Weekly HUMAN Wednesdays: Bob

As always, today’s Weekly Human Wednesday post is written by Kyle Mahoney.


Performed by…
Bob McGrath (1969-present)

First appearance…
Sesame Street Season 1: Episode 0001 (1969)

Most recent appearance…
Jim Henson’s Musical World (2012) and will appear in Sesame Street Season 43

Best known role…
Sesame Street’s resident music teacher; person in your neighborhood; member of “The Lovers of 5,” and perpetual wearer of sweaters

Full name…
Bob Johnson

Everyone on Sesame Street, no one isn’t friends there.

Bob is one of the many humans who inhabit Sesame Street. He lives in an apartment above Hooper’s Store. He was one of the original human characters on the show in 1969 and has been on the show for the past 43 years. Whenever Bob comes around he usually sings (he is a music teacher after all) but music is not all the he teaches. While most of the humans act as parents to the younger street residents, Bob rarely takes a disciplinary role with the young characters, as more of a teacher. as opposed to a parent. 

Bob is perhaps best known for the song “People in Your Neighborhood,” in which he sings about careers with various Anything Muppets. Other hits by Bob include “Believe in Yourself,” “I Am Your Friend,” “Morningtown Ride,” “A Face,” and “Loud and Soft.” He is also a member of “The Lovers of 5” with Gordon, David, and Luis. Bob has released many albums over the years, including Bob Sings!, Bob McGrath From Sesame Street, Bob! from Sesame Street Christmas Sing Along, and Bob’s Favorite Street Songs.

During her time on the show Linda (played by deaf actress Linda Bove) and Bob were a very close, somewhat romantic couple. Bob and Linda were often paired together and Bob acted as her interpreter via sign language. A prime example of their never-defined relationship is in the special Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, in which Linda surprises Bob with a chorus of kids singing “Keep Christmas With You.” Bob apparently chose Linda over Molly the Mail Lady, who appeared in the early seasons of the show and was very interested in Bob… who spurned her advances at every turn.

Bob appeared in both Sesame Street feature films, Follow That Bird and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. Bob has lived in an apartment above Hooper’s Store, a location in which he had to house Oscar the Grouch, Honkers, Dingers, monsters, and various animals during a hurricane. Some of Bob’s family members have made appearances on Sesame Street as well, including his deaf niece Samara and his Uncle Wally, who was a regular on the show for a few seasons. Although Bob has been on the show since the premiere, in recent years his role has been reduced as the number of episodes per season is reduced. Lately, Bob has been used in quite a few parodies, including “TraingleBob TrianglePants.”

Sesame Street needs Bob because he acts older and, therefore, a bit wiser. He also sings many important songs on the show. He does what many of the other adults do, but to be honest he’s just my personal favorite. He seems like such a sweet man and his love for the Muppets making his life interesting seems so warm and so genuine, even if he gets a pie in the face every now and then. So in short, we need Bob so he can be Bob, there’s no better reason.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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