Long John Silver is the treacherous ship's cook and principal villain in Muppet Treasure Island.
Silver befriends young Jim Hawkins. He even confessed one night that when he was eight, his father died at sea — "first mate he was", after Jim tells him his own father (also a first mate) died at sea when he was seven. He owns Bad Polly as a pet.
However, Silver is actually planning a mutiny amongst the crew of the Hispaniola, so as to seek Captain Flint's treasure himself. He is a deceptively charming man at first, until he is overheard by Gonzo, Rizzo and Jim as he reveals his dastardly plans to his fellow pirates aboard the Hispanola.
During Silver's siege on Treasure Island, it is suggested that Long John Silver and Benjamina Gunn share a romantic history. At the end of the film, Long John makes off with whatever treasure he can in what is later revealed to be a leaky lifeboat — but not before saying a rather touching goodbye to Jim Hawkins, where he declares he could "never hurt" Jim, because he is "honest and brave and true", something he himself isn't.
Long John claims he lost his right leg as the result of a cannonball in Madagascar.
His feature solo number, which resulted in the fellow pirates joining along, was "Professional Pirate".
The character also appeared in new footage for the video game version of Muppet Treasire Island.
- In episode 223 of The Muppet Show, John Cleese plays Long John Silverstein in a "Pigs in Space" sketch.
- Sweetums takes on the role of Short John Silver in episode 507 in order to help Glenda Jackson and a band of pirates take over The Muppet Theatre.
- Count von Count played the role in The Sesame Street Storytime Calendar 1982 for the month of June.
- Baby Gonzo appears as the treacherous pirate in Muppet Babies' Classic Children's Tales.
- A Fat Blue Live Hand Anything Muppet version of Long John Silver (performed by Martin P. Robinson) appears in a 1990 episode of Sesame Street (later reran in 1992).