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Gordon and Oscar season 42.jpg
Roscoe Orman as Gordon in 2011
PERFORMER Garrett Saunders (test pilots)
  Matt Robinson Seasons 1-3
  Hal Miller Seasons 4-5
  Roscoe Orman Season 6-
DEBUT 1969

Roscoe Orman as Gordon in Season 8.

Hal Miller as Gordon.

Matt Robinson as Gordon.

(From left) Robinson, Miller, and Orman in their portrayals as Gordon.

Gordon with a beard in Episode 0744.

Telly Monster visits Gordon's high school science class in Episode 2782.

Gordon Robinson is one of the original residents of Sesame Street, having debuted in the first episode along with his wife Susan. Originally working as a history teacher (as mentioned in All About Sesame Street) after serving in the army (as he mentions in Episode 0950), Gordon later became a science teacher.

Gordon and Susan reside at 123 Sesame Street and, in 1985, the couple adopted a son, Miles. Gordon was conceived as a strong paternal character and a role model for African American children who lacked a positive father figure. Like many of the other Sesame Street adults, however, Gordon has transcended across the board to appeal to children of all races. Though friendly and kind, Gordon is the most likely of the Sesame Street adults to offer firm admonishment when the situation requires. Gordon has also appeared in both Sesame Street films, Follow That Bird (where he played a key role in rescuing Big Bird) and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. In 2004, Gordon developed a recurring alter-ego, Trash Gordon, in bedtime stories told by Oscar to Slimey.

Since season 46 in 2016, Gordon has been phased out of the show, only appearing in a cameo at the top of Episode 4629 and in reused material from previous seasons. However, Gordon has reappeared sporadically outside of the series, most prominently in two read-along web videos in 2018, reading We're Different, We're the Same in one. He also appeared with cast members old and new in Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration. His nephew Chris, introduced in 2007, continues to appear on the show.

Casting history

Though the characterization of Gordon has remained consistent, the casting has not, with three different performers taking the role in the series proper. Roscoe Orman recalled the difficulties with passing on the role: "The kids who were on the show that first season would not accept me as Gordon. One day there's Hal [Miller] as Gordon and the next day there's this new guy who says he's Gordon... the kids, both on the show and at home... they just assume that we are that person we're playing."[1]

Around 1986, Gordon's surname was revealed in a storyline that involved Gordon teaching some of his students, and the students couldn't address their teacher as "Gordon." Orman suggested "Mr. Robinson," in honor of the original Gordon, Matt Robinson. Gordon was named after photographer-filmmaker Gordon Parks,[2] who directed Shaft.

Actor Garrett Saunders played Gordon in the series' first test show. He was unidentified until a 2011 online campaign launched by Sesame Workshop, seeking to identify the performer.

In flashback sequences, younger versions of Gordon have been portrayed by Eugene Byrd (Episode 2621), Dennis Malcom (Episode 2965), and Chad Hunter (Episode 3199).


  • As a child, Gordon used to play the flute. He takes up the instrument once again in Episode 1666 and was seen playing it from time to time since. In Episode 4067, he is also seen as the guitarist for a rock band with Luis and Bob when they were younger.


Book appearances


  1. ↑ Lance, Steven. Written Out of Television: A TV Lover's Guide to Cast Changes, 1945-1994. Maryland: Madison Books, 1996.
  2. ↑ Street Gang, page 168.

See also

External links