PERFORMER Frank Oz 1971
  Martin P. Robinson 1987
DEBUT 1971

The Tortoise -- or "the Turtle", as he's sometimes known to sports fans -- is one of the main characters from the classic Aesop fable "The Tortoise and the Hare".

Kermit the Frog broadcasts from the scene of the great race between the Tortoise and the Hare in a "Sesame Street Sports" sketch from a 1971 episode of Sesame Street. When the race begins, the Hare offers to give the Tortoise a head start -- but when Kermit rushes to the finish line to see the results, the Frog is inadvertently crowned the winner of the race.

In a second "Sesame Street News Flash" sketch, the Hare challenges the Tortoise to a rematch. This time, the Tortoise comes equipped with a jet-pack.

Puppet design

In the first sketch, the Tortoise was made out of the regular Green Anything Muppet with a distinctive cone-shaped head. In the second sketch, while the Hare retains his Anything Muppet design, the Tortoise is repurposed from a generic turtle puppet that had been used for "Shelly" in The Turtle Who Wanted to Make Friends, and "Tony" in a Waiter Grover sketch.

Book appearances