Professor Hastings is a character from Sesame Street. Hastings is an old professor who always falls asleep during his boring lectures. He often appeared with Kermit as his assistant, who would have to wake him up constantly.
The drowsy professor originally appeared as part of the classical trio that played "Spinning Wheel" in an insert for Episode 0012. Here, Hastings, who played horn alongside Professor Goldfinch, spoke only in incoherent mumbles and bore brown hair. In later sketches with Hastings as a lecturer, his outfit was more redefined, his hair became white and he occasionally wore glasses.
In 1974, CTW advisor Gerald S. Lesser offered this cogent summary of the character: "verging on senility; gives comically confused lectures; interrupting each at unpredictable occasions for short naps; sporadically capable of remarkably clear insights that stand in stark contrast to his general muddlement." In a 1990 episode of Learning Matters, Lesser said that he, a Harvard professor, was used as the model for the character according to Jon Stone.
Professor Hastings mostly appeared in Season 1; according to Sesame Street Unpaved, "He was performed by Frank Oz, but he didn't make the cut because he was, well, too dull." As summarized by Phyllis Feinstein in the 1971 book All About Sesame Street, "The professor, more boring than broadening, is no real loss...." According to Gerald S. Lesser in Learning Matters: Sesame Street, research showed that the character’s sleeping put the kids to sleep. Although he has never been a big hit in the US, he is still considered a very popular character in several European countries. In a few pieces of European merchandise, he is mixed up with Mr. Johnson from the Waiter Grover sketches.
|Picture||Title / First||Description|
| "Spinning Wheel"|
|A "quiet" trio of Professor Goldfinch, Hastings and a wild-haired Green Anything Muppet drummer perform the song. Hastings plays the horn section.|
| Letter Y|
|Professor Hastings talks about the letter Y. As usual, he drifts off and Kermit has to remind him what he's teaching. When the frog's response is "Y", Hastings answers, "Because I forgot."|
|Professor Hastings conducts a lecture about the ways people feel, but keeps drifting off. Meanwhile, two groups of Muppets behind him pass by; one cheering for their winning team, and the others crying for the losing team.|
| Big and Little|
|Professor Hastings talks about big and little using piles of blocks.|
|Kermit and Professor Hastings on the importance of exercise.|
| Body Parts|
|Kermit helps the professor discuss parts of the body.|
| Two Trucks|
|Professor Hastings talks and shows how two dump trucks can be alike and also different.|
| What's My Part?|
|Guy Smiley hosts "What's My Part?" The contestants are Bennett Snerf, Arlene Frantic and Professor Hastings, and the mystery part is a foot.|
| Letter U|
|Kermit and Professor Hastings discuss the letter U.|
| Pogo Stick|
|The professor uses a pogo stick to demonstrate "up" and "down", and ends up jumping into a pond.|
- Sesame Street Finger Puppets (1971)
- Epi / Blas ...y los demás (1976-1979)
- The Sesame Street Library Volume 15 (1979)
- The Sesame Street Players Present Mother Goose (1982)
- The Sesame Street Storytime Calendar 1982 (1982)