Waiter Grover is Grover's most frequent occupation. As a waiter, Grover usually works at Charlie's Restaurant, although he has also toiled at O'Brien's Fast Food Restaurant, an airport restaurant, and a few other locations.
Grover's most frequent customer is Mr. Johnson, a Fat Blue Anything Muppet, who has become increasingly frustrated over the years with the poor service that Grover provides. In the earlier skits, Mr. Johnson and Grover's roles were switched; Mr. Johnson was calmer, but Grover was usually the victim. In many of the early sketches, Mr. Johnson always sits at the table in front of the kitchen doors, but in later sketches he sits at a table closer to the wall.
The framing story of the video Let's Eat!: Funny Food Songs involves Grover working as a waiter at Planet Storybook. He was also a waiter at his own tribute in A Celebration of Me, Grover. Grover was also a waiter during the Muppets 30th anniversary celebration in The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, and handed the bill to Jim Henson. He also appears as a waiter in Cookie Monster's restaurant in the CD-ROM game Elmo's Reading Basics and "Cosmo's" in Ernie's Adventures in Space. The Sesame Street iPhone application, "Grover's Number Special", features Waiter Grover counting the items he needs to make Mr. Johnson's food. Grover also works as a waiter at Shoanan's local coffee house in the 2010 revival of Shalom Sesame.
In 1993, a song titled "Oops!" was written, in which Grover sings while constantly spilling beans on Mr. Johnson, with Elmo, Telly Monster, and Zoe providing back-up vocals. The song was never used on the show.
For occasions where Grover served Mr. Johnson in a non-restaurant setting see: Grover and Mr. Johnson
|Picture||Title / First Appearance||Description|
|Mr. Johnson wants a bowl of hot alphabet soup, and he really wants it to be hot. He looks to make sure that each letter of the alphabet is in his soup, but he is missing some. By the time Grover brings in all the missing letters, the soup is cold. This was the first skit with Grover as a waiter.
|Grover opens a menu, and shows Mr. Johnson a large picture of a specialty sandwich, which comes with potato chips on the side, a pickle on the top, and an olive inserted on a toothpick. When the sandwich arrives, Mr. Johnson complains that it doesn't match the picture on the menu - it doesn't have potato chips, a pickle, or an olive. After Grover finally gets the order right, Mr. Johnson says he doesn't have time to eat it, since his lunch hour is over, and leaves. An exasperated Grover throws a tantrum in the kitchen.
|Grover serves Mr. Johnson a bowl of chicken soup. Johnson says that he can't eat the soup, and Grover can't guess why. "That settles it," Johnson sighs. "From now on, I'm bringing my lunch to work in a paper sack." He finally explains to Grover that he can't eat the soup because he doesn't have a spoon.
|Bacon and Eggs
|Mr. Johnson orders bacon and eggs, but he can't decide how many of each he wants. Mr. Johnson says that Grover had took too long and it is now for lunch, so he asks for two hot dogs and two pickles. Grover then throws a tantrum in the kitchen.|
|Mr. Johnson wants a hamburger. The restaurant offers two sizes: the big hamburger and the small hamburger. When the small hamburger is too small, he orders a big one. Because there have been some problems with the big hamburger, Grover tries to convince him to order several small ones. Mr. Johnson finally loses his patience, and demands a big hamburger. Grover winds up delivering a colossal-sized hamburger that he is barely able to carry; the burger is so huge that he crashes through the doors and walls, causing damage. Grover then asks if Mr. Johnson prefers his ketchup in "the bigger bottle or the little bottle".
|All Out of Food
|Grover informs Mr. Johnson that the restaurant is out of a lot of items that are on the menu. The only thing still at the restaurant is milk...but there are no glasses.
|There's a Fly in My Soup
|Mr. Johnson has been served a bowl of soup, but flags down his waiter to make a complaint. He asks Grover to inspect the fly that's in his soup, but Grover looks under; next to; and above the soup before he agrees to bring out a new bowl. The kitchen is all out of what Mr. Johnson ordered, so he brings him Cream of Mosquito.
|Meal First, Middle and Last
|Mr. Johnson orders soup, roast beef, and peach pie, wanting them in that order (one at a time). Grover doesn't understand the order and keeps bringing the wrong item. Upon being brought the pie twice, Johnson explains that he wants that after "everything else", prompting Grover to bring everything else on the menu.|
|What To Eat First?
