Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Professor Hastings

Written by Michael Wermuth.


Performed by…
Frank Oz

First appearance…
Sesame Street Season 1 (1969)

Most recent appearance…
Sesame Street Season 2 (1971)

Best known role…
Boring, old professor


Professor Hastings is an old professor who gave lectures that were so boring that even he fell asleep while he was giving them.  For example, if his lecture was on feelings, groups of happy, sad, and angry Muppets would walk by while he was sleeping (and they would somehow wake him up, allowing him to move on). Many of his lectures were introduced by Kermit the Frog, who sometimes had to help with the lectures, such as showing parts of the body. A running gag would be for Professor Hastings to ask, “are you aware that you are a frog?” Some topics Professor Hastings discussed included the letters Y and U, the number 2, and how two trucks are different and the same.

One of Professor Hastings’ first appearances was in a performance of “Spinning Wheel”, in which he honks a horn. In this early appearance, he looks a little different from how he would later look. He had reddish-brown hair, giving him more resemblance to Mr. Johnson. Later on, his hair would be white. Perhaps he’s one of the few Muppets to actually age.

Professor Hastings once appeared as a contestant on Guy Smiley’s game show “What’s My Part?”, in which he kept falling asleep and mistakenly thinking he was supposed to give a lecture. In fact, he ended up winning by accident – the mystery guest was a foot, and his foot happened to fall asleep.

Unfortunately, Professor Hastings was taken off the show for being too dull. Although he was dropped pretty early, he was more popular in European countries, where his material continues to be shown, and has appeared in quite a bit of European merchandise (sometimes mistaken for Mr. Johnson, though).

Well, Sesame Street is an educational show, and a good educational show needs somebody to give lectures and… educate and… Teach such subjects as… Zzzzzzzzzz…

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s