Mr. Johnson (Sesame Street)
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|Sesame Street character|
|First appearance||1969 (Fat Blue)
1972 (Mr. Johnson)
|Created by||Jim Henson|
|Portrayed by||Jerry Nelson (1972– 2012)
Matt Vogel (2016– present)
David Rudman (in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, puppeteering only)
|Aliases||Fat Blue, Mr. Blue, Mr. Blue Man, Sir (by Grover)|
Johnson is a fat blue Anything Muppet who has cumulatively become frustrated over the years with the service Grover provides (in earlier skits, Mr. Johnson was calmer and Grover was the one who would get annoyed, but the situation reversed over the years). Mr. Johnson is always called "Sir" politely by Grover, despite that Grover referred to him as a "weirdo" in "Grover And A Fly In My Soup".
In the restaurant sketches, Mr. Johnson goes to Charlie's Restaurant, a table service restaurant that he frequents regularly. Johnson is a nice and pleasant fellow, although he is usually impatient. He is usually in a rush and always hates waiting, while Grover, the waiter, fights with Mr. Johnson with his antics and mistakes. As a result, Mr. Johnson becomes more angrier than before. However, in earlier sketches, Mr. Johnson and Grover's roles were switched; Johnson was calmer and Grover was usually the one who would get annoyed. At the end of almost every sketch, Mr. Johnson either faints (which he does most of the time) or flees in a huff out of frustration and annoyance, or sometimes being injured. Despite the fact that Grover ruins his dining experiences, Mr. Johnson always goes back to Charlie's (he even says to himself, "Why do I keep coming back to this place?").
Other sequences with Grover and Mr. Johnson encountering each other include sketches on an airplane, at the airport, in a telegram office, at a rent-a-car agency, at fast food or other types of restaurants, at the movies, at a portrait studio, at a baseball game, at a department store, at a coffee shop, as a hot dog vendor, as a fitness gym trainer, as a salesman, as a game show host, as a street musician, as a flight attendant, in an art gallery, and in a taxi. In the sketches, something usually drives Johnson to lose his patience and get very infuriated with Grover.
In two other sketches, Mr. Johnson attends the park, with Grover showing up to annoy him. In one sketch, Mr. Johnson wants to eat his lunch all alone but Grover shows up playing the guitar and sings (Mr. Johnson also paraphrases a quote from Casablanca: "Of all the benches in all the parks in the world, I had to pick this one!"). In another, Johnson wants one long hot dog or two short hot dogs with mustard.
In one skit, Mr. Johnson attends the Birdland concert/nightclub and is bothered by the Squirrel Nut Zippers singing "Put a Lid on It" (in this skit, Johnson's first name, Fred, is mentioned during the song).
Several sketches take place in Mr. Johnson's apartment at 14 Sesame Street, where Grover is involved in delivering singing telegrams (along with Elmo in one sketch, in which he taught him how to send telegrams), selling wigs, delivering pizza, doing renovations on Johnson's new house, or other door-to-door activities.
In one sketch, Simon Soundman (also performed by Nelson) goes to Charlie's for lunch and says he doesn't know why Mr. Johnson recommended the restaurant since it has bad service. He also mentions that Johnson is his brother (even though they have different last names).
On June 13, 2011, Nelson and Frank Oz reprised their respective roles as Mr. Johnson and Grover in a new Sesame Street sketch uploaded on YouTube parodying Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, called SpiderMonster the Musical.