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 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," (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 Episode 3825, asking Alan if he had any toast, at a time when Alan's toaster had broken. He later ate at Hooper's Store in Episode 4191, 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 most recently interviewed in the notes of the Old School: Volume 2 booklet. However, this piece 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.
A similar looking man appears in the 2010 revival of Shalom Sesame, suffering from Grover's presence as well.
- Mr. Johnson is 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).
- 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)