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Super Grover is Grover as a superhero, one of his many jobs on Sesame Street. His true identity in these sketches is Grover Kent (referencing Clark Kent), a doorknob salesman in Metro City. Super Grover uses his superpowers to help others, though generally he ends up not helping at all.

Contents

Origins

Originally appearing in an ongoing series of sketches devoted to his super heroic feats, Super Grover would crash through a wall bearing his logo whilst being introduced in narration by an announcer (voiced by Jerry Nelson). The "Super-Grover" title appeared on-screen in some segments, while others didn't include it. In Season 24, the title was upgraded to "The Adventures of Super Grover" and included an updated version of his superhero theme, originally written by Sam Pottle. His appearances usually involved trying to help someone in trouble by doing something ridiculous such as saying "Wubba, Wubba." In most cases, the distressed individual would solve their dilemma when he wasn't looking -- and Grover, oblivious, thinks that he has saved the day.

On Sesame Street, Super Grover's attire consists of a cape, with ropes tied around Grover's wrists, a helmet, and a patch with the letter G on his chest. However, in most illustrations, his attire consists of a shirt with the letter G on it, shorts, a cape, and a helmet (supplied by Grover's dad). When he appeared in animated form for The Street We Live On, he wore only a cape and helmet, with no emblem on his chest. In most situations, Grover requires a phone booth to change into his costume à la Superman. One exception, such as in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, enables him to spin himself around until his costume appears, à la Wonder Woman.

According to the Associated Press, writer Jerry Juhl originated the character of Super Grover. At a 2006 panel, Bob Payne revealed that he built a helmet for the Palace Guard in Tales of the Tinkerdee, which was later used to build Super Grover's costume. The Exciting Adventures of Super Grover reveals "The Origins of Super Grover," by which it is explained that Grover took on super powers the first time he wore the Halloween costume his mommy had made.

Outside of the titled sketches, Super Grover has appeared in many episodes, books and specials taking on a featured role. In Follow That Bird he joins the efforts being made to search for a missing Big Bird, ultimately by teaming up with Gordon and Olivia. In 2004 he played a lead role in What's the Name of That Song?, while Season 35 marked the opening of his own superhero school.

Popularity

Super Grover title card.
The Adventures of Super Grover title card.

Super Grover's popularity has stretched out to include a number of events and attractions outside of just Sesame Street. In 1998, Sesame Place opened a Super Grover themed roller coaster, the Vapor Trail. The ride invites visitors to enter by way of a telephone booth, to "help right wrongs and do good things." The area near the ride is even decorated with a flower and shrub sculpture in the super monster's likeness.

In February of 2002, the Stage Deli in New York City created a sandwich which was named in Super Grover's honor. Super Grover appeared to unveil the new menu item.

From Season 33 to Season 37, Super Grover could be seen in the beginning of each show's opening sequence, holding the episode number title card (he is also featured in the opening and closing credits for Season 38). In 2003, he made an appearance on Martha Stewart Living and his likeness was immortalized as a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. Two years later, Vee Corporation extended Super Grover's reach to a touring capacity when it produced the live Sesame Street stage show, Super Grover! Ready for Action.

Merchandise

Super Grover has graced the cover of Sesame Street Magazine over the years, including the April 1988, October 1993 and August 2005 issues. He's also appeared in and has been the subject of several Sesame Street books. Merchandising for Super Grover has included a number of t-shirts, figurines (by Tyco, Applause, Enesco, Tra-la-la, and Colin), a Christmas ornament, a toy car, a kite, a puzzle, and a limited edition action figure made by Palisades Toys. For Palisades' action figure, comic book artist Alex Ross was commissioned to create a portrait of Super Grover for the packaging, which was later produced as a limited poster print direct from the company. Previously, a Super Grover action figure had been attempted by Fun 4 All, but the license never came to fruition. His likeness has been produced in various forms of plush dolls (including playsets by Soft Play and Gund), as a scented, bobble head pen, building blocks, a jack-in-the-box, a plush bookmark, a coffee mug and various figurines (by Applause, Tyco and Fisher Price).

Within the Sesame Street universe, his popularity can be evidenced by the existence of secret decoder rings (seen in What Did You Bring?), life-sized door posters (Spring Cleaning) and pinball machines (See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Smell No Evil). Even Grover himself asks his mommy to read him Super Grover books on two occasions in The Sesame Street Dictionary.

Presenting the further adventures of everybody's favorite superhero, the man who is faster than lightning, stronger than steel, smarter than a speeding bullet... it's Super Grover!


Appearances

Sketches

Picture Theme Earliest Known Appearance Description
Apple Fight Episode 0682 Super Grover helps Sammy and Frank, who are fighting over an apple.


