|PERFORMER||Jerry Nelson 1971 - 2011|
|Matt Vogel 2014 - present|
Mr. Johnson is Waiter Grover's recurring customer at Charlie's Restaurant and various other locations. He is sometimes referred to by his Anything Muppet designation "Fat Blue", such as in the book Sesame Street Unpaved.
Almost everywhere Mr. Johnson goes, Grover is sure to be the one providing his service. Grover has even come to his apartment at 14 Sesame Street from time to time as a door-to-door salesman. In one sketch (see the attached video to the right), the character finally revealed that his name is Mr. Johnson. He was later referred to as Fred in "Put a Lid On It," but this is more likely a term of affection made in the spirit of song. In A Celebration of Me, Grover, he is referred to as Mr. Blue, which again is more likely a term of affection, which Grover is often prone to do (calling Kermit "Froggy" or "Froggy Baby" for example).
Once the restaurant series was well established, as Grover returned to the kitchen to rectify an error in his order, Mr. Johnson would frequently turn to the camera and soliloquize, "Why do I keep coming back to this restaurant?" At one point, when it was later established that Grover would continually appear in other jobs, he said, "Everywhere I go I see that guy. I'm beginning to think I'm under some kind of spell." As the years went on, Mr. Johnson got more and more frustrated and irritable with Grover. After season 32, he disappeared until the release of A Celebration of Me, Grover. After that, Mr. Johnson came back in Episode 4102, while Grover was Gina's vet assistant. Since then, he would continue to make several more appearances.
In at least one sketch, "Pizzeria Dos," (First: Episode 2842), Mr. Johnson was seen visiting a restaurant other than Charlie's. However despite Grover's absence, his knack for receiving bad service remained the same. He also went to Hooper's Store in a 1999 episode, asking Alan if he had any toast, at a time when Alan's toaster had broken. He later ate at Hooper's Store in a 2009 episode, being served by Chris.
Little is known of Mr. Johnson's private life other than that he's been married, that his mother still lives in Chicago (or Cincinnati at another time), and that he himself used to live in Buffalo, New York. He was interviewed in the notes of the Old School: Volume 2 booklet in a piece that was written as a fourth-wall breaker; in that Mr. Johnson seems to have knowledge of his Fat Blue Anything Muppet pattern having been used for other characters on the show. This would be the equivalent of Count von Count acknowledging that he also "plays" Biff or The Amazing Mumford.
Mr. Johnson appeared in "Counting Café," a video game for the Sega Genesis console released in 1994, based on the premise that Grover must serve orders at a café properly in order to advance through the levels. He also appeared in the iPhone app "Grover's Number Special", released in 2009.
A variant of Mr. Johnson, with darker hair, appeared in the 2010 revival of Shalom Sesame, suffering from Grover's presence as well.
Other appearances by Mr. Johnson include cameos in the song "Another Good Morning Here on Sesame Street", Episode 4525, and a featured role in Episode 4603 (performed by Matt Vogel). An ancestor of Mr. Johnson (also performed by Vogel) appears as the constable in the 2016 special Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas.
- Sesame Street (1971 - present)
- The Muppet Movie ("Rainbow Connection" finale)
- Elmo's Sing-Along Guessing Game
- Elmo Saves Christmas
- "Don't Forget to Watch the Movie"
- The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland
- Let's Eat!: Funny Food Songs
- A Celebration of Me, Grover
- Good Morning America (September 12, 2014)
- Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas
- Billy on the Sesame Street viral video
In addition to his appearances in several sketches, Mr. Johnson has also made appearances in street scenes and plots from time to time, including:
- Episode 2696
- Episode 3768
- Episode 3800
- Episode 3825
- Episode 3832
- Episode 3906
- Episode 4102
- Episode 4140
- Episode 4171
- Episode 4191
- Episode 4525
- Episode 4603
- Episode 4709
- Episode 4725
- Episode 4822
- Mr. Johnson was often used to parody RNC chairman Michael Steele on The Daily Show.
- Other descriptions used for Mr. Johnson include "The Customer" (Let's Eat!: Funny Food Songs) and "The Food Lover" (Search and Learn Adventures).
- For his brief appearance in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Mr. Johnson was performed by David Rudman, with Jerry Nelson looping the dialogue later, save for a few lines retaining Rudman's voice. Similarly, Mr. Johnson was performed by Martin P. Robinson, voice and puppetry, in a short cameo in Episode 4140.
- More Sesame Street Finger Puppets (1972) -- referred to as "Harvey Kneeslapper's Victim"
- The Sesame Street Dictionary (1980) -- referred to as "Mr. Smith"
- Brought to You by the Letter A (2000)
- If You're Happy and You Know It... Clap Your Paws! (2001)
- The Monsters on the Bus (2001)
- Grover's Guide to Good Eating (2007)
- What's the Word on the Street? (2008)