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Gordon and Oscar season 42
Roscoe Orman as Gordon in 2011
PERFORMER Garrett Saunders test pilot
  Matt Robinson Season 1-Season 3
  Hal Miller Season 4-Season 5
  Roscoe Orman Season 6-present
DEBUT 1969

Rosoce Orman as Gordon in Season 8.


Hal Miller as Gordon.


Matt Robinson as Gordon.

Gordon sized

(From left) Robinson, Miller, and Orman in their portrayals as Gordon.


Telly Monster visits Gordon's high school science class in a 1991 episode.

Gordon Robinson is one of the original residents of Sesame Street, having debuted in the first episode along with his wife Susan. Originally a teacher (as mentioned in the book All About Sesame Street), Gordon taught history, then later was assigned to teach the science class. He is one of the few people Oscar is friendly with, though it can sometimes take a lot of patience to deal with Oscar's outlook. One time Susan was stuck working on Gordon's Volkswagen Beetle, which prevented the couple from going out dancing. Oscar says that is no problem, as he was going out dancing himself and invites the couple with him. Little does Gordon know Oscar's idea of a night out is a "garbage ball" with a bunch of Grouches, complete with a hanging ball of toilet paper rolls (instead of the mirror ball seen at discotecques). Although Susan is surprised by this, she said the important thing is Oscar was thoughtful enough to help in their setback.

Gordon and Susan reside at 123 Sesame Street and, in 1985, the couple adopted a son, Miles. Gordon was conceived as a strong paternal character and a role model for African American children who lacked a positive father figure. But like many of the Sesame Street adults, however, Gordon has transcended across the board to appeal to children of all races. Though friendly and kind, Gordon is the most likely of the Sesame Street adults to offer firm admonishment when the situation requires. Gordon has also appeared in both Sesame Street films, Follow That Bird (where he played a key role in rescuing Big Bird) and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. More recently, Gordon has developed a recurring alter-ego, Trash Gordon, in bedtime stories told by Oscar to Slimey.

Although he still appears on the show, Gordon's presence on the show has gradually diminished since Season 43, appearing in only a few episodes per season. His nephew Chris has largely taken up the role of the father figure.

Casting history

Though the characterization of Gordon has remained consistent, the casting has not, with three different performers taking the role in the series proper. Roscoe Orman recalled the difficulties with passing on the role: "The kids who were on the show that first season would not accept me as Gordon. One day there's Hal [Miller] as Gordon and the next day there's this new guy who says he's Gordon... the kids, both on the show and at home... they just assume that we are that person we're playing." [1]

Around 1991, Gordon's surname was revealed in a storyline that involved Gordon teaching in the classroom, and the students couldn't address their teacher as "Gordon." Orman suggested "Mr. Robinson," in honor of the original Gordon, Matt Robinson. Gordon was named after photographer-filmmaker Gordon Parks. [2]

Actor Garrett Saunders played Gordon in the series' first test show. He was unidentified until a 2011 online campaign launched by Sesame Workshop, seeking to identify the performer.


Book appearances


  1. Lance, Steven. Written Out of Television: A TV Lover's Guide to Cast Changes, 1945-1994. Maryland: Madison Books, 1996.
  2. Street Gang, page 168.

See also

External links

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