Video: Old School: Volume 2 Season 6 Classic Cuts

Bus Stop Episode 0708 A boy is confused -- his mother told him to take a bus home, but he doesn't know where to find the bus. Super Grover arrives, and they soon discover a sign that says "Bus Stop". The boy suggests that they found the answer, but Super Grover insists that his mother told him to take a bus home, not a sign.
Telephone Booth Episode 0710 "Grover Kent" comes across a little girl crying because she can't get home. While Grover looks for a telephone booth, the little girl reads the sign she is standing next to and realizes that she is standing next to one. About to use a dime to call her mother, Grover rushes past her and transforms into Super Grover -- after a few times not quite changing into his costume properly. Now, ready for superhero'ing, Super Grover lifts the booth up with the little girl inside and attempts to take her home.
This is one of the few Super Grover segments to have a pre-title sequence.


Video: Old School: Volume 1 Season 5 Classic Cuts (pre-title sequence edited), Online: Sesamestreet.org (part of pre-title sequence cut)

Hair Cut Episode 0717 Young Willie Nillie is scared to get his hair cut. Super Grover tells Willie that haircuts are scary, but he must be brave. However, a barber shows them both that haircuts do not hurt, and soon they are no longer afraid of hair cuts.


Book: Sesame Street Unpaved, Online: Sesame Street Video Player.

Boxes Episode 0980 A girl on a farm needs help carrying many boxes. Super Grover suggests gluing them together, but the girl eventually figures out that taking them one at a time will work.


Online: Sesame Street Video Player

Computer Episode 2107 A girl cannot get her computer to start. Super Grover tries to turn it on by jumping up and down and shouting "Wubba wubba!", but she soon discovers that the computer is not plugged in.


Book: Sesame Street Unpaved

Broken Grocery Bag Episode 2173 Judy Finstermacher has broken her bag of groceries, and Super Grover tries to find a way for her to get the groceries to her home.
This sequence originally did not have a "Super Grover" opening sequence, instead having the announcer provide voice-over over the openign action. Later airings included the opening as well as an opening shot of Super Grover flying.


Book: Sesame Street Unpaved, Online: Sesamestreet.org

Dial S for SuperGrover Episode 2849 When a little girl realizes that she has too much homework and can't play with her friend, Super Grover offers a number of ways she can resolve the issue. After a few failed attempts at convincing her that his ideas will work, he begins shouting for the boy to break the bad news. During the commotion, the little girl realizes that she can use the telephone to call her friend and explain the situation.


Book: Sesame Street Unpaved

Fence Exit Season 6[1]
Episode 3006
When a boy has trouble finding the gate in a fence, Super Grover attempts to bend the pickets. But eventually, the boy finds an exit sign.


Video: Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days (Season 6)

Saving Energy Episode 3056 Super Grover crash-lands inside an apartment, and when he sees that the lamp light is on, he decides that he needs to save energy by turning off the lamp. His method to turning off the lamp is blowing the light out, but a girl just turns off the switch.


Video: A Celebration of Me, Grover

Above and Below with Telly Episode 3132 Telly and Super Grover are standing behind a wall addressing the audience. They speak of the differences between above (such as a bird flying) and below (as in when Grover crash lands on Telly).
Hat in a Tree Episode 3133 A fat blue girl loses her wind-blown hat in a tree, but she can't cross the street to get it. Super Grover comes to the rescue, and tries to call the cap back. The girl realizes that she needs a grown-up to cross the street, and with her Aunt Edna she gets her hat back.


Online: Sesame Street Video Player, The Sesame Street Podcast: Predicament

Super Annette Episode 3134 Annette Bening wants to travel with Super Grover when he is helping others, but both have trouble in figuring out how to get around since Annette cannot fly.


Special: Stars and Street Forever! (clip only)

Super Grover and Super Elmo Episode 3170 Super Grover decides to teach Elmo how to be a super hero. However, Elmo wears his cape the wrong way, which causes him to trip whenever he wants to fly. When this segment aired in Episode 3170, Big Bird introduced it with a poem: "Soon you'll see / Super Grover flying in his cape / and then I'm coming back / so don't put on a tape." (YouTube)
Big and Little Episode 3698 Super Grover asks Baby Natasha, as Super Baby, to help him demonstrate big and little. But Super Baby won't sit still long enough -- she keeps flying around, and ends up crash-landing on his head.