|Mr. Johnson orders soup and a sandwich, and says that he wants the sandwich before the soup. When Grover brings the sandwich, Mr. Johnson has changed his mind, and wants the soup first. When Grover brings the soup, Mr. Johnson has decided that he wants the sandwich first. Grover ends up giving Mr. Johnson both the soup and sandwich so he can decide what to eat first. Mr. Johnson tells Grover that he has decided to get a cup of coffee before the soup and the sandwich.|
|Special of the Day
|Grover recites to Mr. Johnson all the items on the menu, which are numbered. Number nine is the special of the day. It turns out to be a real number nine, but Mr. Johnson doesn't want it. It's medium rare, and he likes his nines well-done.|
|Grover, the Singing and Dancing Waiter
|Grover is a singing and dancing waiter at Casa de Comidas (literally House of Foods in Spanish). When he brings Mr. Johnson's order, he sings and dances while still holding the tray, and spills Mr. Johnson's food on the floor. He keeps on doing this whenever he brings more food, until it's time for Manolo, the guitar player to take his break, which he tells Grover he's going down to the corner for a hamburger and some fries. Grover brings out numero uno, literally the number 1, much to Mr. Johnson's dismay.
|Just Following Orders
|Grover has a new method of remembering orders: he makes up a poem to remember what is ordered, and who ordered it. Mr. Johnson orders a cheeseburger with French fries and a pickle, which Grover interprets as "Round and tasty on a bun, pickles, French fries, yum, yum, yum!" He also describes Johnson as "In a hurry to be fed, beady eyes and big blue head!." Grover's method proves flawed, however, as he brings Mr. Johnson a grapefruit on a bun. Grover eventually realizes his mistake, but declines to fix it, as it is his lunch break, and he heads out for his own cheeseburger.
|O'Brien's Fast Food Restaurant
|Grover is the newest employee at a fast food franchise that serves such delicacies as O'Fish, O'Salad, O'Rye Bread, and O'Milk. However, this is a different kind of "fast food" restaurant: the food zips by the customer on trays across the counter, and falls to the floor if it's not caught in time. Mr. Johnson is not ready for this, so he asks if there's any "slow food." There is, but it's served by a turtle, who takes longer than Mr. Johnson wants to wait.
|Trip to South America
|Mr. Johnson goes at an airport restaurant and has just a few minutes left to catch a plane to South America. Grover is the waiter, and when he learns about Mr. Johnson's trip, he gives a big lecture on South America, making Mr. Johnson miss his plane.
This segment was taped on August 21, 1989.
|Most Important Meal of the Day
|Mr. Johnson wants to order a couple of poached eggs on toast, but Grover tells him that they are all out of eggs, so he brings two corn cobs on toast. Grover gives a lecture on where eggs come from by bringing a cornstalk, chicken feed, and a chicken to the table.
|Upon Mr. Johnson's latest visit to Charlie's Restaurant, the waitstaff has been implemented with a new service device. Grover instructs his guest to ring the bell three times to get his attention, instead of yelling across such an upper-crust establishment. After Mr. Johnson has trouble deciphering the speed with which he must ring the bell, he calls Andre the manager out to address his concerns. Andre, having been interrupted while eating a sour cream soufflé, doesn't think there's anything wrong with the bell. In fact, he thinks it looks so good that he eats it, as Mr. Johnson notices the time, and rushes out of the restaurant.|
|Much Ado About Nothing
|In a Monsterpiece Theater sketch, Grover laments to Mr. Johnson that the restaurant doesn't have anything he orders.|
|In honor of Charlie's birthday, Grover is only serving items that begin with a "CH" sound. Mr. Johnson orders a cheeseburger, chips, cherry pie, and chocolate ice cream, and he actually gets his food in no time, but before he can eat, the table (which the plate is on) gets taken away because it does not begin with a "CH" sound.
|Mr. Johnson gets a new waiter named Piño, a Spanish-accented monster. Then, Grover comes by, and argues with Piño over which one of them will serve Mr. Johnson.
