The Hare is one of the protagonists of the Aesop fable "The Tortoise and the Hare."
The Hare appears with Kermit and the Tortoise in a Sesame Street Sports sketch (a precursor to the Sesame Street News Flash sketches). When the race begins, the hare dawdles, believing that he could easily defeat the sluggish tortoise. Both contestants lose, however, when Kermit rushes to the finish line to catch the results and is inadvertently crowned the winner.
The Hare re-appears later in another Sesame Street News Flash sketch, with a mop of hair and slightly altered design. This time, the Hare challenges the Tortoise to a rematch, but the Tortoise comes equipped with a jet-pack. This reworked version of the Hare also appears in an Alphabet Chat about the letter H. Here he was called Herbert Hare.
In his first sketch, Kermit states that the Hare is "sometimes known to sports fans" as "the Rabbit." The Hare also boastfully refers to his nickname: "Jumpin' Jack Rabbit, they call me."
- The Sesame Street Dictionary (1980)