The Honkers
PERFORMER various
DEBUT 1980
DESIGN Caroly Wilcox designer and builder

The Honkers are fuzzy creatures from Sesame Street who communicate by honking their bulbous noses. Conceptualised by Tony Geiss,[1] the Honkers made their debut in 1980, during Season 12[2] (first appearing in Episode 1458).

Honkers come in a variety of colors, and baby Honkers are hatched from eggs. It is not known how closely related (if at all) the Honker species is to that of The Dingers, although there are similarities between the two.

As the Honkers never speak, their performers vary, depending on puppeteer availability. In the feature film Follow That Bird, Tim Gosley performed the Honker who served as Oscar's car horn. That specific Honker puppet has been named several times. Another Honker whose name has been mentioned is Henrietta Honker, the small pink honker.

Most of the Honker puppets were constructed with only one arm, built for the puppeteer's left hand. This arm is directly connected to the front of the body, but on the television screen, it is barely noticeable due to the amount of fur and fabric on a Honker's body, and the framing of the puppet on-screen.

A few songs have focused on the Honkers and their unique talent, including "Honk Around the Clock" and "The Honker-Duckie-Dinger Jamboree". A list of Honker puppets used on the show:

Image Features Notes
Honker green
Fur: Green
Hair: Blue
Nose: Yellow-orange
Has been called Mr. Honker (in "Name That Sound"), Alphonse (in a "Next To" sketch), Murray Beethoven, Hildegard (in Episode 2595), Hank (in Elmo's Musical Monsterpiece), and Homer (most likely erroneously on page 63 of Jim Henson: The Works).
Green Honker with Red hair
Fur: Green
Hair: Red
Nose: Yellow-orange
Similar to above, but with red hair.


Appearances:
Elmo's World: Noses, The Cookie Thief, Episode 4818, Episode 4821, Episode 4902, Episode 4911

Honker pink fur orange hair
Fur: Pink
Hair: Orange
Nose: Orange
Appearances:
Episode 2312, Episode 2317, Episode 2626, Episode 2638, Episode 3139, Episode 3224, Episode 3466, Episode 3850, Episode 3893, Let's Make Music, Episode 3976, Episode 4115, Episode 4176, Episode 4605, Episode 4618, Episode 4619, Episode 4810, Episode 4911
Honker purple fur and hair
Fur: Purple
Hair: Purple
Nose: Orange
Appearances:
Episode 1458, Episode 1576, Episode 1706, Episode 2484, Episode 2749, Episode 2809, Episode 2998, Episode 3194, Episode 3256, Episode 3301, Episode 3402, Episode 3577, Episode 4062, Episode 4115, Episode 4818, Episode 4911
Honker orange
Fur: Orange
Hair: Orange
Nose: Red-orange
Appearances:
Episode 1458, Episode 1576, Episode 1706, Episode 2226, Episode 2312, Episode 2317, Episode 2484, "Old MacDonald Cantata", Episode 2561, Episode 2638, Sing Yourself Silly!, Episode 3301, Episode 3466, Episode 3840, Episode 4089, Episode 4098, Episode 4115
Honker-Blue
Fur: Blue
Hair: Blue
Nose: Green
Appearances:
Episode 1576, Episode 1706, Episode 2626, Episode 2638, The Best of Elmo, Episode 3301, Let's Make Music, Episode 4074
Honker-blufur-greenhair

Honker-turquoise-yellowhair
Fur: Turquoise
Hair: Primrose
Nose: Gold
Appearances:
Episode 1458, Episode 1576, Episode 3100, Episode 3194, Episode 3301, Episode 3402, Episode 3868, Episode 3954, Kids' Favorite Songs 2 (video), Episode 4028, Episode 4039, Episode 4052, Episode 4055, Episode 4115, Elmo's World: Noses, Episode 4618, Episode 4911
Character.henriettahonker
Fur: Pink
Hair: Pink
Nose: Yellow-orange
A baby Honker who was named Henrietta Honker in Episode 4074.
Honker grandfather
Fur: Light blue
Hair: White
Nose: Light pink
Appearances:
Elmo's World: Families, Episode 4031, Episode 4056, Episode 4074, Episode 4417

Notes

Honkers

The Honkers make music with a Dinger, Ernie and Rubber Duckie.

Honker-family

A mother, a father, a baby and a grandfather Honker as seen in "Elmo's World: Families".

BabyHonker
Target-honkers

Target billboard in Times Square.

Tumblr-Honkers
HonkDinger-BirdGames

A Honker and Dinger in Big Bird's Favorite Party Games.

Performers of the Honkers have included Brian Muehl, Kathryn Mullen, and Cheryl Blaylock, all of whom did them in "The Honker-Duckie-Dinger Jamboree", and Pam Arciero and Jim Martin, who operated them in "Conga".

Despite being depicted on Sesame Street as non-vocal, in A Muppet Family Christmas, they are seen singing along with the rest of the crew during the musical numbers.

Appearances

Book appearances

Sources

  1. Susan Dominus, "A Girly-Girl Joins the 'Sesame' Boys", The New York Times, 6 August 2006.
  2. Season 12 Press Kit, CTW Archives