MOISHE OOFNIK (אופניק מוישה) is a brown GROUCH who lives in a broken car. He’s also the resident GROUCH on Rechov Sumsum, the Israeli co-production of SESAME STREET, & also appeared in the bilingual version, Shalom SESAME & the later Israeli-Palestinian co-production Rechov Sumsum — Shara'a Simsim. In 2006, he returned for the new version of Rechov Sumsum.
OOFNIK is also the cousin of OSCAR THE GROUCH (so he is also the cousin of OSCAR’s brothers, ERNEST & OTTO THE GROUCH & their sister BUNNY), &, not surprisingly, he shares many of his cousin’s tastes. Rather than celebrating Rosh Hashanah by dipping apple slices into honey for a sweet new year, MOISHE tells us that OOFNIKS prefer to dip them into sardine grease so the new year will be slimy. He loves to hear Itzhak Perlman play violin, as long as the music is off-key. If he responds lovingly to flowers & puppies, it’s probably a sign that he’s gotten a bad case of spring fever. According to 1 scene from the show (re-dubbed for the Shalom SESAME episode, "Kibbutz"), MOISHE’s grandfather was a pioneer & the 1st GROUCH in Israel.
OOFNIK is the only Israeli Muppet who has endured since the first incarnation of Rechov Sumsum. Haim Idisis, a long-time scriptwriter for the show, explained his longevity: "OOFNIK is probably the only lasting character. Those types always survive, he’ll stay shut in his TRASH CAN & survive. He’s not young, but he’ll stay childish forever."
His surname, OOFNIK is Hebrew for GROUCH. In 1993, he & Kippi Ben Kippod appeared on SESAME STREET Stays Up Late, to show how Israel rings in the New Year. However, the character was introduced as OOFNIK THE GROUCH, a redundant label. He also makes a cameo (albiet colored YELLOW) in the 1st SESAME STREET comic book issue.
- Rechov Sumsum (1982 - present)
- Shalom SESAME (1986 - present)
- Rechov Sumsum/Shara'a Simsim (1998 - present)
- SESAME STREET Stays Up Late (1993)
- GROUCH Gallery
- Uncle Yuska
- OSCAR’s family
- Meet OOFNIK THE GROUCH
- International SESAME STREET Characters
- MOISHE OOFNIK’s School of Health
- MOISHE OOFNIK on the Muppet Wiki
- MOISHE OOFNIK on the Puppet Wiki
- MOISHE OOFNIK on the OSCAR THE GROUCH Wiki
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