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

The Honkers are fuzzy creatures from Sesame Street who communicate by honking their bulbous noses. Conceptualized by Tony Geiss,[1] the Honkers made their debut in 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. According to Episode 1674, Honkers are native to the Land of Honk, which the script suggests has a flag of a bulb-horn. The Land of Honk would be referenced again when introducing the Honker contestant on "Name That Sound!"

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 given different names several times. Another Honker whose name has been mentioned is Henrietta Honker, the small pink Honker. The four Honkers who appear on "The Sound of H" are named Herb, Helen, Harold and Hanna. Hillary Honker is mentioned on "Good Day Sesame Street," receiving a half-birthday shout-out from weatherman Millard Hog. Izzy Honker is heard but not seen in Episode 2189 and is implied to be much smaller than most Honkers.

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 and variants 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"), Murray Beethoven, Hildegard (in Episode 2595), Alphonse (in a "Next To" sketch), 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 (or Orange)
Nose: Yellow-orange
Similar to above, but with red hair. Beginning in season 53, the hair became orange.


Appearances:
Episode 4204, 4704, 4713, 4818, 4821, 4902, 4903, 4911, 4919, 5003, 5023, 5029, 5031, 5301, 5329, 5411, 5419, 5428, Elmo's World: Noses, The Cookie Thief, Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration

2081-RedHonker

Honker pink fur orange hair

Honker pink fur red hair
Fur: Pink
Hair: Red (or Orange)
Nose: Orange
Two versions of the puppet have been used; one has been built with only one hand, while a slightly larger version has two hands. Starting around season 45, the one-handed version has been given orange hair.

Appearances:
1656, 1657, 1674, 1680, 1735, 1741, 1779, 1796, 1805, 1808, 1813, 1837, 1862, 1914, 1921, 1938, 1964, 2015, 2081, 2175, 2290, 2309, 2312, 2317, 2328, 2565, 2567, 2569, 2591, 2609, 2619, 2626, 2627, 2638, 2661, 2805, 2858, 3109, 3136, 3139, 3224, 3295, 3396, 3421, 3466, 3661, 3714, 3797, 3806, 3822, 3825, 3826, 3850, 3865, 3882, 3893, 3976, 3993, 4007, 4008, 4037, 4074, 4079, 4115, 4157, 4164, 4176, 4317, 4513, 4518, 4605, 4618, 4619, 4706, 4810, 4812, 4815, 4825, 4827, 4828, 4905, 4911, 4914, 4929, 5015, 5221, 5422, 5428, Sesame Street Beans commercial, Let's Make Music, Kids' Favorite Songs 2, Elmo's World: Families, Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration, The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo episode 213

Honker purple fur and hair
Fur: Purple
Hair: Purple
Nose: Orange
This is the first Honker seen on Sesame Street, by earliest sketch appearance.

Appearances:
Episode 1458, 1566, 1579, 1600, 1602, 1606, 1607, 1616, 1619, 1808, 1817, 1818, 1862, 1921, 1938, 1949, 2070, 2093, 2175, 2484, 2693, 2700, 2716, 2728, 2749, 2809, 2811, 2930, 2967, 2998, 3094, 3194, 3256, 3275, 3301, 3402, 3577, 3656, 3664, 3706, 3786, 3789, 4006, 4062, 4081, 4115, 4818, 4911, 4915, 5034, 5301, 5411

Honker orange
Fur: Orange
Hair: Orange
Nose: Red-orange
Starting around season 48, this puppet was given a brighter nose and red hair around season 54.

Appearances:
Episode 1458, 1536, 1549, 1566, 1579, 1600, 1602, 1606, 1607, 1616, 1619, 1654, 1657, 1669, 1674, 1679, 1680, 1779, 1808, 1813, 1815, 1817, 1938, 1942, 1947, 1949, 1951, 2035, 2070, 2081, 2226, 2253, 2273, 2309, 2312, 2317, 2328, 2484, 2534, 2561, 2591, 2609, 2636, 2638, 2666, 2700, 3059, 3083, 3094, 3301, 3370, 3466, 3581, 3656, 3702, 3740, 3799, 3840, 3881, 3900, 3902, 3908, 3927, 4089, 4098, 4115, 4317, 5132, 5330, 5435, "Old MacDonald Cantata," Sing Yourself Silly!, Fiesta!, Kids' Favorite Songs 2, Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration

Honker-Blue
Fur: Blue
Hair: Blue
Nose: Green
Appearances:
Episode 1463, 1536, 1566, 1578, 1600, 1602, 1606, 1607, 1616, 1619, 1712, 1735, 1739, 2081, 2175, 2328, 2465, 2619, 2626, 2638, 2723, 2795, 2805, 2833, 2927, 3301, 4074, The Best of Elmo, Let's Make Music, Elmo's World: Families
Honker-blufur-greenhair

Honker-turquoise-yellowhair
Fur: Turquoise
Hair: Primrose
Nose: Gold
Appearances:
Episode 1458, 1536, 1549, 1566, 1650, 1651, 1657, 1666, 1669, 1674, 1680, 1681, 1683, 1695, 1818, 1837, 1951, 1954, 2636, 2663, 2791, 2795, 3059, 3100, 3194, 3301, 3402, 3526, 3527, 3580, 3656, 3697, 3702, 3714, 3789, 3868, 3895, 3954, 4007, 4028, 4034, 4037, 4039, 4046, 4052, 4055, 4084, 4115, 4178, 4618, 4911, 4923, 5123, Kids' Favorite Songs 2, Elmo's World: Noses, When You Wish Upon a Pickle
Henrietta Honker
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:
Episode 4031, 4037, 4056, 4074, 4417, 4707, Elmo's World: Families, Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration

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."

SSMusical-Honks

Two Honkers made for Sesame Street: The Musical

BabyHonker
Target-honkers

Target billboard in Times Square.

Tumblr-Honkers
3402-BabyHonker

A baby Honker hatches out of its egg in Episode 3402.

CircusOpposites-Honkers

An early illustration of the Honkers (with Granny Fanny Nesselrode and Rodeo Rosie) in The Sesame Street Circus of Opposites.

  • 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.
  • New Honker puppets, boasting unique color schemes compared to the puppets used on the show, are featured throughout Sesame Street: The Musical and are present for special photo ops following each performance. During the 2022 run, only two Honkers were seen. An additional four Honkers were made for the 2023 run.

Appearances[]

Book appearances[]

Sources[]

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