Mr Johnson table
PERFORMER Jerry Nelson
DEBUT 1971

Mr. Johnson Fat Blue

Mr. Johnson's name

Jerry Nelson Mr Johnson

Jerry Nelson performing Mr. Johnson.


Let's Eat!: Funny Food Songs


Shalom Sesame’s version of Mr. Johnson

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).

He has appeared in the videos Elmo's Sing-Along Guessing Game, Let's Eat!: Funny Food Songs, and A Celebration of Me, Grover. He was in the specials The Sesame Street Special, Elmo Saves Christmas, and CinderElmo, and the feature film The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, where he was performed by David Rudman, and mostly dubbed later by Jerry Nelson (one of Rudman's lines remains in the final cut). He also can be spotted in the Rainbow Connection Finale of The Muppet Movie.

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 a 2005 episode, while Grover was Gina's vet assistant. Since then, he would continue to make several more appearances.

In at least one sketch, "Pizzeria Dos," (EKA: Episode 2881), 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.

In 2017 Mr. Johnson traveled to Germany to appear on several Sesamstrasse beach and crime scene clips, as well as on all three pilot episodes for the show's spin-off Pizza mit Biss.


Book appearances

See also