PERFORMER Leonard Jackson 1989-1990
  David L. Smyrl 1990-1998
DEBUT 1989

Mr. David Handford owned and operated Hooper's Store on Sesame Street from 1989 to 1998. Mr. Handford was a retired firefighter, who bought the store from David in order to keep active. In his earliest appearances, he often offered fire safety messages. As revealed in episode 3688, he was also a part of a doo-wop group called "The Handford Five."

Mr. Handford also appeared in the specials Elmo Saves Christmas and Elmopalooza. Mr. Snuffleupagus occasionally had trouble pronouncing his name, calling him Mr. Handfoot, similar to how Big Bird often pronounced Mr. Hooper's name as Mr. Looper.

No specific explanation was given, on screen, for Mr. Handford's departure - Season 29 simply ended with him running Hooper's, and Season 30 began with Alan taking over; Sesame Workshop's official website cited that Mr. Handford had simply sold the store to Alan in 1998.[1]


  1. character page (archive link): "Mr. Handford ran the store until he sold it to Alan in 1998."