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PERFORMER Khalid Moultrie
DEBUT 2004

Traction Jackson, aka TJ, is an African American boy who uses a wheelchair. He appeared in computer animated segments on Sesame Street, beginning in Season 35. TJ, whose real name is Tyrone Jackson, is an energetic boy who enjoys basketball and whose best friend is his dog, Bernie. TJ's chair features unique, colored swirls on the wheels.

TJ made his debut in the 35th season opener/special The Street We Live On. New segments with the character were produced through season 41. Reminiscent of previous Sesame Street characters like street-scene regular Tarah, TJ was introduced as part of Sesame Workshop's curriculum to teach children that people are the same beneath physical differences.

Production Background[]

The Traction Jackson shorts are produced by the Tennessee-based studio Magnetic Dreams. The studio's creative director is Muppet performer Rickey Boyd, who used his friendship with Kevin Clash to arrange for his company to win the assignment. According to articles about the series, Boyd said the character of TJ was inspired by child in a wheelchair he met while working as a puppeteer on Animal Jam. "Everyone was just amazed at what a great attitude he had," Boyd recalled.


Picture Theme / First Appearance Description
Me and My Chair
Episode 4057
A remake of an earlier live-action song, TJ sings about how his chair enables him to move faster than he could with shoes.
14 Baskets
Episode 4070
In this counting short, TJ attempts to make fourteen consecutive baskets, while Bernie cheers from the sidelines.
Fruit Snack Samba
Episode 4089
TJ warns Bernie about his junkfood habits, singing a lively tribute to fruit.
TJ Meets Margarita
Episode 4098
TJ and Bernie encounter Margarita, a neighborhood kid who initially refuses to let TJ use the court, believing his wheelchair prevents him from playing. TJ proves her wrong, and the two become new friends.
Follow Me
Episode 4130
TJ, Bernie, and Margarita play "Follow Me" with Grandpa Mudcat.
The Doggone Jealous Blues
Episode 4158
TJ is sad because Bernie is playing with Margarita instead of him. Grandpa sings him a song about "The Doggone Jealous Blues," after which Margarita invites him to play.
Counting to 40
Episode 4187
TJ and his friends count to 40 by 10s in song.
Imagining I Words
Episode 4227
TJ and his friend Kayla sing about I words.


  • Creative Director/Storyboards: Rickey Boyd
  • Associate Producer for Sesame Workshop: Rebecca Rosa
  • Character Modeling: Jeff Gruelich
  • 3D Backgrounds and Sets: Gruelich, Rainey Kirk
  • Animators: James Coakley Jr., Todd Smith
  • Technical Director: Steven Alley
  • Lighting & Composition: Don Culwell

External Links[]