Which Muppets Are Jewish? An Unofficial Guide

Oscar the Grouch is Jewish, Bert & Ernie are not.

Ever wished your daily struggles and complicated feelings could be explored by cute and furry puppets? That’s what the Muppets and “Sesame Street” have provided viewers for years. These lovable puppets were created by puppeteer Jim Henson while he was in college in the 1950s. During his time at the University of Maryland, he had his own show called “Sam and Friends,” where he crafted puppets like Kermit the Frog and performed with them. After graduating, Henson began to use puppets to create commercials, and was approached by the Children’s Television Workshop about a show for children — which became the “Sesame Street” we know and love. Henson didn’t want to limit his iconic puppets to kids’ TV, so in 1976, “The Muppet Show” (basically “Saturday Night Live” with puppets) premiered, running until 1981.

“Sesame Street” is still running and continues to be the gold standard for kids’ TV, especially for its inclusivity. It has spun off international versions featuring new Muppets that are specific to that country’s culture. The Israeli shows Rechov Sumsum” and Shalom Sesame” have explored Jewish themes like Shabbat and the story of modern Hebrew. There are even adorable picture books featuring Muppets celebrating Jewish holidays. (My favorite title is Its a Mitzvah, Grover!”) And while Jim Henson wasn’t Jewish, one of his main puppeteers, Frank Oz, was. Over its 52year run, Sesame Street” has featured many Jewish guests.

I wish I could tell you that I grew up with an American Sesame Street” special that encapsulated the Jewish experience with furry monsters. I remember how impactful the iconic “Rugrats” Hanukkah special was in making me feel understood. Yet Judaism mostly exists in Sesame Street” as a nod to Hanukkah within its broader holiday specials. However, Adam Sandler did parody his famous Chanukah Song” on Sesame Street — so at least we have that!

When I read up on Muppets that were canonically Jewish, I found a few asides that intimate a Muppets religious background, like Kermit wishing The Electric Mayhems Zoot a happy Hanukkah. So this got me thinking: How do The Muppets themselves identify? Are any of them Jewish? Below are my unofficial rulings.

Statler and Waldorf

These two do the most Jewish thing possible: loudly kvetch about the theater they just saw. Jews.


He seems quite neurotic, but about things like his bottlecap collection. Seems more like a WASP, where the P stands for puppet.” Not a Jew.


I can’t name one Jew who has earnestly sung about how much they love bath toys, even an adorable rubber ducky. Not a Jew.

The Count

An Eastern European immigrant who is a literal accountant in New York City. Jew.

Kermit the Frog

Hi-ho, or should I say shalom? Kermits a deeply frazzled entertainer with tons of energy. Thats enough for me to make him part of the tribe… Jew.

Cookie Monster

Im not saying hes not Jewish because the cookies he eats arent black and white. Im saying that his whole bag is being gluttonous, AKA one of the seven deadly sins. Not a Jew.

Fozzie Bear

While, unlike that of the best Jewish comedians, his standup doesnt contain much trauma, Fozzie Bear (stage name of Fozzowitz Bearenstein, probably) is a true vaudevillian. Like a Marx Brother, but with fur instead of a mustache. Jew.

Oscar the Grouch

Hes fighting gentrification and eminent domain by wanting to stay in a neighborhood based on the Upper West Side? Jew.

Miss Piggy

Even though shes arguably the Fran Fine of the Muppets, unfortunately Miss Piggy reads more Italian to me. A pig in love with a frog does not sound very kosher, tbh. Not a Jew.


Scooter joined the Muppet Show stage crew because his uncle J.P. Grosse owned the theater. This combo of working in the arts and nepotism gives me serious Fairfax, CA vibes. Jew.

Big Bird

He seems like The Simple Child” in The Four Questions, but has been featured in too much Christmas merch for me to take him seriously. Not a Jew.

Mr. Johnson

Even though Johnson is not a Jewish last name, it only took this Instagram photo of him eating what appears to be chicken noodle soup for me to make my decision. He is serving some Katzs Deli realness. Jew.

Baby Bear

In Elmos World: Happy Holidays,” we learn that the bears from the Goldilocks story are Jewish! Hope his familys latkes are not too cold, not too hot, but juuuuust right. Jew.


A Muppet, He Is. And a Jew, He Must Be.

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