Online: Web Video Player

Number Waving Episode 3884 Super Grover intends to fly into the air and wave at the number of the day. He claims that his springy legs will propel him into the atmosphere. After a few boingy jumps, he decides to forget the propelling part and just do the waving part. The following segment presents the number of the day.
Letter Pointing Episode 3884 Super Grover says that he's going to fly up into the air and point to the letter of the day. He begins by getting a runing start, but only propels himself sideways, hurting himself in the process. Leaning on the brick wall for support, he thinks maybe he will forget the flying part and just do the pointing part. The following segment presents the letter of the day.
Letter of the Day Episode 4028 Super Grover tries to help Cookie Monster present S as the Letter of the Day, by keeping the frosting covered cookie away in a basket.
Letter of the Day Episode 4031 Super Grover helps Cookie Monster refrain from eating the letter "N," but is ultimately unsuccessful.
Number of the Day Episode 4037 Super Grover reiterates the Number of the Day: 8
Letter of the Day Episode 4037 Super Grover presents F.
Waiting for Big Episode 4211 Sarah Jessica Parker is waiting for "Big" so Super Grover brings her things that are big, bigger and biggest. However, these things are not the "Big" she’s waiting for. She's waiting for Big Bird![2]
Helmet Elmo's World: Hats During Elmo's quiz, in which he asks whether or not several things wear hats, Elmo deduces that Grover does not wear a hat. But Super Grover does; and he observes that it's a good thing, since Super Grover frequently crash lands out of the sky.
Super Grover and Super Mommy Elmo's World: Families Super Grover and his mommy crash land in Elmo's World.


Video: Elmo's World: Families, Mail, & Bath

Up and Down Elmo's World: Up and Down Super Grover demonstrates "up and down" in a video email to Elmo.
Open and Closed Elmo's World: Open and Closed Super Grover attempts to illustrate "open" when his helmet closes over his eyes. He struggles with opening it again until Herry comes along and lifts it with one finger.
Super Bike Elmo's World: Bicycles Super Grover tries to show Elmo how he can ride his super bike in the sky, but he loses his concentration and crashes to the ground, destroying the bike.
Switch roles   Elmo suggests to Super Grover that they should pretend to be each other, so that Elmo would become Super Grover and he would become Elmo. Super Grover thinks it's a good idea, but decides it can't be done because they are too different. He then tries to explain why.
Telly's Ups and Downs   Telly is in the park demonstrating things you can find when you look up and when you look down. When he looks up, he can hear an object moving at great velocity, which he first assumes to be a bird or a plane. Ultimately, Super Grover crashes down upon Telly and asks if he can point him in the direction that goes up.


Online: V CAST (March 2007)

Superhero School   Super Grover teaches a class for potential superheroes. Among his students are Telly, Elmo, Zoe, Rosita, Herry, and Merry.


Online: V CAST (March 2007), Sesame Street Video Player

Apple Tree   Elmo can't reach any apples in an apple tree, so Super Grover tries to help, first by telling the apples to come down, and then by shaking the tree. Eventually, Elmo finds a stick that he can knock an apple down with.


Video: Playtime with Grover

Featured appearances

Picture Title Year Description
Don't Eat the Pictures 1983 To communicate with a display of Maximillian armor, Grover becomes his superhero alter-ego and professes his friendship in song.
The Exciting Adventures of Super Grover 1985 The storybook video adaptation of The Exciting Adventures of Super Grover included light animation added to Joe Mathieu's illustrations and a newly recorded voice track by Frank Oz to tell the story of Super Grover's origins and three other stories.
Follow That Bird 1985 Super Grover searches for Big Bird.
Adventure 1993 After Oscar the Grouch leaves En Vogue stranded on Saturn, Super Grover saves the day by flying them through the solar system and back to Earth. Super Grover and Elmo also groove to the repeated lyrics "Go!" for a matte shot that was later used in its own stand-alone segment on Sesame Street and later included on the CD-ROM disc available with Playtime with Grover.
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland 1999 Waiter Grover, too busy to serve Mr. Johnson, hears that Elmo is trying to catch his runaway blanket. In a rare on-screen display of heroic ability, Super Grover leaps off of the ground and into the air to save the day. When he spots his destination, his usual crash is multiplied by a collision with Elmo and Telly.
Play With Me Sesame 2002 Super Grover plays "Super Grover Says", instructing the viewers to put on helmets and capes, and demonstrates a few times.


