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Gordon

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Gordon Louie
Roscoe Orman as Gordon, with Elmo's dad Louie.
Gordon2
Hal Miller as Gordon.
Gordon1
Matt Robinson as Gordon.
Gordon sized
(From left) Robinson, Miller, and Orman in their portrayals as Gordon.
Gordonsclass
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 history teacher (as mentioned in the book All About Sesame Street), Gordon later became a science teacher.

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.

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.

Filmography

Book appearances

References

  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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