Martin P. Robinson (b. March 9, 1954) is a puppeteer who has performed on Sesame Street since 1981. His characters include Telly Monster, Mr. Snuffleupagus and Slimey. He is married to Sesame Street writer Annie Evans. Together they run the official Sesame Workshop parenting blog Sesame Family Robinson.
Martin Robinson has been on staff at The Jim Henson Company since 1981. Early roles have included Mr. Snuffleupagus, Telly Monster, Slimey, and Buster the Horse, though all were previously performed by other people. He also performed Oscar's niece, Irvine, and his mother, Mrs. Grouch, and has voiced many announcers. In addition to performing, he has played an active role in hiring and training puppeteers for local Sesame Street productions in Mexico, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Russia, and Bangladesh.
Other Henson productions that Robinson has performed in, outside of Sesame Street, have included the Farmer in Tale of the Bunny Picnic, the animatronics for Leonardo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Cat in the Hat on The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss.
Robinson's stage credits include designing, building and performing Audrey II in the original 1982 off-Broadway and 2003 Broadway productions of Little Shop of Horrors, and set designing and building for the Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's Frogs.
Robinson got into the business as a member of the Bil Baird Puppet Company. According to Sesame Street Unpaved, "Martin Robinson became a performer so that he could play a wider variety of characters than his "nice guy" looks would have allowed him to play."
Often, his Muppets are paired with Caroll Spinney's on Sesame Street, such as Telly and Oscar and Big Bird and Snuffy. Martin's most frequent partner, however, is probably Kevin Clash. In addition to Telly and Elmo, the two of them have paired up many times, including as the Miami Mice, the captain and the mate of the next generation of Spaceship Surprise and the two chefs who serve Mr. Johnson at Pizzeria Dos.
Marriage on Sesame Street
Robinson and Annie Evans married on the set of Sesame Street. The pair met in 1993 at the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Connecticut, where Martin was creating a puppet show to premiere during the conference. Martin proposed to Evans on New Year's Eve 2007, and the two were married on the steps of 123 Sesame Street in Studio J at the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens.
Henson Puppeteer Credits
- Sesame Street: Abigail Snuffleupagus, Alligator (Episode 4201), The Big Bad Wolf (1984 - 2006), Buster the Horse, Captain Donald Cragen Muppet, Carl Mericana, Clancy ("Hill Street Twos"), Dicky Tick, Dinger, "Dinner Theatre" father, Dirk, Donald Grump, Dr. No, Enzo, Farmer McGregory, Firefighter Jackson, Fluffy, Forgetful Jones' father, Frank Lloyd Left, Frazzle (Episode 3156), Gyro Spiniapolis, H-Man, Hans the Duckling, Henny Drummschtick, Herbert Hare, Herry's Father, Honkers, Irvine, Jack, Jane Snuffleupagus, Joe Hundred Guy's Butler, The Karate Squid, Kermit the Forg ("Monsters of Venice"), King Oliver, "Let's Go Driving" father, The Log Bird, Luke Warm, the Martians, Mommy Snuffleupagus, Monty, Mr. Browning, Mr. Bull, Mr. Policeman Fishy, Mr. Snuffleupagus (1981 - present), Mrs. Grouch, Murray Matisse, Murray Monster ("Sound of the Letter L"), Newt the Nightwatchman, Next Generation Captain, Old Lady from "Katie and the King", Old MacDonald, Penguin ("Antarctica!"), Peter Piper, Phil, Pizzeria Chef, Prince Charming (1996), Proud, "Readers of the Open Range" Pumpkin cowboy, Pumpkin singing dentist, "Once Is Not Enough" father, Robin (Theater in the Park), Romeo Scuggs, Ronald Grump (Episode 2399), The Royal Apple Tree, The Royal Paper Maker, Scram-I-Am, Shelley the Turtle, Sir Rodney, Slimey, Smelly, Snail, Snuffertiti, Sullivan, The Sun (from "I Feel So Happy"), Telly Monster (1984 - present), Tito, Tony, The Tortoise (1987), Vincent Twice, Walter Cranky, Warren Blechstein (Episode 4127), William, various Anything Muppets, fish and others
- Muppet Meeting Films: Papa Luigi
- Don't Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Mr. Snuffleupagus
- The Muppets Take Manhattan: Rat, The Swedish Chef (hands), Muppet Babies
- Follow That Bird: Telly Monster, Mr. Snuffleupagus, Board of Birds member
- Little Muppet Monsters
- The Tale of the Bunny Picnic: The Farmer
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Leonardo (face)
- The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson
- Getting Ready to Read: Rocky the Cat, Old McDougal
- The Alphabet Game: Gary Grouch
- A New Baby in My House: King Goodheart
- Dog City: Scratch McCollie, Mr. MacTaggart, others
- Muppet Treasure Island (Muppet Sing Alongs): Big Snort and Shark
- Elmo Saves Christmas: Telly Monster, Mr. Snuffleupagus, one of Santa's Elves
- The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland: Laundromat Manager, Pesties, Telly Monster
- The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: The Cat in the Hat (Season 2), Civil Servants #1, #2, #5, and #6, The Milk, and The Old Man
- Panwapa: Tungar the Tiger (puppetry only)
- A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa: Penguin
- Elmo and Abby's Birthday Fun: Jack
- Little Shop of Horrors: Performed Audrey II for both the Broadway and Off-Broadway productions
- Spitting Image
- Allegra's Window: coordinated the construction of many characters, and performed Riff the Cat and other characters.
Puppet Design Credits
- Designed puppets for the Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's The Frogs
- Robinson was born in Michigan and grew up in Brookfield, Wisconsin where he attended Brookfield East High school. A talented actor and musician, he played the lead in several musicals, including Bernardo in West Side Story and Fagin in Oliver!.
- According to Street Gang, Robinson uses a converted greenhouse as his home workshop.
- He has a black belt in karate.
- According to Caroll Spinney, Robinson had divorced parents when he was young. This was the basis for the unaired episode "Snuffy's Parents Get a Divorce."
- ↑ Borgenicht, David Sesame Street Unpaved page 189.
- ↑ Wedding Notice in the New York Times
- ↑ Caroll Spinney interview [2:12:30], video interview for the Archive of American Television, conducted on May 12, 2001.