Video: Playtime with Grover

Play With Me Sesame 2002 Ernie leads the audience in a game of "Ernie Says" which includes making various noises. When he asks viewers to make the sound of a police siren, Super Grover shows up to assist with the emergency. Ernie assures him that it's just "us" making the sound of a police car and Super Grover ventures off. He returns after hearing the sounds of a cat, figuring that a kitty must be stuck in a tree somewhere, and again in response to a phone ringing (both cases being Ernie again). Finally, he's so accustomed to Ernie's game that when a lion shows up (Chicago), he thinks the realistic roars are part of the game until he comes face-to-face with the king of beasts.
Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic 2003 After imagining himself as a cowboy and fireman, Grover then imagines himself as Super Grover, but is immediately struck by a giant rock from the sky. CGI animated "birdies" fly around his head.
Episode 4037 2003 Super Grover's new cape.
Episode 4050 2003 Zoe's tutu is stuck in a tree.
Episode 4071 2004 Professor Super Grover's School for Super-Heroes
A Celebration of Me, Grover 2004 When Grover is honored at the Flyer's Club Roost, he makes his grand entrance as Super Grover, crashing through the roof on top of Mr. Johnson.
The Street We Live On 2004 When Elmo wants to know more about Sesame Street, Super Grover crashes into his closet in Elmo's World. He offers to take Elmo through the time barrier to the Sesame Street that was. Unfortunately, he has trouble flying with Elmo on his back, and must transform into his taxi driver persona instead. Super Grover later appears in animated form.
What's the Name of That Song? 2004 Super Grover tries to find one song that everyone in the world can sing together.
Episode 4080 2004 When the Fairy Godperson changes Elmo into a bird, Super Grover collides with him while flying in the sky. They crash together in Big Bird's nest during a meeting of the Birdketeers. Super Grover swears that the little red bird looks familiar.
Healthy Habits for Life 2005 Super Grover explain how walking is a super way to be healthy and strong. So instead of flying in the air, he decides to walk instead.
Episode 4105 2005 Super Chicken on Sesame Street.
Episode 4126 2006 When Elmo has trouble trying to decide on a present for Rocco's birthday, Super Grover at first suggests a gift horse (into whose mouth one should never look). After he mulls things over a bit more with his brain, he eventually decides (by way of Miles) that Elmo should give Rocco one of his drawings. Later when Super Grover arrives at the party, he lugs in a large boulder as his present for Rocco.
Episode 4131 2006 Gina has just come home with her new adopted baby, Marco. Despite Maria's efforts to secure their time alone to rest, Super Grover crashes through the apartment ceiling to help with the new baby, but it would seem he does not actally know what a baby is. Grover first identifies a pillow and a stuffed giraffe before realizing that the small person on Gina's lap is the baby.
Ready To Learn 2007 In a PSA for parents watching PBS with their children, the Ready to Learn initiative produced a spot starring Super Grover and his alter ego Grover Kent. Cleo from the PBS series Between the Lions assists him in drawing his superhero logo, which she hangs on the fridge. While the narrative establishes that Super Grover is revealing his identity to the world, the spot encourages parents to proudly display the letters and words written by their children.
Elmo's World: Helping 2007 Super Grover crash lands in Elmo's World offering Elmo some help. Although Elmo doesn't need any at the moment, Super Grover keeps checking in nearly every time Elmo says the word "help." When he's finally needed, Super Grover is snoozing against the door and spends some time thinking of other professsional helper jobs while Elmo speaks to a lifeguard, a nurse and a crossing guard.
Elmo's Christmas Countdown 2007 Elmo and Abby Cadabby await the arrival of several boxes that have gone missing from the Christmas Counter-Downer so that Stiller the Elf may restore the countdown to Christmas. Super Grover falls from the sky, having stumbled upon the box for 8 when it got caught in his cape. When Elmo proclaims the finding one of many Christmas miracles, Super Grover counters that it's actually an FAA violation. But since it's Christmas, he decides not to report Stiller, citing that he's tough, but fair.
Episode 4176 2008 Super Chicken proves that having a superhero sidekick can be helpful when solving problems. Having caught wind of Super Grover's wish to have a "cute little sidekick" of his own, Horatio bursts out the doors of 123 Sesame Street and offers to take on the role. Super Grover ends up spending most of his day chasing him around and getting the elephant unstuck from various doorways until he ultimately decides to go back to his job at the ballet company.
The Sunny Side Up Show 2008 Grover appears live with Kelly and Chica to celebrate New Year's Eve. For the December 31 appearance, Kelly shows Super Grover how kids can make thier own cape using a pillowcase. Super Grover says it's fitting since he uses his cape to sleep on. When it's time for Play With Me Sesame, the costumed superhero remembers that Grover is on that show, and suddenly remembers that he has some superheroing to do.
The Sunny Side Up Show 2009 Super Grover returns the following day to ring in the new year with a Super New Year's Party. The trio play a game (similar to Beat the Time), sing a song about their New Year's resolutions, and look at Super Grover fan art drawn by Sprout viewers. Finally, Super Grover is awarded the Super Good Egg Award for which he thanks his mommy and daddy.
Elmo Loves You 2009 After Rosita and Elmo have chased after the card Elmo made for a special someone, Super Grover offers to help reacquire it. Swooping up into the sky, Super Grover tries to catch the card which has been taken by the wind. Crashing to the ground, he believes he has failed, until he turns around and Elmo pulls the card off his cape. Super Grover later reveals that he's learned that there are many ways to show love. Elmo and Rosita demonstrate by hugging the supermonster, who leaves to consult his chiropractor.

Book appearances

Online books

Sources

  1. Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days
  2. Season 40 Press Kit

See also


This article uses material from the "Super Grover" article on the Muppet wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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