only a Dude Magnet on the show (Big Bird, Snuffy, the Count, Stinky, Placido Flamingo, Grover, David, and Luis), she was also one in real life!
  • Happily Married: To Luis.
  • Invisible Main Character: After Oscar spritzed her with "Disappear-O". Oscar's elephant made her visible again.
  • Ms Fix It: Along with Luis, she runs the fix-it shop.
  • Pie in the Face: The famous "Three Whipped Cream Pies on the Wall" number, in which she pies David, Bob and Luis and then, in a bit of Laser-Guided Karma, gets nailed with several pies thrown at her from offscreen. In a later episode, Fluffy, who is learning the art of pie throwing from Oscar, throws a pie at Oscar, which hits Maria by mistake (much to Oscar's chagrin, Maria finds this funny).
  • Promotion to Love Interest: After knowing Luis for 15 or so years, they got married.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Gorgeous in a dress, and consistently so.
  • Ship Sinking: Again, David and Maria, c. 1987. After she married Luis, David became her Amicable Ex until he left the show.
  • Spicy Latina: Not normally an example, but she can lose patience a bit more dramatically than most of the other adults: see, for example, her "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Oscar in Christmas Eve on Sesame Street after he caused Big Bird to go missing.
  • Stock Foreign Name: A young Puerto Rican woman named Maria...sounds familiar. It was even Lampshaded on the show a few times.
  • Team Mom: When she first joined the show she was more of a Cool Big Sis figure while Susan was the Team Mom of the show, but as Maria matured she took on a more motherly role too. In the direct-to-video special where Big Bird gets sick and goes to the hospital, the receptionist asks her "Are you his mother?" and she responds "Not exactly... Sort of... Yeah."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Oscar. He's normally just as rude to her as to anyone else, and she has no qualms about standing up to him (for example, in the above-mentioned Christmas Eve scene), but they've shared more friendship moments than he has with any other human. When she gave birth to Gabi, he was the one who drove her to the hospital in his Sloppy Jalopy.
  • Wacky Cravings: She shared and enjoyed a lunch with Oscar while pregnant.
  • Writer on Board: For a stretch of 20 years, Sonia Manzano contributed scripts to the show. (The character's writing creative writing abilities, on the other hand, are not currently unknown...)
  • Written-In Infirmity: Her pregnancy was written into the show, with her actual daughter playing the role of Gabi until age four.

    Miles Robinson 
Miles Orman (1985-1993)
Imani Patterson (1996-2002)
Olamide Faison (2003-2008)

In the mid-80's, Susan and Gordon adopted a son. Miles went from being a younger sibling type character to being an older brother figure to the Muppet characters. Miles had a close friendship with Maria and Luis' daughter, Gabi.

Suki Lopez (2016-present)

A bilingual Latina college student who now owns the bicycle shop (formerly owned by Luis) and also works at the laundromat (formerly operated by Leela).

  • Cool Big Sis: She acts very compassionate towards the younger Muppet characters.

    Mr. Noodle and family 
Bill Irwin (1998-2009, 2017-present)
Michael Jeter (2000-2003) as Mr. Noodle's Brother
Kristin Chenoweth (2001,direct to video specials: TV appearances,2006) as Mr. Noodle's Sister
Sarah Jones (2009) as Mr. Noodle's other sister, Ms. Noodle
Daniel Koren (2017-present) as Mr. Noodle's brother, Mr. Noodle
Daveed Diggs (2017-present) as Mr. Noodle's other brother, Mr. Noodle

An oddly dressed vaudevillian mime who lives outside the window of Elmo's World. The role is occasionally performed by Mr. Noodle's brother Mr. Noodle, his sister Miss Noodle, or his other sister Miss Noodle.

  • Big Friendly Dog: Mr. Noodle, the brother, owns one named Schmoodle. That he takes a couple of tries to play fetch with successfully.
  • The Ditz: The Noodles' role is to provide a character to whom 3-year-old viewers can feel superior.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. Of course, all the Noodles are pretty much interchangeable.
  • The Speechless: When a Noodle vocalizes, he or she usually produces a French horn or animal sound.

    The Number Painter 
Paul Benedict (1972)

A smocked painter who paints a given digit or two-digit numeral wherever he wants to. His character appeared in a series of 10 segments teaching number shape recognition, and would air for more than 20 years; Benedict's co-stars in these shorts were Stockard Channing and Jerome Raphael.

  • Hilarity Ensues: Most of the Painters' antics would get him arrested for such things as trespassing, vandalism and criminal mischief.

    Olivia Robinson 
Alaina Reed Hall (1976-1988)

Gordon's sister and a professional photographer.

Ruth Buzzi (1993-2001)

Owner of the Finders Keepers thrift store.

  • Commuting on a Bus: Ruthie was prominent from 1993 to 1998 when she was owner of Finders Keepers, but when the Around The Corner set was removed after the 29th season, she continued to appear but only in segments than on the street.

Savion Glover (1990-1995)

A young male friend of Gina's and a famous dancer.

Jasmine Romero
Sofia with Alex

A Latina character who appears in resource videos, her first being Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration.

  • Prison Episode: Sofia told Alex that when she was Alex's age, her father was also incarcerated, She taught everybody that incarcerated means that when somebody violates the law (an adult rule), they have to go to jail or prison.

    Susan Robinson 
Loretta Long (1969-2015)

Gordon's wife and, as such, a maternal figure to those around her.

    Uncle Wally 
Bill McCutcheon (1984-1992)

Bob's humorous and warm-hearted uncle who loves to tell tall tales.

  • Cool Old Guy: Uncle Wally seemed to take over this role after Mr. Hooper's death.
  • Manchild: His constant telling of tall tales and precocious personality made him one.