PERFORMER Jim Henson 1969-1990
  Eric Jacobson 2005-present
DEBUT 1969
PATTERN Orange Gold

An early Guy Smiley reporting on the weather, from "The Weather Show" sketch.


Jim Henson with Guy during the taping of "Beat The Time."


Guy on safari.


Guy Smiley is, by his own account, America's Favorite Game Show Host. He has hosted the Sesame Street game shows "Beat The Time", "Here is Your Life", "What's My Part?", and many others. He approaches every hosting gig with a near-frantic level of excitement and enthusiasm.

Guy Smiley has occasionally demonstrated his musical talent on Sesame Street. His song performances include "Air" and "They Can't Take That Away From Me" (with Cookie Monster). His singing voice at times can go very low, very similar to Link Hogthrob's, as in "I'll Love You in Springtime" and his tribute to the winner in "The Letter of the Day Pageant." He also sang "Gone with the Wind" in the first season.

Most of Guy Smiley's appearances in sketches have been as the host of game shows. Many of the sketches where he doesn't host game shows still involve him being the host of a show, including "The Weather Show", "The Letter of the Day Pageant", and "On Vacation with Guy Smiley". One of the few sketches he starred in where he didn't host a show or sing was a sketch where he took his entire studio audience out for lunch. His first appearance was in a sketch where he appears as a spokesman for "Brand X." (First: Episode 0010)

Although Joan Ganz Cooney once described Guy Smiley as one of Jim Henson's funniest characters,[1] he was Henson’s least favorite to perform; as the character’s boisterous voice was too rough on his throat.[2] Because of this, the dialogue for Guy's earlier sketches was commonly prerecorded, so multiple takes could be filmed without straining Henson's throat.

A walk-around version of Guy Smiley appeared in a number of Sesame Street Live shows. In Big Bird Goes Hollywood, he assisted Big Bird in directing a movie. Guy Smiley also appeared in Big Bird's Sesame Street Story and Big Bird and the ABCs.

In his earliest appearances, he had a visible tongue, a feature that was later seen in 2006, when he hosted a PBS commercial/game show spoof for the Ready To Learn Service.

Following Jim Henson's death, Guy Smiley continued to appear in reused material through 1998. He would then make background appearances in Episode 3820 as one of Maria's customers, and in Episode 4117 as one of the spectators in the Number of the Day segment where The Count was playing golf. Performed by Eric Jacobson since 2005, Guy had a prominent speaking role in the main street story of Episode 4182. Guy later appeared in two season 44 segments (hosting "The Waiting Game" and "Make it Fit"), and in a Episode 4510.

Guy Smiley's name

In one of his first appearances as a game show host ("Pick Your Pet"), he was named Sonny Friendly (which would later become the name of another Sesame Street game show host). He would be named Guy Smiley in another first season game show, The Mr. and Mrs. Game.

When Count von Count introduced himself in a Beat the Time sketch, he did so in his traditional way, "They call me the Count because I love to count things." Guy responded with, "Well, I'm Guy Smiley. They call me Guy Smiley because I changed my name from Bernie Liederkrantz."

Casting history

Main Performers

Alternate Performers


  • The original Guy Smiley puppet was borrowed from a Whatnot design used in various commercials and TV appearances throughout the 1960s (such as Conrad Love). In 1972, the puppet transitioned to the show's standard "Orange Gold" model, with a special mechanism that allowed Guy to raise or lower his eyebrows. This particular puppet often doubled as Prince Charming.


Book appearances

Cookie Monster also disguised himself as Guy Smiley in the book No Cookies 'Til Dinner.


  1. Jim Henson: The Works
  2. The Story of Jim Henson

Start a Discussion Discussions about Guy Smiley

  • Guy Smiley - Brand X

    3 messages
    • In terms of key personnel, I would say it's Caroll, as Seagren didn't have many speaking parts other than subbing as Big Bird once...
    • If you listen to Seagren's other performances, I think you can clearly tell by comparing that Seagren is performing him there.
  • Music

    3 messages