Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Simon Soundman

WMW Simon Soundman

Written by Ryan Dosier.


Performed by…Simon Soundman
Jerry Nelson

First appearance…
Sesame Street Season 2 (1970)

Most recent (new) appearance…
Sesame Street Season 24: Episode 3068 (1993)

Best known role…
Sound mimicker; “Sound Song” singer

Simon Soundman is a classic character from Sesame Street who speaks mostly using sound effects to communicate. Although he can speak using actual words, he elects to use sound effects such as “THUMP THUMP” or “RUFF RUFF!” instead, leaving others on Sesame Street to have to figure out what exactly he means. Simon Soundman first appeared in Sesame Street‘s second season in a sketch with Ernie. Simon runs into Ernie’s apartment asking to use his phone and it’s up to Ernie to figure out why by deciphering Simon’s sounds. (Turns out his car had broken down.)

In his first appearance, Simon Soundman had brown hair and a brown mustache (resembling Grover’s frequent customer Mr. Johnson). As Simon Soundman evolved into a more recurring character, he gained black hair and mustache as well as a brand new pair of eyebrows. Perhaps Simon Soundman’s best known appearance is in the “Sound Song” from early in Sesame Street‘s run. In the song, Simon sings about how hiss “ruff ruff” chased a “meow meow” up a tree, while handy animations of a dog and cat assist young viewers in figuring out what he’s singing about.

Simon Soundman has interacted with numerous classic Sesame Street characters, always aggrivating them until they can figure out what his sound effects mean. He has tried to order a chicken sandwich from waiter Grover at Charlie’s Restaurant, played weather reporter on reporter Kermit the Frog’s news show, taught Bert to make the sound of a tuba, and helped Old MacDonald find his lost animal.

Simon Soundman made frequent appearances on Sesame Street consistently until about Season 25, when he was phased out from the show and no new segments featuring the character were made. He appeared in silent cameos in the backgrounds of The Muppets Take Manhattan, Follow That Bird, and A Muppet Family Christmas.

Simon Soundman is as important to Sesame Street as a RUFF RUFF is to a man! Why, they go together like a VROOM VROOM on the street! (Thus ends our lame attempt to imitate Simon Soundman.)

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

5 thoughts on “Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Simon Soundman

  1. Can't …. breath… laughing…to hard…at your…awesomly lame ….attempt….to imatate…simon…soundman…. okay guess what I'm trying to say *ruff ruff loves ruff as oink oink loves ribbit ribbit* -psst clue- rowlf loves lassie so piggy loves ?who? Huggs and giggles~maria

  2. Simon was a great character who should make a comeback someday.

    And, like with most of Jerry Nelson's characters, I think Matt Vogel would do a great job as a new performer Simon.

  3. Aside from Simon I think Herry, Guy Smiley, The Amazing Mumford, Prairie Dawn, Little Bird, Frazzle, and Sherlock Hemlock should also comeback. They were all great characters that need to be back on the show along with current characters of the street! That would be awesome!

    Phoenix Alvarado

  4. I asked John Kennedy if he could do a good Simon (as well as Herry Monster and Biff), but he said if anyone could do an awesome impression of Simon, Herry, and biff it would be Matt.

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