Simon Soundman is a Sesame Street character who has the ability to mimic any sound he hears. He often drops pre-recorded sound effects into conversation, using them to represent common words. For example, if he visits a tool store to buy a hammer, he doesn't say to the store clerk "I want to buy a hammer," instead he says "I want to buy a (POUND POUND!)" Other characters, and the viewers, must then figure out what he means by identifying the sounds (though some sketches end with the other characters replacing words with sounds in the same manner).
This guesswork is frequently used as the basis for his skits, as the on-screen characters attempt to interact with him. Though he often makes sounds of objects instead of naming them, he is capable of saying the actual words as well, such as in a sketch where he meets Old MacDonald, and in a sketch where he sounds out the word "Call". In one of Simon's most notable appearances, he sang "Sound Song," a song about his (RUFF RUFF!) chasing a (MEOW!) up a tree. As he made each sound effect, pictures accompanied them so the viewers could easily tell what the sounds were.
Simon debuted on Sesame Street in Season 2 and was mostly active until Season 29. He made cameo appearances in The Muppets Take Manhattan, Follow That Bird, The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, and A Muppet Family Christmas. In 2018, Simon made a background cameo in Episode 4827 as a customer in Hooper's Store.
Simon once appeared at Charlie's Restaurant, where he was waited on by Grover. During this sketch, Simon remarks that he can't believe his brother recommended the place, which implies that he and frequent Charlie's customer Mr. Johnson (another Fat Blue puppet performed by Jerry Nelson) are brothers.
The first Simon Soundman had brown hair, a bushy mustache, orange nose, and no eyebrows. He was later given a smaller mustache, pink nose, eyebrows, and black hair (though the 1979 style guide refers to his hair color as brown).
|Picture||Title / First Appearance||Description|
|Ernie meets Simon Soundman
|Simon comes to Ernie's apartment to use the phone because his car has broken down. However, Ernie has trouble figuring out what he wants.
|Simon has the viewers guess what sound he is making. He makes the sound of a train, car, and a horse. When Simon makes the sound of the horse, a cowboy uses his lasso to capture Simon, mistaking him for a real horse.|
|Simon sings about how his "ruff-ruff" chased a "meow-meow" up a tree.
|Sound Man Buys a Saw
|Simon tries to buy a saw at Sam's General Store.|
|Grover's Chicken Sandwich
|Simon Soundman wants a chicken sandwich, which he orders as a "cluck-cluck" sandwich. Waiter Grover has trouble figuring out what his customer wants. When Grover finally understands, Simon changes his mind. He now wants a hot dog, but he makes dog's sounds instead of saying "dog", confusing Grover again.|
|Sound Man Buys a Trumpet
|Simon tries to buy a trumpet from Marvin at Marvin's Music City.
|Sound Man Weather Report
|News anchorman Kermit concludes his news program with a weather report by their new news anchor, Simon Soundman, who does a weather report using sounds for different kinds of weather (wind blowing, a foghorn for fog, rain and thunder for a rainstorm). Kermit fires him and calls for another weatherman (Richard Hunt), who has a more "visual" approach to reporting the weather.|
|"Song of Love"
|Simon is having a romantic dinner at Charlie's Restaurant with his beloved, and he sings a song about how some common sounds remind him of her.|
|Weather Around the World
|A colonel (Frank Oz) tells Simon about his trip around the world in 80 days without any sleep. He keeps falling asleep when describing the weather, and Simon "corrects" him with appropriate weather sounds.
|Call of the Wild
|Simon sounds out the word "call", and then demonstrates some calls of his own - including a bird call, cow call, pig call, and telephone call.|
|Call of the Wild (remake)
|The remake is almost identical to the original version, with a few changes: Simon reads the word in front of a sky backdrop; three pigs appear during Simon's pig call; and two cows hear Simon's cow call.|
|Tuba or not tuba
|While in the park, Simon teaches Bert to make the sound of a tuba - with surprising results.
|Pig in a China Shop
|While shopping in a china store, Simon helps Old McDonald find his lost animal. However, Simon's animal sounds attract animals to barge into the fragile store, while the clerk (Dave Goelz) runs around the shop trying to save his merchandise from destruction.|
Simon has made appearances in street scenes throughout his tenure as a recurring character, including:
- Episode 0543
- Episode 0583
- Episode 0671
- Episode 0798
- Episode 0718
- Episode 0724
- Episode 0729
- Episode 0831
- Episode 0893
- Episode 0918
- Episode 1045
- Episode 1149
- Episode 1663
- Episode 1680
- Episode 1748
- Episode 1773
- Episode 2131
- Episode 2306
- Episode 2359
- Episode 2451
- Episode 2581
- Episode 2608
- Episode 2722
- Episode 2746
- Episode 3020
- Episode 3111
- Episode 3703