Harvey Kneeslapper fix-it bench
PERFORMER Frank Oz
DEBUT 1971
PATTERN Large Lavender Live Hand
HarveyKneeslapper

Harvey Kneeslapper is Sesame Street’s mad practical joker, always pulling pranks on others, punctuated with his hysterical laugh. He was the first character created by Norman Stiles.[1]

Usually, his pranks involved either letters or numbers, which he would slap onto his victims, many of whom were made from Fat Blue Anything Muppets (one of these was a look-alike, and sound-alike, of Mr. Johnson). In most of his skits, his pranks succeeded, much to the annoyance of his dupes.

However, on rare occasions, Harvey's pranks backfired on him. Such instances usually occurred in skits where he explained his prank in advance to the audience.

Eventually, his raucous laugh became too hard on Frank Oz's throat and Harvey, who was always considered a one-joke character, was dropped from the show.[2] Oz later recalled that initially the character was "a funny idea, and then I realized, first of all, it's exhausting. And second of all, it's not that funny. He's one of the dead Muppets."[3] Even after Harvey stopped appearing in new material, his existing segments continued to be used in new episodes up until Season 32.

Harvey later made a cameo appearance in Episode 4209 (performed by Matt Vogel), where he slaps a "7" on Wolfgang’s beach ball. He also cameoed in the Letters CD-ROM game, pretending to be a shark in Ernie's tub.

Sketches

Picture Summary / EKA Description
Harveykneeslapperb
Do You Know Where I Wanna B?
Episode 0277
Harvey asks a man, "Do you know where I wanna be?" The man doesn't know. Harvey says, "I wanna B here!" and then slaps a letter B onto the victim's chest.
Harvey
Wanna see something funny?
Episode 0283
In a park, Harvey comes up behind a man, asks him, "Wanna see something funny?" and then holds a mirror up. The man sees nothing funny... until he looks at Harvey!
500018
Do You Want Me To Keep An I On Your Hat?
Episode 0288
Harvey asks a man, "Do you want me to keep an eye on your hat?" The man says yes. Harvey then puts a letter I on top of the man's hat, crushing it in the process.
DionYou!
D On
Episode 0292
Harvey approaches a man and says, "Knock, knock!" The man asks, "Who's there?". Harvey says, "Dion." The man asks, "Dion who?" Then Harvey slaps a letter D on the man's chest and says, "D on you!"
2477e
Do Ya Have an A on Ya?
Episode 0293
Harvey asks a man if he has an A on him. The man doesn't, so Harvey slaps a letter A on him.
HarveyC
Wanna C?
Episode 0294
Harvey Kneeslapper looks inside a paper bag and laughs and asks his next victim, "Wanna see?" The man says yes, so Harvey slaps a letter C on him.
AwayFrom
Away From
Episode 0348
In his first appearance, salesman Harvey asks Tony if he gets attacked by monsters and run over by crowds. Herry Monster attacks him and a crowd walks all over him, so the answer is yes. Harvey has a simple solution for Tony: AWAY FROM! The next time those things happen to Tony, he can get AWAY FROM them.
Harveydoorprank
Confetti
Episode 0353
Harvey sets up a bucket of confetti above a door, so that whoever pulls the rope attached to the bucket will get the confetti dumped on them. Instead, a little girl walks by and pulls the rope, so that the confetti lands on Harvey!
Two variations of this sketch were made.
Harvey2
I'd Love 2
Episode 0417
Harvey is bouncing on a pogo stick. He asks a man if he'd like to try it and the man replies, "I'd love to!" Harvey then slaps a number 2 on the man's shirt.
HarveyX
X Marks the Spot
Episode 0456
Harvey says, "X marks the spot!" A man asks, "What spot?" Harvey slaps a spot and a letter X on the man.
1396p
Picture of U
Episode 0468
Harvey goes to a man and asks, "Do you mind if I take a picture of you?" The man gives him permission, but Harvey asks, "What's down there?" When the man looks down, Harvey slaps a letter U on top of the man's head, takes a picture of it and says "Thank U!" before he leaves.
HareyRobinhood
Robin Hood's Merry Men
Episode 0480
Ernie, performing as Robin Hood, is interviewing some potential new "merry men". After the first two applicants turn out to be sad and angry, respectively, Ernie hires the third (Harvey) on the spot because he seems suitably merry... only to fire him just as quickly after he goes overboard rattling off one-liner jokes.
Harvey3Sticks
3 Sticks
Episode 0570
Harvey is looking down and saying "Three sticks!" A man asks "Three sticks where?" Then Harvey says "3 sticks right here!" and sticks a number 3 on the man's head.
HarveyR
Letter R
Episode 0583
Harvey tells a mailman that he has a letter for his mother: the letter R!
(Note: A similar practical joke was pulled in The Muppet Show episode 115, which also included the letter R and was pulled by another Frank Oz character, Fozzie Bear.)
HKopenpart1

HarveyOPEN2

HarveyOPEN

OPEN the Toy Closet
Episode 0597
Part 1: Harvey hangs an "OPEN" sign on a closet and has filled it with so many toys that when somebody opens it, all of the toys in the closet will fall on that person. A girl opens the closet, but none of the toys fall out. When Harvey opens it after she leaves, they fall all over him.

Part 2: Harvey has refilled the closet. A boy tries to open it, but the door is stuck. When the boy has left, Harvey opens the closet and the toys fall on him again.

Part 3: Harvey has refilled the closet again. The boy and girl come by again and open the door. Instead of toys falling, the closet leads to another place. After the two of them have gone through and closed the door behind them, Harvey opens the closet and the toys fall on him yet again.

Ssnews.snow

Inthesnowpart3
News Flash: Man In Snowstorm
Episode 0750
Part 1: Kermit has received a phone call telling him that there is someone who has been standing out in a terrible snow storm for a long time. Kermit asks everyone who passes by if they are that person, but everyone he asks has only been out in the snow for a short time. Kermit refuses to give up, however, and tells the audience to stay tuned.

Part 2: Kermit, now shivering a little, is still looking for the person who's been standing out in the snow for a long time. He even asks Farley, who has been out for only a short time. Still no success yet.

Part 3: Kermit is now buried up to his neck in snow, colder than ever. He calls the attention of passerby Harvey Kneeslapper, who tells Kermit that he is the one who made the call, which was a prank call. As it turns out, Kermit was the one standing out in the storm.

Harveybuzzer
Gimme 5
Episode 0991
Harvey explains to the audience that he is holding a joy buzzer in his hand and plans on asking somebody to give him five, shocking his next victim's hand. However, when he asks a victim to "Gimme five!", the other man slaps a number 5 on his shirt.
Harvey4
Sticky 4
Episode 1210
Harvey Kneeslapper tells a man that "stickys" are really useful. The man asks, "What's a sticky for?". Then Harvey slaps a number 4 on the man's chest and says, "This is sticky and it's a four!"
Harvey1
Would You Like 1?
Episode 2570
Harvey holds a cookie and asks his next victim if he wants one. He answers "Sure", and Harvey sticks a number 1 onto his shirt.

Songs

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Harvey's cameo in Episode 4209 (2010).

Book appearances

Sources

  1. Muppets Gone Missing: Norman Stiles at GraphicPolicy.com
  2. Sesame Street Unpaved page 134
  3. ToughPigs.com "An Interview with Frank Oz, Part 1" by Joe Hennes and Ryan Roe, March 12, 2018