|Mr. Johnson has lunch at Charlie's Outdoor Al Fresco Fresh Air Cafe, where he's disappointed to find Grover waiting on him. The wind picks up, and blows his food away - but when Grover gives him the bill, the wind dies down, and he has to pay.|
|Back and Front of Chair
|In a miraculous feat for Mr. Johnson, Grover serves up a large bowl of spaghetti exactly to his liking. While Grover tends his other tables, he keeps bumping up behind Mr. Johnson and forcing his face into the meal. Grover solves the problem by moving the table away from him, so he can run in front of Mr. Johnson.|
|Guido's Trattoria and Spaghetti Joint
|Mr. Johnson wants to order some spaghetti at an Italian restaurant called Guido's Trattoria and Spaghetti Joint. Grover brings the food, but it turns out to be just one noodle, angering Mr. Johnson. Next, Grover brings him only two noodles, then one noodle again. Finally, Grover brings him a large plate of spaghetti, with a lot of noodles. It proves too heavy for him, and he spills the spaghetti all over Mr. Johnson, who storms off in a huff.
|Mr. Johnson wants a hamburger with fries, but Grover strongly suggests that he orders the tomato surprise instead. Mr. Johnson relents, and asks for the tomato surprise, only to find that it means a giant, talking tomato (David Rudman) will be dining with him. Surprise!
|Grover works at a fried chicken restaurant, Chicken Castle. He serves Mr. Johnson an empty bucket. When he demands a full bucket, Grover squeezes into the bucket. (Cameo appearances from Papa Bear and Baby Bear in the beginning.)
Elmo's World: Food
|A brief original segment is shown at the end of Elmo's quiz to illustrate that grown-ups eat...unless Grover is their waiter.
|Put a Lid on It
|Grover brings Mr. Johnson his milk stirred, but not shaken. Mr. Johnson explains that he wanted it shaken, not stirred: a milkshake. As Grover tries to accommodate him, he drops the glass of milk, and the sketch breaks out into "Put a Lid on It" by the Squirrel Nut Zippers, but with different lyrics. Mr. Johnson is named Fred during the song.|
|Grover is joined by two musicians, and they have to sing when telling the customer what is on the menu. Mr. Johnson keeps ordering, and Grover asks if any is left, to which Charlie replies "Nyet" ("no"). After realizing that Charlie is out of a lot of food, Mr. Johnson asks Grover what he does have. Grover knows that the restaurant has one bowl of borscht (soup), because Grover was saving it for himself, but he lets Mr. Johnson have it.
|It is rhyming day at Charlie's Restaurant, which means the customer has to make up a rhyme with whatever he orders. Mr. Johnson wants a tuna sandwich on rye. Grover brings him an apple pie, but that's not what Mr. Johnson wanted. Grover then learns that they are all out of tuna on rye, so Mr. Johnson asks for a cheeseburger instead...but what rhymes with cheeseburger?
|Picture||Title / First Appearance||Description|
|Simon Soundman wants a chicken sandwich, which he orders as a "cluck-cluck" sandwich. Grover has trouble figuring out what his customer wants. Simon Soundman says that his brother always eats at that restaurant, implying that Mr. Johnson might be his brother.|
|The Count Orders a Hot Dog
|The Count has come to order hot dogs - lots of hot dogs. But when Grover refuses to get more hot dogs because the Count will only count them, and not eat them, the Count uses a hypnotism spell to get more.|
|"People in Your Neighborhood"
|Grover appears as a waiter to sing to Bob about his job.|
|The Leslie Mostly Show
|Leslie Mostly interviews Grover for The Leslie Mostly Show.|
|Grover prepares a table for a family, who is celebrating their grandmother's birthday, but Grover doesn't know her name, so when each family member refers to her as a different relative, Grover thinks there's more than one party going on, so he ends up bringing out six cakes.|
|Carrot Time||In a commercial send-up, Biff walks into a dull restaurant that livens up when Grover serves them carrots.|
|Cookie Monster visits the Nouvelle Cookie Parlor, where Grover provides him with some cookies made with vegetables. Although Cookie is hesitant to try them, he takes a bite and is hooked, eating all their stock. Grover provides him with the veggies they were made from to eat.
- The Sesame Street Neighborhood Coloring Book (1976)
- The Sesame Street Dictionary (1980)
- What Do You Do? (1981)
- Elmo's Easy As ABC (2005)
- Grover's Guide to Good Eating (2007)
- What's the Word on the Street? (2008)
Video game appearances
- Sesamestreet.org - "Grover Waiter" video playlist
- ToughPigs Anthology: Troubled Waiter - sketch transcripts
- Lyrics for the song
- Borgenicht, David Sesame Street Unpaved page 48
- Tape slate
- Tape slate
- Documents provided by trusted source
- Gikow, Louise Sesame Street: A Celebration - 40 Years of Life on the Street pages 196-197