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Muppet Wiki
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PERFORMER Jerry Nelson
DEBUT 1970
DESIGN Jim Henson designer
  Caroly Wilcox builder

Sherlock and Watson in "Mysterious Theater"


Sherlock Hemlock making a cameo in Season 40.


Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration


Sherlock Hemlock is a Muppet spoof of Sherlock Holmes, as seen on Sesame Street.

Sherlock is the self-appointed "World's Greatest Detective," dressed in the iconographic Holmes deerstalker cap and Inverness cape, and usually brandishing a large magnifying glass. He prides himself on his powers of observation and does succeed in deciphering small clues, but he seldom arrives at a correct, final solution without assistance. When he does find a clue, he often shouts, "Egad!" He speaks with a British accent and his earliest appearances were often signaled by "detective music" (as Ernie called it), a series of dramatic stings on a piano.

Sherlock first appeared in Episode 0131, the Season 2 premiere, looking for the missing half of Ernie's chicken salad sandwich. Clues revealed that Sherlock himself ate half of the sandwich (he likes chicken salad, doesn't like bread crusts, and one of his buttons was found in Ernie's lunchbox).

Hemlock also appeared in the recurring Caveman Days sketches with Ernie as "The Royal Smart Person."

Though generally one of the less musical Muppets, Hemlock sang "X Marks the Spot!," a dire warning of what the letter/symbol X may signify, first heard on The Muppet Alphabet Album and then on the series itself.

Beginning in Season 20, Sherlock Hemlock starred in all of the Mysterious Theater segments, and by this time he was given a sidekick of sorts: a faithful dog named Watson, who joined his master in the segments and occasional street appearances. Most notably, in a season 22 episode, Sherlock and Watson try to find Maria's sock on a laundry day in her basement, accompanied by the Mysterious Theater theme and host Vincent Twice.

In 1996, Sherlock Hemlock and Watson starred as playable characters in the computer game Search and Learn Adventures. Sherlock also appeared in the 1998 computer game Elmo's Reading Basics and the 2001 game Elmo's World: Shoes, Bugs & Farms!.

Sherlock's last major appearance occurred in Episode 3424, where the letter X wanted to quit the alphabet. After this, he was only seen in old sketches until the early 2000s. Then, in 2010 for the show's 40th season, Sherlock reappeared on Sesame Street in a brief speaking cameo at Hooper's Store in Episode 4206. He also made a background cameo in The Furchester Hotel episode, "Mystery Weekend."

In 2018, Sherlock appeared during Caroll Spinney's retirement party in the skit where Caroll Spinney meets his wife, puppeteered by Martin P. Robinson. In 2019, Sherlock Hemlock made his first speaking appearance since Nelson's passing in Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration, performed here by Matt Vogel. He appears in The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo as an audience member.

According to Sesame Street Unpaved, Nelson's performance is based on Basil Rathbone's famous portrayal of Holmes in the 1939 movie The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and its early 1940s sequels. However, the voice, particularly in the early sketches, is modeled after the clipped diction of another British movie star, Ronald Colman.

Street Scenes[]

In addition to primarily appearing in sketches, Sherlock has appeared in street scenes from time to time.


For more sketches, see Mysterious Theater

Picture Summary / First Description
Missing Chicken Salad Sandwich
Episode 0131
Ernie opens his lunchbox and finds that half of his chicken salad sandwich is missing. Sherlock Hemlock, the world's greatest detective, investigates this fiendish crime. It turns out that Sherlock himself ate half of Ernie's sandwich.
Apple Mystery
Episode 0137
Ernie finds an apple on a brick wall, and wants to know who it belongs to. Sherlock Hemlock helps solve the mystery, and realizes that Ernie has a brown paper bag with a hole at the bottom, and that Ernie had an apple in the bag, therefore the apple belongs to Ernie.
Missing cookies
Episode 0142
Someone has eaten Ernie's cookies, and Sherlock Hemlock investigates the case. He asks Ernie questions about the cookies, when Cookie Monster comes by with cookie crumbs on his fur. Sherlock interrogate Cookie Monster, and he comes to the conclusion that Cookie is the thief. Cookie Monster admits it, saying that he is full now and gives Ernie the last cookie, but Sherlock ends up taking it as payment.
Twiddlebug Mystery
Episode 0178
Sherlock Hemlock tries to figure out why there is a mess outside. He speculates that the Twiddlebugs made a mess after a Twiddlebug dance.
The Letter S
Episode 0200
Sherlock Hemlock demonstrates the S sound.
Who are you?
Episode 0223
Bob tries to sneak a bag of cookies home without getting noticed by Cookie Monster. Bob encounters Sherlock Hemlock, who has never seen him before and tries to deduce who Bob is. Sherlock comes to the conclusion that Bob must be Cookie Monster, due to the cookies in the bag. Cookie Monster comes and eats the cookies from the bag, so Sherlock realizes that Bob can't be Cookie Monster. Bob then introduces himself, and Sherlock asks if Bob has cookies left that he may have. As Bob finds another cookie, Cookie Monster comes and takes it.
The Case of the Broken Window
Episode 0238
Sherlock Hemlock helps Ernie discover how his window got broken. Ernie finds that the only evidence is a baseball, and together with Sherlock Hemlock try to find out how who broke Ernie's window. It turns out that Sherlock Hemlock, who is the number five player of the Sesame Street Sluggers, hit a home-run which caused the baseball to go through the window.
The Letter L
Episode 0251
Sherlock demonstrates the sound of the letter L.
The Letter N
Episode 0253
Sherlock with the N sound.
The Letter V
Episode 0267
Sherlock demonstrates the letter V.
The Beach: Bert is Missing
Episode 0278
At the beach, Ernie notices that Bert is missing; all he sees is Bert's hat. Sherlock Hemlock helps find Bert, and in the process, it turns out that Ernie accidentally buried Bert under the sand.
Exit sign
Episode 0300
Everyone wants to go outside the cave, but they're not sure which way to go out until the Royal Smart Person invents an EXIT sign.
"X Marks the Spot!"
Episode 0351
Sherlock sings "X Marks the Spot!"
Episode 0409
King Ernie has a problem -- the cavemen write everything on rocks, which are too heavy to carry around. He calls upon the Royal Smart Person to invent something lighter to write on. (This sketch was adapted into a book, The Invention of Paper.)
Something to Drink
Episode 1385
King Ernie wants something to drink, so he calls on the Royal Smart Person for help. The royal cow has quit, so there's no milk available. Ernie also shows that there is no liquid inside a rock or a stick. Then the Royal Smart Person suggests that Ernie should try squeezing a round orange thing (an orange), which turns out to have juice inside.
Episode 1388
King Ernie needs to clean his yucky teeth. The Royal Smart Person brings a big brush (used for sweeping), then a middle-sized brush (used for brushing hair), then a smaller brush (used for painting), and finally a really small brush (a toothbrush). Just as Ernie proclaims that he'll "brush every tooth in the entire kingdom," a saber-toothed tiger comes in, seizes the toothbrush, and begins to use it himself.
SesameGame show
"Mystery Guest"
Episode 1447
Sherlock Hemlock competes with Cookie Monster and Don Music on Guy Smiley's game show "Mystery Guest". The mystery guest is the letter X. Sherlock guessed that the guest was the letter I.


Album appearances[]

Book appearances[]


Character merchandise[]

External links[]